Acadia alcohol policy and its effectiveness in reducing student harms
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Arts
Alcohol is an ongoing problem in many academic institutions and many universities are trying to implement policies to ensure student safety. This thesis examines alcohol policy at Acadia University over the last 27 years and whether from the perspective of current students Acadia’s policies are effective in reducing student substance abuse harms. This thesis utilized these research methods: a policy analysis of Acadia alcohol policies over the last 27 years, a content analysis of yearbook photos from the last 27 years, and a survey completed by current Acadia students. Findings from a comparative analysis of the history of documented drinking behaviours in yearbooks and policy adjustments over time indicate Acadia is an example of punctuated equilibrium theory of policy making. Findings from the survey suggest that from the perspective of students, policies are effective in reducing student harms but only to the extent policies influence behaviour. Based on research findings, it is recommended that some of the alcohol policies be amended at Acadia University to further reduce student substance abuse harms but ultimately cultural changes need to occur in order to significantly reduce student alcohol harms.
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