Healthy Choices and Community Impacts of Alcohol

Dear Badgers,

On behalf of the Division of University Housing, welcome to residence hall living as a Badger. Whether you are new or returning to University Housing, we hope this will be an exciting transition. We want this year to be a time of growth and we would like to take this opportunity to discuss an important issue that impacts the UW-Madison community.

When people choose to drink at high-risk, it greatly affects the health and well-being of our campus community by impacting mental health, alienating those who choose not to drink, and contributing to a culture of sexual violence. We all play a role in keeping our campus community inclusive, safe, and well.

The health and safety of all residents is important, and we are committed to creating living and learning environments where you and your peers can be successful. Two-thirds of you have shared with us that you are low-risk drinkers, non-drinkers or students in recovery. So, if you don’t drink, know that you are not alone, and that we support you.

We offer hundreds of substance-free activities and provide services and resources to educate you about alcohol and drug use and abuse. However, that alone will not change a culture. We ask you to join us in addressing alcohol-related issues. Our goal is to create a culture of care, where it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the health and safety of all community members.

Please have conversations with your friends and roommates about alcohol use. Talk about what to do if another student has too much to drink. One person and one conversation can make a difference. These may not be easy conversations, but they will help our campus community. Nothing is more important than getting help for someone who needs it. When someone is in danger, UW-Madison students are expected to seek immediate assistance, such as calling 9-1-1. For more information on expectations, visit the UW-Madison’s Responsible Action Guidelines.

House Fellow staff will explain the alcohol policies at your first house meeting. You are expected to adhere to Housing and University policies.

Thank you for being a part of a caring community. On, Wisconsin!

Jeff Novak
Director, University Housing
University of Wisconsin-Madison