Focus group looks to uncork discussion on drinking

Students aim to point out Queen’s partying misconceptions

Three nursing students are looking for input on how to tackle the problem of partying at Queen’s.

Giselle Chow, Mary Mather and Margot Rosaldo, all Nurs ’08, are holding a discussion session for their practicum in Community Health Promotion class. The students will partner with the Queen’s Community Outreach Centre for the project.

The group’s discussion will aim to analyze student attitudes towards drinking, taking into account student responsibility towards safe alcohol consumption.

Student partying at Queen’s has been an issue of contention in the Queen’s and Kingston community, especially in the weeks leading up to Homecoming 2007, which begins today.

Chow said the study isn’t affiliated with Homecoming. They considered holding the session beforehand, she said, but it didn’t fit with their schedules.

The group is seeking students who have recently attended a party and have opinions regarding the consumption of alcohol, Rosaldo said.

“For our specific project, we decided that focus groups were more geared towards our needs,” she said.

There are 12 students involved in the focus group, but organizers are hoping for another eight. The majority of participants were recruited by e-mail.

The group’s goal is to generate accessible and helpful content for the Outreach Centre’s website. They’re looking for students’ opinions on how to best address the problems and misconceptions surrounding partying and drinking in the Queen’s community.

Mather said she hopes students’ opinions will help improve the usability of the website.

Chow, Mather and Rosaldo will moderate the session. They plan to speak to students who offer differing perspectives on student drinking. Mainly, they are interested in exploring the responsibilities students have while partying in the Ghetto.

The discussion will address specific scenarios, such as how a party host would deal with drunken guests and what steps they would take in the aftermath of a party, for example, cleaning up broken beer bottles outside of their house. The content gathered from the focus group will be analyzed to provide information on these sorts of situations so students are aware of their accountability.

Information posted on the website will attempt to fill in the knowledge gaps.

“It would focus on legal issues, legal repercussion [and] physical consequences regarding alcohol,” Chow said.

Marija Linjacki, the University’s community outreach co-ordinator, said the information analyzed from the website will provide accurate health information for students who live off campus.

“I saw that there was a need for content during my time doing outreach work,” she said.

“The focus group is a fairly standard procedure for the project,” Linjacki said She said it’s preferable for a website to require feedback from its target audience.

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The focus group is being held in room 351 of the JDUC on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Food and refreshments will be provided. Interested students are asked to contact Giselle Chow at 4gc2@queensu.ca.

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