What’s Your Cap? U of S Student Binge Drinking Prevention Initiative

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Visit  www.whatsurcap.ca for a full & updated listing of all the activities!




In the 2010/2011 academic term, students from SOC 347 and PUBH 847 (Studies in Addictions) developed mock prevention campaigns for the University of Saskatchewan campus. The class collaboratively identified binge drinking as a key health concern on campus. The students’ projects served as the basis for the development of a ‘real-life’ student-led binge drinking prevention initiative for the U of S campus. Guided by the Provincial Research Chair in Substance Abuse, Dr. Colleen Anne Dell, and Dr. Peter Butt from the Saskatchewan Team for Research and Evaluation of Addictions Treatment and Mental Health Services, and in collaboration with the Province of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, four former students from the class – Katelyn Selanders, Katrina Olson, Danielle Robertson-Boersma and Paige Lawrence – worked over the summer months to develop a proposal and set the initiative in motion. The resulting U of S Student Binge Drinking Prevention Committee aims to create an effective, multi-pronged student driven initiative to address the normalization of binge drinking among U of S students. The goals are:

  • To create a sustainable student-lead initiative & campaign with university administration support that is research based
  • To be proactive on the issue of student binge drinking
  • To create long-term social & behavioural change on the U of S campus
  • To promote moderation & reduce harm to the student body

Katelyn Selanders and Danielle Robertson-Boersma continued with the project through Fall 2011.  They were assisted by Heather Shannon Davis through a College of Graduate Studies Graduate Service Fellowship . They recruited volunteers, began collecting campus specific data through street intercetions, interviews and focus groups, and started an environmental assessment. They welcomed the U of S Peer Health Education Team as well as the Director of Support Services, Peter Cornish, as collaborating partners and also received endorsement for the Initiative from: David Hannah, Associate VP Student Affairs, SESD; Scott Hitchings, President of the USSU; The Edwards School of Business; The College of Graduate Studies & Research; Associate Dean of Medical Education, Dr. Sheila Harding & Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education, Dr. A. G. Linassi, College of Medicine; The College of Engineering; The College of Law; The College of Pharmacy & Nutrition ; St. Thomas More College; The College of Kinesiology; U of S Residence; The College of Arts & Science; The College of Dentistry; The U of S Students’ Council (USC) & Students’ Union (USSU); The College of Education; The Western College of Veterinary Medicine; The College of Nursing; The College of Agriculture & Bioresources.

In Winter 2011, Danielle Robertson-Boersma and Heather Shannon Davis continued with the initiative, along with an additional student hire Umar Raheel. The team has again expanded for the summer, with Danielle Robertson-Boersma, Heather Shannon Davis, Justine Shenher, Christina Meeds-McGowen, and Mariaaleem Siddiqui working toward a Fall, 2012 campaign launch and evaluation.  Attention is being placed on incorporating Canada’s new Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines into initiative activities. The Initiative partnered this past term with the SOC 347 and PUBH 847 Studies in Addictions course.  Part of the course assignment was to develop mock student binge drinking prevention campaign tools. These included student seminars, poster campaigns, pre-roll advertising, water bottles, plasma screen awareness raising, Smartphone apps, t-shirts, in-class workshops, and flash mobs!  Members of the class included: Jesse Harrison,  Katherina Luneng, Amber Peters, Lisa Robinson, Alicia McCallum, Marissa Brinkman, Nicole Verity, Cody Shulko, Monique Paradis-Davis, Rotimi Olayinka Orisatoki, Brady Fornwald, Rose McEwan, Huguette Bella, Laura Mischuk, Haley Lovenuk, Priyanka Yadav, Jennifer Kardynal, Andrea  Iron, Kylie Sabados, Ashley Cheveldayoff, Nicole Bumford, Jordan Raymond, Bree Danchilla, Kristopher Bosevski, Tara Gaucher, Alana Demkiw, Silsila Miakhil, Kemper Mierau, Samantha Riopka, Rochelle Regnier, Breanne Person, Tanya  Montoya, Megan Goldsney, Carolyn Checkosis, Ashley Hengen, Alim Gillani, Abha Satyal, Kayla Pruden, Stephanie Vause, Billie Coben, Avanti Sthankiya, Kelsey Drayton, Christina Meeds McGowan. The original 2011 SOC 398 and PUBH 847 class members included: Laura Adamson, Adil Afzal, Denis Ako-Arrey, Laura Allan, Matthew Argent, Brittney Balfour, Nicole Bergeron, Sukhdeep Binning, Marcie Cole, Katelyn Selanders, Aaron Cruz, Lacy Decker, Ashley Dodd, Renee Friesen-Moormann, Carmen Gamble, Munpreet Gill, Bobby Henry, Shirley Hernandez, Farhan Hassan, Robyn Kretschmann, Paige Lawrence, Jenna Lothammer, Imran Malik, Kristin Maxwell, Alyssa McIntyre, Danelle Messer, Katrina Olson, Dani Robertson-Boersma, Carla Roesler, Anna Scappaticci, Melissa Selkirk, Whitney Simonsen, Derek Somogyi, Luke Strueby, Elysha Villeneuve.

TABLE TOPPERS Binge Drinking Drunkorexia Inhaling Alcohol Mixing Alcohol

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VOLUNTEERING The Committee is led by part-time student Research Assistants and volunteers who lead and assist with designing and implementing the student binge drinking prevention initiative, attend and help at events where the initiative may be promoted, assist in the facilitation of focus groups, rapid assessment questionnaires with students, and interviews with research participants, and attend regular meetings. There are 15 volunteer positions for students with an honoraroum provided. If you are interested in volunteering, please send a brief description of your university experience (year, college, major) along with any other relevant qualifications to bdprevention@gmail.com. All applicants will be contacted.






  • In 2014 What’s Your Cap? released Navigating Your Way: A How-To-Guide for Creating a Campus Alcohol Prevention Initiative to aid post-secondary institutions and like-minded organizations in the creation and implementation of similar prevention campaigns. Filled with lessons learned, and tips about what worked well, they hope this resource will be helpful and allow groups to tailor their campaign to their own audiences. If you would like a copy of the resource, please email whats.ur.cap@usask.ca.


  • In November, 2013 MA Sociology student Dani Roberston-Boersma was awarded first place in the CIHR-sponsored poster competition at the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse conference! Congratulations Dani on your continued promotion of What’s Your Cap? !
  • Faculty mentors Dr. Peter Butt and Dr. Colleen Dell introduce their roles as part of the What’s Your Cap? student initiative in this short 2013 video.

  • On October 3, 2012 MA Sociology student Dani Roberston-Boersma participated in the U of S Celebrating Student Success Poster Competition.  She was awarded $1000 for her best in category poster.  Read more about her poster here (22-23).


  • In September 2013, the Initiative held a It’s Potty Time Campaign. Decorated toilets were placed around the U of S campus and students were encouraged to find them, take photos, and post the photos to Facebook or Twitter. The student who found the most toilets received a prize. The campaign was repeated in 2014 during orientation week!


  • On March 16, 2012 the Initiative hosted the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute’s Hammered: A Sober Look at Youth and Alcohol Photovoice Exhibit in Place Riel.  The project’s coordinator, Joe Rogal, along with Initiative volunteers, were on site discuss the social consequences of risky drinking. Participants focused on the social pressures to drink as a youth in Saskatchewan.
  • The U of S Student Binge Drinking Prevention Initiative placed 2nd in the Epidemiology, Social, Cultural & Population Health Research category at the U of S Health Sciences Research Day in 2012.

  • Justine Shenher, Dani Robertson-Boersma and Healther Davis presented a poster at the 2012 Innovations in Qualitative Research Conference in Saskatoon, SK.

  • Heather Davis and Dani Robertson-Boersma of the Initiative offered a workshop at the 2012 Insights and Innovations conference in Vancouver, BC.  The hour-long workshop focussed on the Initiative’s developmental processes and recent activities and outcomes.

  •  School of Public Health student, Maria, presented her practicum work with the Initiative in 2012.




CTV Saskatoon, February 12, 2014
Feature on Canada FASD Research Network, September 6, 2013
CBC Radio Saskatchewan, September 5, 2013 Global Saskatoon, September 4, 2013
CTV Morning Live, September 4, 2013
The Star Phoenix, September 3, 2013
CJME/CKOM Radio, September 3, 2013
Drink Tank – Australian Alcohol Policy Blog, June 12, 2013
Herald News – Peer views feed student drinking, March 15, 2013
CBC News: NS Evening News, March 15, 2013
CBC SK Morning Edition, March 13, 2013
Shining a Light on Canada’s Multi-Layered Approach to FASD Prevention, February 28, 2013
The Sheaf – USSU backs Sask. Party initiative to bump legal drinking age to 18, November 7, 2012
Global Saskatoon Interview, September 2012
CKOM Radio Interview, September 2012
Campaign Roll-out Press Release, September 2012
CBC Saskatchewan Interview, August 2012
University Affairs News Article, August 2012
CTV News and CTV News Online, November 2011
University of Saskatchewan News Release, November 2011 Global News, October 2011
Binge Drinking Prevention Program at the U of S, CJWW News, September, 2011
University of Saskatchewan On Campus News, September 2011