UH Receives Grant to Curb Underage Drinking

MANOA (KHNL) - Many people have the same perception of college kids.

That they party and drink a lot of alcohol.

But recent studies show that's not always true.

And University of Hawaii officials want students to be aware of that, so they don't drink to try to fit in.

Anheuser-Busch is donating $240,000 to the university, which will go towards the Manoa Alcohol Project, which targets underage and abusive drinking.

"No, not really into that scene," said Kainoa Jones, freshman.

UH officials say students like Kainoa are becoming the norm. Studies show 81% of undergraduates are not heavy drinkers.

"Social norms corrects the perception that all students are drinking excessively," said John Kaestner, vice president of Anheuser-Busch.

The grant will mainly be used to create posters and radio ads that promote the truth. Underage and binge drinking is declining.

In fact, a recent study shows that University of Hawaii students tend to drink less than students at other colleges.

Officials believe if students are aware of the statistics, they'll follow the facts instead of following what they think other students are doing.

"The purpose of this grant at its base is to help cut down on binge drinking and to ultimately save the lives of our students," said Mark Bennett, state attorney general.

Although the number of underage students who drink is decreasing, it's still a problem on campus.

"Most times I've found that people don't know how to limit themselves," said Jones.

That's why students and staff hope to reduce the numbers even more.