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First Year Social Norms

First-Year Alcohol & Other Drug Social Norms

Each summer before arriving on campus, incoming first-year students complete the AlcoholEdu for College online course. This interactive program surveys students about their alcohol and drug consumption habits and empowers them to make responsible decisions and intervene in potentially dangerous situations.

To encourage honesty, responses are confidential and Northwestern only receives information about the student body as a whole. After 4 years, the campaign has concluded and utilized responses from the class of 2022 in order to create a social norms campaign that seeks to clear up misconceptions about alcohol and drug consumption at Northwestern.

Click here to read more and see or download our campaign posters.

The Campaign Uses the Following Social Norm Messages:  
  • "1 in 3 first-year students choose not to drink."
  • "79% of first-year students find it unacceptable to blackout due to drinking."
  • "99% of first-year students do not use prescription stimulants without a prescription or other than prescribed."
  • "92% of first-year students plan to set a limit on how many drinks they will have."
  • "69% of first-year students have never used marijuana."
  • "82% of first-year students plan to pace drinks to one per hour."
  • "2/3 of first-year students place little or no importance on alcohol to their social life.
  • "99% of first-year students say it's acceptable to not drink in college."

Email Kevin Meier at with any questions, or to learn more about the Alcohol and Other Drug Social Norm Campaign.