Screenshot from the 360 Proof PFI online assessment.
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A new interactive online tool, 360 Proof Personalized Feedback Index, allows students to receive confidential information regarding their alcohol use. The program released in time for Butler University’s homecoming weekend.
The tool is confidential. Students only enter personal information about their alcohol use to receive feedback regarding alcohol’s impact on their health, academics, financials and relationships. For student athletes, the PFI will offer feedback geared towards athletic performance. The statistics used to compare their alcohol use to other students is pulled from only student-athletes nationwide.
Students could take the PFI tool to earn homecoming points for their team. During homecoming week, fraternities, sororities, residence halls and commuters partner together and compete in various events and games during the week leading up to the homecoming game. Any winning pairs earn points towards their team. Delta Gamma and Delta Tau Delta completed the most PFI assessments. During the competition, 438 students completed the tool and turned in a screenshot of completion for homecoming points.
Sarah Diaz, associate director of Health Education and Outreach Programs, helped to bring the program to campus. Conversations began over the summer about offering students the program prior to homecoming.
Diaz communicated with Jason Kilmer, a professor from the University of Washington and member of the 360 Proof working group, to bring the program to campus. After Diaz met with Kilmer, she began to plan when the 360 Proof PFI would be available to students in the fall.
“It’s intended to be a mirror for students,” Diaz said. “It really provides them with feedback on the impact of their alcohol use on many aspects of their life. It’s helpful to take a look at their own use and see how it compares to other people in a similar situation.”
The student receives personalized feedback regarding their alcohol use compared to other students nation-wide from the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey. Students learn about their blood alcohol content on a weekend, strategies to reduce heavy drinking, health facts (calories earned per week of alcohol and exercise required to lose the calories) and financial costs (cost of alcohol per week and year). The PFI also gives students contact information for health offices on campus, like Counseling and Consultation Services and Fairbanks Treatment and Recovery Services. The assessment can be taken from a computer or mobile device, and it takes around 15 minutes to complete.
“This particular program is one of the most researched and most effective approaches to addressing alcohol use with students,” Diaz said.
Chris Sanders is a junior psychology major at Butler. He is a co-chair for SGA’s Concerts Committee and student assistant for the Office of Health and Education. Sanders organized and directed a promotional video that encouraged students to use the 360 Proof PFI tool.
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“I think it gave people a better understanding of what exactly it was, which made it easier for people to want to fill it out,” Sanders said. “I think it’s a very self-guided program and not stressful to take. I think there was a good response from it.”
Diaz contacted Sanders about implementing the program since the program’s introduction. Sanders worked with the marketing and communication board of SGA to create the video.
“I think there are still a lot of students who didn’t take it,” Sanders said. “I think it’s important for everyone to be aware of their drinking habits and the effects it can have on them. It’s a really good tool for that.”
Karena Bakas, senior english creative writing major and intern for the Health Education and Outreach Programs Office, is a Greek Educators, Advocates, and Resources representative. She took the PFI assessment and encouraged other students to take it during homecoming.
“I want people to know it exists because it’s a subtle way to intervene if you’re worried about someone else,” Bakas said. “They can do it on their own time.”
The NCAA Division III and the Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education Small Colleges and Universities Division crafted the program in 2011 to provide resources for alcohol and drug education. Registration opened in January 2015 for universities to integrate the program into their education.
DePauw University, Franklin College and Wabash College use the 360 Proof program. They are also in Butler’s regional division.
Diaz is also a co-chair of Butler’s Alcohol and Drug Working Group, a new collaboration created this year with faculty and staff across campus.
“They [faculty and staff] were seeing substances show up in student’s academic performance or conduct and didn’t feel necessarily equipped to have those conversations with students about the impact of substance abuse,” Diaz said. “This tool does that for them.”
Students can take the assessment multiple times to receive updated feedback. Students have access to the 360 Proof PFI at anytime, not only for homecoming.The PFI gives students strategies regarding how to change their alcohol use, so students can implement the strategies in the future and reevaluate their behavior.
“I think when we decide to drink we get caught up in the moment and don’t think about the long-term effects that can come from it,” Sanders said. “It [360 Proof PFI] adds a holistic perspective of our drinking habits. It’s really important for college students to understand the impact alcohol consumption can have on our lives.”
In the future, Bakas hopes the assessment is integrated into other programs on campus, like Red Cup Culture, a Welcome Week program about alcohol for first-year students.
“I really want it to be something that is readily accessible for students to use,” she said.
Students can learn more about the 360 Proof program via Butler’s new work-in-progress website. The website describes the tool and gives students the access link to take the assessment. Diaz said the website will continue to improve and is not yet to its full potential.
“We’re just trying to get it out into student hands as quickly as possible,” Diaz said. “The more people know about the impacts, the more power they have to possibly make some changes to use alcohol in a less risky way.”