Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content




Violence & Substance Abuse Prevention

Administration Building 102
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4044





designated_thinker

Designated Thinker

UCM STUDENTS THINK BEFORE THEY DRINK.
97% agree that drinking should not interfere with academics or other responsibilities.

About the Designated Thinker message:

Studies on our campus have shown that our students tend to overestimate how much and how often other students drink, and also overestimate negative consequences that other students are experiencing due to alcohol.  We’re trying to set the record straight by using a technique called social norms clarification.  

For more info about social norms theory and the research associated with it, check out the National Social Norms Resource Center:  www.socialnorm.org

Where does VSAP get the numbers?

Each Spring the Office of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention (VSAP), in partnership with Student Affairs, administers the Missouri College Health Behavior Survey (MCHBS) to a random sample of approximately 500 students. The survey is voluntary and is completed electronically. 

I find this message hard to believe because the number seems too high. How can it be true, with all the “drunk stories” I hear?

It's not surprising that some individuals may be skeptical about this “Designated Thinker” message. Virtually everyone has misperceptions about students’ alcohol use because people talk about what’s unusual but noticeable, not what’s normal and occurs frequently. For example, rarely does someone announce, “Guess what, I’ve been to all my classes this week!” The fact that most students are making smart choices rarely makes headlines in the news.  But in a class of 15 people, if one or two individuals consistently miss class because they were out partying, this can lead to the incorrect assumption that more people are missing class due to alcohol than actually are.  When people start paying attention to what is really happening, they begin to notice that it is usually only a small number of individuals who are drinking the largest amount of alcohol and having the most problems. 

I still have some questions.  Where can I learn more?

We’d love to hear from you!  Stop by the Office of Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention at the Administration Building Suite 102 or contact Amy Kiger at kiger@ucmo.edu or 660-543-8338.