TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
Department of Student Life
Alcohol & Drug Education Programs
Texas A&M University
Program Summary, 2004-2005
To reduce drinking and driving among Texas A&M students, Alcohol and Drug Education Programs
(ADEP) uses technology that encourages students to interact with the presenter and fellow students
to discuss the dangers of impaired driving. MeetingNet® is a registered software program from
Option Technologies Interactive that combines wireless keypads with an immediate feedback
response system. The software has enabled staff from ADEP to provide interactive presentations for
a variety of campus organizations.
By allowing students to see immediate feedback of how their peers answered the various questions,
they are able to observe how their answers/choices correspond with Core Survey information. The
software helps validate results of the Core Survey, thus allowing students to realize that the
perception of alcohol and drug use is higher than actual use. The software has been used for the past
three years at all Fish Camp (supplemental orientation event attended by 4500 freshmen students)
sessions, as well as a variety of programs and presentations throughout the year.
Goals and objectives of MeetingNet® are the following:
1. Increase the perception that most students choose not to drink and drive
2. Increase the number of students who choose not to drive under the influence
3. Increase interaction with students through presentations and training
4. Incorporate technology to enhance programmatic and educational efforts
How it is used
The software and equipment is used by three full-time professionals and one graduate student
who work for ADEP. MeetingNet® allows the staff to use customized presentations that pro-
mote personalized results in which students can easily relate. All presentations address the issue
of impaired driving by asking the question “During the last year how often have you driven under
the influence?” Students choose an answer ranging from never to 10 or more times. Once the
results are calculated and appear on the screen, presenters will discuss results with the group.
Those groups that have a low number of students driving under the influence are celebrated in
the presentation and then we discuss ways to lower the number even more. Those groups tending
to have higher numbers of students driving under the influence discuss tactics the group can
introduce to keep each other safe. For example, a fraternity with a large number of members
driving under the influence discussed setting up a sober brother program. Usually groups that
have a high number of members driving under the influence are embarrassed and concerned.
Since August 2002, ADEP has given over 100 presentations using this technology. Students
request presentations via an online request form and have the option of asking for the technology.
Department of Student Life | 1257 TAMU College Station, Texas 77843-1257
PHONE (979) 845-0280; FAX (979) 862-1309
E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org WWW http://studentlife.tamu.edu
...A Department in the Division of Student Affairs
June 8, 2011 Page 2
To increase the number of organizations requesting the equipment, staff have sought out oppor-
tunities to demonstrate the technology to larger groups such as the Greek President’s Council and
Resident Advisor training. This upcoming semester, ADEP will train peer educators from the
student group Responsible Aggie Decisions (RAD) to aid in implementing use of MeetingNet®.
The idea behind using the technology is based on social norming campaigns, which are designed
to correct misperceptions of norms and, in turn, change behavior. Staff felt that the traditional
large scale social norms campaigns were not effective on the Texas A&M campus. With this
technology, students are able to see immediate feedback on perceptions of the number of people
who drive under the influence and the actual number of students who drive under the influence,
thus making the statistics became more believable. Most presentations showed audiences over-
estimate the number of students that drive under the influence. When the feedback revealed that
the perceptions were often higher than reality, staff members could drive home the point that
most students are making responsible decisions.
ADEP operates on a program budget that is primarily funded each year through the student
service fees. MeetingNet® software and 50 key pads were purchased through special funding
from the Vice President for Student Affairs. The equipment cost was $10,500. An additional
$3000 was spent to purchase a laptop and projector dedicated to MeetingNet®.
ADEP initiated MeetingNet® to implement a customized social norms approach to alcohol abuse
on the Texas A&M campus. One of the main components of this approach was to reduce drink-
ing and driving among students. The last Core Survey was administered in February 2002 and
showed that 50.3% of the students had driven under the influence at least once during the last
year. A new Core Survey has not been administered during the time that MeetingNet® has been
implemented. However, the current senior class has been given an abbreviated version of the
Core Survey in April 2003 and 2004. Results from April 2004 showed that only 37.8% of the
class had driven under the influence during the last year, showing a decrease of more than 12%
compared to the campus population two years prior.
Evaluations from all presentations showed 100% of participants stating that the interactive
technology enhanced the quality of the presentation. Prior to using the technology presented to
8500 students each year. Since incorporating the software, staff have presented to over 11,000
students each year. The technology has increased the satisfaction of presentations, resulting in an
increase in the number of presentation requests.
For more information contact:
Alcohol & Drug Education Programs
Department of Student Life, Texas A&M University
1257 TAMU, College Station, Texas 77843-1257
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