The Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE) is trying a new tool to promote safe drinking on campus: a plastic red cup with lines marking the standard drink size for hard liquor, wine and beer. OAPE has distributed the cups to kitchen managers in every Row house, with each house getting at least one cup per resident, and to Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band staff members.
OAPE has created a video to publicize the program online, and they plan on handing out the cups to freshmen in dining halls near all-frosh dorms. The initial order was for 10,000 cups so that any student who wanted a cup could have one, according to OAPE.
The move is a response to a rise in alcohol-related transports over the past few years. The 53 alcohol-related transports in the 2010-2011 school year rose to 77 in the 2011-12 year, according to statistics from the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS).
The red cups are marked with black lines at the 1.5 oz., 5 oz. and 12 oz. levels to delineate the serving size for hard alcohol, wine and beer, respectively. The cup also has a QR code that leads to a link to download OAPE’s app, launched this fall.
OAPE recruited the help of students in CS 193P: iPhone and iPad Application Programming to create the app that could help students drink safely. Jaron Moore ’14 won the contest, and his app has been downloaded 295 times so far.
“The idea was basically a [blood alcohol concentration] calculator that could give normative feedback based on wherever someone was throughout the night,” said Sam Saenz ’11, OAPE outreach and intern coordinator.
The user inputs his or her sex and weight and then clicks on the icons of a shot glass, a wine glass or a beer bottle to indicate what kind of drink they have had.
Jarreau Bowen ’07 MA ’08, OAPE’s outreach education coordinator, said that he believes that the cup will be well received because many students would like to measure their drinks more accurately.
Saenz said that people are less likely to be transported if they are keeping track of their alcohol consumption.
“We know that students who keep track [of their drinks] have less problems than those who don’t,” Saenz said.
Although OAPE hopes that the red cup can help decrease the number of transports, they said the program is more aimed at “social drinkers.”
“We do a lot to support people on two extremes… so we wanted to do something for the social drinkers,” said Angelina Cardona ’11, assistant director and community engagement coordinator for OAPE,
Cardona added that while OAPE’s Cardinal Nights program serves largely nondrinkers and light drinkers, Saenz and Bowen often have meetings with students who have had serious alcohol-related incidents.
The red cup is meant to cater to those who “want to be able to experience what everyone would consider the positive effects of alcohol while minimizing the negative consequences,” Bowen said.
“Stay classy: that’s our motto,” Saenz said.