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OAPE cites gains with Cardinal Nights

At the end of its first academic year, the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE) has declared its newest program, Cardinal Nights, a success, despite a minor uptick in the number of students transported due to alcohol overconsumption this year.

OAPE launched the initiative last fall with the goal of increasing alcohol-free programming offered to students on weekend nights. According to its website, Cardinal Nights is aimed at both reducing high-risk drinking on campus and building a stronger community for non-drinkers and light drinkers.

The program has been doing a better job addressing the second part of that goal than the first, according to Angelina Cardona ’11, assistant director and community engagement coordinator for OAPE. Cardona said that the number of students hospitalized for overconsumption of alcohol was slightly higher this year than last.

There were 64 transports during the 2010-11 academic year. There have been 66 transports thus far this year. According to Cardona, more than 20 percent of this year’s transports resulted from just two events: Full Moon on the Quad and Mausoleum Party.

“OAPE is leading a number of initiatives that seek to decrease high-risk drinking,” Cardona wrote in an email to The Daily. “Cardinal Nights is just one part of our approach.”

Cardinal Nights has hosted or partnered with student groups on 44 different events this year, including Snowchella, comedy shows, the Frost Revival concert, Fiesta Latina and many others, including dances.

At the beginning of this year, a sample of Stanford students participated in the Core survey, which polls students to assess national trends involving alcohol and other drugs on college campuses. According to the survey, 21.7 percent of Stanford students said they would not want alcohol to be present at parties they attend.

Cardona said the program is dedicated to representing the desires of this segment of the Stanford population.

“Cardinal Nights seeks to challenge the faulty normative belief that alcohol is needed to have fun on a college campus,” Cardona said. “We also seek to reinforce healthy behaviors and lifestyles for our students.”

In order to evaluate the success of the Cardinal Nights program, OAPE has surveyed students to gauge interest in various types of events and used Facebook to seek student feedback. More than 400 students have filled out the survey that Cardinal Nights created to get reviews about its events.

“One goal for this year with Cardinal Nights was to try a lot of different types of events out and assess what students most enjoy,” Cardona said.

Jack Trotter ’12, a senior class president, said in an email to The Daily that he thought Cardinal Nights was successful in that goal.

“I think there has been much greater diversity in terms of the types of events that various student groups have offered,” Trotter said.

In addition to these measures, Cardona said that when the program co-sponsors an event with a student group, OAPE asks the group to fill out an assessment after the event takes place.

More than 95 percent of student groups surveyed by OAPE reported that their events were successful and that they would partner with Cardinal Nights again in the future.

Katie Rovelstad ’14 worked with Cardinal Nights when planning a March 16 concert with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. She said her experience with Cardinal Nights was positive.

“They [OAPE] wanted to throw a concert that would remind students that college could be fun without drinking,” Rovelstad wrote in an email to The Daily. “They aren’t there to be the alcohol police — they want everybody to be safe and still have fun.”

Baffour Kyerematen ’15 worked with OAPE and Cardinal Nights this year for Frosh Council’s “Glow Crazy” dance.

“All of [Frosh Council’s] events are alcohol-free, so we figured we might as well partner with Cardinal Nights to get more funding so our events had more appeal and so more people would go to them,” Kyerematen said.

Based on attendance and student experience, Cardinal Nights’ most successful events so far have been two trips to Cirque du Soleil performances, the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert and the Frost Revival Concert, according to Cardona.

Cardinal Nights measured the student energy level at an average of 3.2 — on a scale from one to four — at its events, and the total number of attendees at Cardinal Nights events this year was 11,129. This number counts all attendees, not unique attendees.

Although its plans for next year are not definite, Cardona said OAPE has been discussing ways to improve Cardinal Nights for the future. One idea is to host more consistent events, such as a movie night each Friday.

OAPE is also looking to implement more personal and creative marketing strategies to garner publicity for its events with Cardinal Nights representatives in each dorm, according to Cardona.

During a presentation on May 18 at the Student Affairs Poster Fair — where staff in the Student Affairs division showcase their on-campus projects — OAPE representatives said that they hope Cardinal Nights will have “greater partnership with high-risk social events,” such as Full Moon on the Quad and Mausoleum Party, which had eight and seven transports, respectively, this year.

Kyerematen, rising sophomore class president, said that the presidents are open-minded about working with OAPE to plan Full Moon on the Quad next year in an effort to prevent transports.

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