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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Freshmen face new fees for underage drinking

    Freshmen caught drinking underage will toss extra money into diversion program funds if they fail to participate in an educational survey called E-CHUG by today.

    All freshmen are required to fill out the 10- to 15-minute online survey by today’s deadline or face a $50 fee in addition to the standard $75 fee if they are referred to an alcohol diversion program.

    The Electronic Check Up and Go Survey is a mandatory drinking habits questionnaire implemented by Campus Health Service.

    Any university student can take the survey, but freshmen are being specifically targeted with letters and e-mails.

    As of yesterday, 4,300 freshmen had taken

    It pretty much told me ‘tone it down a lot because you’re going to die,’ but I don’t even drink that much.

    – Dave Kavelman,
    engineering freshman

    the survey, said David Salafsky, harm and risk reduction coordinator for Campus Health.

    Students should be aware they will not be hit with an automatic $50 fee for failing to complete the survey, Salafsky said.

    “”The fine will only affect students subsequently referred to the alcohol diversion program,”” Salafsky said. “”Basically, no infraction, no charge.””

    Freshmen received e-mails from President Robert Shelton and Dean of Students Melissa Vito reminding them of today’s deadline.

    The E-CHUG survey includes questions like, “”Do you belong to a fraternity or sorority?”” and “”Do you play on a college athletic team?””

    The survey also has the student fill out a calendar of their typical drinking week, where they can log hours of drinking per day and type and number of drinks consumed.

    Dave Kavelman, a biosystems engineering freshman, said the survey had good questions but he was surprised by the results.

    “”It pretty much told me, ‘Tone it down a lot because you’re going to die,’ but I don’t even drink that much,”” said Kavelman.

    Kavelman added that the reference to the $50 fee in the letter seemed ambiguous, so he took the survey to be safe.

    Salafsky said students appreciate the survey

    because it provides tailored information about alcohol use and personalized feedback.

    Jackie Devitt, a freshman majoring in Spanish, said when she and her friends took the survey, the results suggested they could develop “”heath problems.””

    “”It said I was going to get fat,”” Devitt said. “”We didn’t really take it seriously.””

    E-CHUG was developed by San Diego State University and has been used by more than 200 universities in 36 states, said Salafsky.

    San Diego State will compile the data and send UA-specific results back to Campus Health, which will then use the information to tailor alcohol abuse material to UA students.

    An average of 500 students are referred to diversion programs each year.

    Salafsky said a Campus Health analysis of the diversion programs showed that students who had gone through the program said they drank less alcohol and felt more in control of their habits.

    Students who do not participate in the survey and are referred by Residence Life or the Dean of Students Office for the three-week diversion program will pay both the $50 and $75 fines.

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