Completely opposite of the usual “scare tactics approach,” the social norms approach aims to correct negative misperceptions most have regarding behavior when it comes to alcohol on the Sacred Heart University campus. SHU is the first college in the Northeast to receive a grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation to implement a social norms campaign on our college campus. The goal of a social norms campaign is to promote healthy behaviors that correspond to the actual behavior of the student body.
Sacred Heart joins more than 30 colleges nationwide who have adopted the social norming approach to prevent alcohol and drug abuse. With the help of Jeff Linkenbach, Ph.D. from Montana State University, Sacred Heart took the first steps towards an innovative social norms campaign during the 2006-2007 school year. Through random surveys conducted on campus, statistical data was collected and analyzed. For the initial launch of the campaign at Sacred Heart in January 2008, various statistics were used in posters placed in all areas around campus.