Alcohol & Drug Prevention & Education

Every student arrives to campus with different experience with alcohol and other drugs.

Whether you have experience with alcohol or not, or whether you plan to incorporate alcohol into your college experience or not, these pages have been created to to provide you with resources to make informed decisions.

WSU Health & Wellness Services offers a wide variety of services aimed to:

  • Educate students based on current research in alcohol and other drugs.
  • Empower Students to make informed decisions regarding substance abuse.
  • Foster changes in and beyond Winona State University to decrease illegal and high risk use of alcohol and other drugs.

Biennial Review of Winona State University's Alcohol and Other Drug Policies and Prevention Efforts

The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act requires, as a condition of receiving any federal funding or other financial assistance, that an institution of higher education certify it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol for students and employees on school premises and as a part of its activities (EDGAR Part 86.100).

The Alcohol and Other Drug Policy can be found on the Student Life and Development homepage, along with additional policies regarding student conduct.

Please Note

Although the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Law and program allows seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Campus Security Act, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Policy 5.18 Alcoholic Beverages or Controlled Substances on Campus.

Therefore, the use, possession, production, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana continues to be prohibited while a student is on college or university owned or controlled property or any function authorized or controlled by the college or university.

Choices: Getting the Facts

Choices: Getting the Facts is a brief alcohol abuse prevention and harm reduction class for college students.

The program gives students the opportunity to reflect on facts, risks and norms associated with alcohol and make wise choices regarding alcohol consumption.

Students may self refer to a Choices class or be sanctioned to attend a Choices class.

E-Checkup To Go

E-Checkup To Go programs are personalized, evidence-based, online prevention interventions for alcohol and marijuana designed to allow students to examine their substance use using personalized information about their own substance use and risk factors.

The programs were designed and are updated with the most current and reliable research available.

Students may self refer to complete an E-Checkup To Go program or be sanctioned to complete an E-Checkup To Go program.

What's the drinking culture on Winona State University's campus?

The perception of alcohol use on this campus is very different that actual use. WSU is about average compared to other Minnesota State institutions in terms of alcohol consumption.

However, we are seeing a growing number of students choosing not to drink prior to arriving to campus.

When they arrive some feel the only way to socialize and meet peers is to consume alcohol elevating the overall perception of alcohol consumption at Winona State University.

Luckily, Warrior Entertainment Network provides student a wide variety of programs and events both on and off campus that are alcohol free. There are also over 150 clubs and organizations for your students to get involved in.

How do I talk to my student about alcohol and what should I talk about?

The first six weeks of college, students are introduced to a wide variety of life changes. The potential for excessive alcohol consumption is one challenge that they will face.

Here are some ways to approach this topic with your student.

  • Winona State University follows Minnesota State Law. It is illegal to drink as a minor (someone under age 21). Whether WSU SecurityWSU Housing & Residence Life or the Winona Police Department find the student consuming alcohol, they will be subject to consequences.
  • Many students have explained that they drink because it is the first time away from home and they are experimenting with new found freedom. Talking with them about how to handle tough decisions is key.
  • There is a perception that meeting new people occurs at social settings with alcohol present. Discuss with your student about joining clubs and organization that fit with their interests. Joining these groups can serve to develop healthy friendships with students from multiple areas of campus.
  • Socially responsible persons do not always stand out at party. Normally the loud, obnoxious person draws way more attention, and this can lead to a belief that everyone is drinking to excess. A good challenge for your student to undertake is step back and observe how many people are actually drinking and how they are behaving.
  • Most importantly, have conversations with them about their goals for their college career. Many students at Winona State University think about studying abroad, going into graduate school, entering volunteer programs like the Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps programs before arriving at Winona State. Talk with them about the steps it takes to achieve those goals. Assist with a plan of action so that deadlines and opportunities aren't missed. 

If I'm concerned, what should I do and who do I call?

WSU’s Behavioral Assessment & Intervention Team (B.A.I.T.) primary mission is to provide support and guidance for faculty, staff and administrators as “students of concern” emerge in classrooms, residence halls, student activities, performances and the greater Winona community.

Please visit BAIT for more information on how to report.

Keep these facts in mind when speaking with students regarding alcohol or other drug use:

  • A strong majority of alcohol use occurs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
  • Excessive drinking both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, is associated with numerous health problems, including—chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis (damage to liver cells); pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); various cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (the voice box), and esophagus; high blood pressure; and psychological disorders.
  • Excessive drinking both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, is associated with unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries. ()
  • Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems. These include but are not limited to - dementia, stroke, neuropathy, depression, anxiety and social problems including unemployment, lost productivity, and family problems.