By Nikolaus Olsen
The Coloradoan

Almost half of Colorado State University freshmen reported they did not drink alcohol at all in the past year and partied an average of an hour or less each week.

Results of CSU freshman survey

• Didn’t drink beer at all in 2004: 44 percent at CSU, 56 percent nationally

• Didn’t drink wine or liquor in 2004: 38 percent at CSU, 51 percent nationally

• Smoked cigarettes in 2004: 5.7 percent at CSU, 5.3 percent nationally

• Asked a professor for advice after class: 30 percent at CSU, 24 percent nationally

• Were bored in class: 45.8 percent at CSU, 42.2 percent nationally

• Voted in a student election: 19.7 percent at CSU, 21.1 percent nationally

• Came late to class: 69.9 percent at CSU, 62.6 percent nationally

Source: UCLA Higher Education Research Institute’s 2004 freshman survey

You said it

290 people answered an online survey regarding Colorado State University alcohol task force’s recommendations.

38.3 % said: Lift suspension of beer sales at Hughes Stadium pending implementation of stricter rules on tailgating

46.2 % said: Prohibit all alcohol from Hughes Stadium

15.5% said: Neither option

Task force report

To see the full alcohol report, go to:

Those findings seem to echo an often-made point by members of CSU’s alcohol task force that a strong majority of students either don’t drink, or drink in moderation.

The task force handed its final report to President Larry Penley on Tuesday. It contained 43 recommendations on ways the university could change the campus’ alcohol culture.

Expanding campaigns to educate students about social rules, including promoting the idea that many students abstain from alcohol, was one of the primary recommendations.

About 44 percent of the 1,418 CSU students surveyed said they did not drink beer at all in 2004, according to the “First Time Full Time” survey, conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute, part of the graduate school at the University of California-Los Angeles.

About 38 percent of CSU respondents said they did not drink wine or liquor during that time. However, the percentage of CSU students surveyed who said they didn’t drink in 2004 was lower than the national number in both categories — beer and wine or liquor.

CSU did improve in both categories from 2003 when 41.5 percent said they didn’t drink beer for a year and 43 percent said they had not had wine or liquor.

When it came to finding time to party, 43 percent of CSU freshman surveyed said they devoted an hour or less each week.

“We found a large number of students abstain or are responsible with alcohol,” Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, chairwoman of the task force, said before handing the report to Penley on Tuesday.

Still, Norton said she recognized “there is always room for improvement.”

The task force found there is a prevailing notion that more students drink than the number who actually do. CSU student Harry Payton, a junior majoring in art, said that notion can develop in residence halls where first-year freshman are required to live for two semesters.

“You never hear about (students) who don’t drink,” Payton said. “I would have guessed it was 25 to 30 percent who didn’t drink. But it doesn’t surprise me that much.”

Nationally, the survey found 56 percent of students did not drink beer in 2004 and 51 percent didn’t drink wine or liquor. The national survey included 62,839 students from 440 colleges and universities.

“I think there is some truth-telling in the statistics,” said Patrick Hutchinson, a CSU student and former fraternity council president. “There are people who believe everyone here drinks, but 40 percent don’t touch it. That helps to dispel the myth.”

Originally published Feb. 3, 2005