Stay Safe on Campus – ‘Increase your knowledge, reduce the harm’
Ahead of launching new student Drug Harm Reduction Campaign ‘Increase your knowledge, reduce the harm’ in collaboration with national charity, Neurosight, we’re releasing today the findings from the GSA’s and YUSU’s 2019 Drinking and Drug Safety Survey.
Informed by student feedback since 2018, the findings here form the basis of our GSA Postgraduate student policy and are the foundation of our new three month harm reduction campaign ‘Increase your knowledge, reduce the harm’ which launches next week.
With this campaign, over the next few months through a series of upcoming workshops, and events, GSA and YUSU in collaboration aim to increase knowledge and understanding about the potential risks associated with drug and alcohol use among York University students and staff and to raise awareness of the provision of information, guidance and support at York University for students.
During 2018/2019, the VP Wellbeing and Community Sabbatical Officer at the GSA, YUSU’s Advice and Support Centre, and Changing Lives, York’s Drug and Alcohol Service, designed and undertook a Drinking and Drugs Safety Survey in order to identify current trends of drug and alcohol use amongst University of York students.
Amongst other findings, students indicated that they would prefer the Student Unions to raise awareness of drug and alcohol-related issues. Students explained to us that they wanted more information through the Student Unions’ websites, through talks with students, through information in campus bars, and posters around campus. Students also registered their interest in receiving peer-to-peer support.
During the past year, both unions have reviewed the results of this survey, in order to develop some of the key areas highlighted in students’ responses, such as: campaigns, training opportunities, web page content, a review of University drug and alcohol policy and support for non-drinking students.
Furthermore, the GSA Council approved a Policy on Drug Harm Reduction taking a non-punitive preventative approach to drug consumption, where we state our commitment to prioritising student welfare in our approach to drugs, emphasising education and access to support services. We also reiterate that, as we have been doing for the past year, the GSA will continue to work with students groups and partners in the University, YUSU, and the local community to explore the possibility of improving the availability, frequency, and promotion of non-alcoholic events and explore how alcohol can be de-emphasised at future events.