Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Social Norms Campaign?
The purpose of the campaign is to correct misperceptions about UAlbany students by providing all students with accurate information about their peers. By learning that healthy choices are the norm, students will be better able to make well informed decisions about their health.
Who conducts the Social Norms Campaign?
The campaign is conducted by the staff at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) as it is consistent with the mission of CAPS to promote behavioral and emotional health, further social development, and enhances the academic success and personal resilience of UAlbany students.
How are campaign messages selected?
According to national data, the biggest misperceptions students have about their peers are in the area of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. As a result, campaign messages focus on these areas. Each message in the campaign is reflective of behaviors that are normative of UAlbany students.
Where are the campaign messages?
Messages can be seen on posters around campus, at CAPS, and here. Messages are also discussed by CAPS staff during guest class lectures and summer orientation programming for new students.
How is the data collected?
Data collection takes place during an annual spring health survey of a randomly selected representative sample of over 1200 UAlbany undergraduate students.
How many students need to be surveyed to generalize the results?
According to sample size calculators found online, only 373 students need to be surveyed for the results to be applicable to the entire undergraduate student body of 13,000 students. Our random selection of over 1200 students gives us 3x the amount needed to generalize the results.
Is the survey anonymous?
Yes. People are more likley to be honest if health surveys are anonymous.
What changes have been seen since the campaign began?
Since the campaign began there have been increases in alcohol abstinence, tobacco abstinence, and protective behaviors students use to reduce risks in drinking situations. There have also been fewer students who report that their academics are affected by alcohol use.