Within the first week of the academic year, seven students were transported to Gritman Medical Center due to their intoxication level, said Denise Carl, student involvement coordinator.
She said since 2009, alcohol has been a major factor in six student deaths, 12 serious injuries, and 123 students who have been transported to the hospital for alcohol overdose.
“Those are some pretty big numbers,” Carl said. “I think students sometimes have a totally different perspective on what’s going on. They’re living it — they’re challenged by people partying or they’re a part of the partying scene — and I think they have perspective that is invaluable to how we can slowly change our culture to a healthier one.”
In honor of 2013 Fall Leadership Week, the Department of Student Involvement is hosting the first-ever Case Study Competition. The Case Study Competition is where students will have the opportunity to weigh in on how to improve the drinking culture at the University of Idaho. Students could also win a $300 scholarship doing it.
Carl said she got the idea of a case study competition from other universities– such as Arizona State University and the University of British Columbia– who use it as way to include students on solving university-wide problems.
Students are encouraged to form groups of two to four people to create a realistic plan to help establish a responsible drinking culture at UI. Carl said the plan should be representative of most living groups on campus and appeal to students who may or may not be actively involved in student organizations.
The case study competition has two components.
First, there will be a poster session Oct. 8, where groups will showcase their plan using words, numbers and graphics outlining the plan’s main ideas on a poster. Students and faculty alike will view the posters while judges also look them over — three teams will be selected to move on to the next round.
On Oct. 10, the three teams will present their full plan to a small panel of judges and each team will have 20 minutes to present their solution followed by a short question and answer session.
Case Study Competition winners will be announced at the conclusion of presentations and each member of the winning team will receive a $300 scholarship credited to their student account, Carl said.
Alternative Service Breaks Coordinator Andrew Blake said the new program gives students the chance to step up and show their leadership skills to the campus community.
“I think it’s designed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate leadership abilities outside the confines of a classroom or discussion,” Blake said. “It’s something that they can create, something to better their community here.”
The final teams will also be invited to breakfast with Fall Leadership Week keynote speaker Drew Dudley — a leadership expert and TED Talks participant — on Oct. 9.
The deadline to sign up is Sept. 30, but Carl said she is willing to extend the deadline because as of Friday, not one team has signed up.
“I would definitely entertain extending the deadline,” Carl said. “We’ve definitely put in quite a bit of work to try to get this going and I would definitely like to see it happen.”
More details and the specific requirements of the Case Study Competition and team sign-ups can be found in the Department of Student Involvement on the third floor of the Idaho Commons.
Amber Emery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org