The Students' Union and UWE Bristol have been awarded the NUS Alcohol Impact Accreditation for promoting responsible alcohol consumption in order to build healthier and safer student communities.
The Alcohol Impact is a programme run by the National Union of Students (NUS) that seeks to create a social norm of responsible alcohol consumption amongst students.
Professor Steven West, President and Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, commented: “This is great news and reaffirms a whole university approach to health and wellbeing at UWE Bristol. We are committed to what we are calling ‘Mental Wealth’ and to working towards providing our students and staff with the very best support to enable a happy and successful time at university.
“We want everyone to thrive and flourish and be the best that they can be. To achieve that we need a balanced life style approach that supports high quality engagement and learning.”
Both the university and The Students’ Union have worked together to embed social norms of responsible drinking amongst the students at UWE Bristol. The key aspect of Alcohol Impact has been to develop a robust alcohol incident reporting system to identify alcohol-related issues specific to UWE and to implement interventions to address these.
A campaign around alcohol consumption was held across the Freshers’ period this year along with an ongoing Late Night Do It Right initiative, as well as setting up non-alcoholic social spaces across campus and strengthening community relations.
Sian Hampson, Vice President of Community and Welfare at The Students’ Union, commented: “I am really excited that the hard work of The Students’ Union and university has paid off. With 3.8% of our students* saying that alcohol consumption has impacted their mental health, it is clear that work needs to be done. This is a great foundation for us to start on.”
Each year The Students’ Union take part in the NUS Alcohol Survey to track progress and to gain attitudes and experiences of their students, with over 1,000 responding this year. Working alongside the university, local residents, local GPs, police, Bristol University, Bristol Zero Tolerance and other organisations, Community Manager of The Students’ Union, Rachel Colley, says it has been a collaborative approach:
“We are thrilled to receive this accreditation, which is the result of building a strong partnership between The Students’ Union and the university. Both partners are committed to the journey of long-term culture change both on and off campus, prioritising a healthy and inclusive university environment where our students can thrive and develop.”
UWE Bristol and The Students’ Union will be awarded their accreditation at the NUS Students and Alcohol Conference in February 2018.