UW-Madison Education Programs for Alcohol-Related Policy Violations

Student Affairs wants all students to have a Wisconsin Experience that is free from the negative impacts of alcohol. Starting in the fall semester of 2011, two programs were adopted as conduct sanctions for alcohol-related policy violations committed by UW–Madison students. Choices about Alcohol and BASICS both rely on empirical support and are on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Choices about Alcohol is a two-session group learning experience about alcohol and possible options that a student could make when facing decisions involving alcohol. BASICS is an acronym that stands for Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students. Both programs are designed to address high-risk drinking practices among college students.

1. Who will be required to take an alcohol education program?

Students who are involved in an alcohol-related violation of University policy may be required to attend either Choices About Alcohol or BASICS as an outcome of an incident of non-academic misconduct.

2. What is the difference between Choices about Alcohol and BASICS?

Choices about Alcohol is a group experience with 8-12 other students and consists of two 90-minute sessions. This program is for students who are involved in first-offense violations that do not have a serious circumstance. Group sessions are facilitated by professional substance abuse counselors. In the sessions, students will be provided an opportunity to examine their academic, emotional, and physical well-being in a manner that facilitates better choices in the future.

BASICS involves two one-on-one sessions with a professional substance abuse counselor. BASICS is for students who may learn best in one-on-one environments, students with repeated violations or any violations involving very serious circumstances such as transports to Detox/ER and disorderly conduct. In the sessions, the student will have a structured opportunity to assess his or her individual risk and identify potential changes for the future, and is intended to reduce the potential harms that are associated with high-risk drinking.

3. How are students referred to these alcohol education programs?

Our alcohol education programs are used as a standard educational sanction for alcohol-related violations of University policy. Following the investigation of allegations, students will receive written notice from the Dean of Students or Residence Life staff member responsible for their conduct case informing them of the requirement to attend an alcohol education program. Students are required to complete the program within six weeks from the date the decision on their case is made.

4. What will the program cost?

The fee for both programs is $125. Programs are equally prices to ensure that student learning needs are met equitably through the educational programs. Since the non-academic process is independent of any judicial process, these fees would be in addition to any court-ordered fine or forfeiture. Payment policies are established by our partner providers. Please refer to their policies when registering. If a student misses one or both of the sessions, they will be required to re-register for BASICS and repay the fee.

5. How do I enroll in a BASICS class?

Both programs are provided by two community partner organizations, Connections Counseling and Tellurian UCAN, Inc. that have extensive experience providing community services around alcohol and drug misuse.

Choices about Alcohol classes are provide on campus. You can register by going to one of the provider websites below. Basics will take place at the offices of Connections or Tellurian. Students can register for BASICS by calling one of the community providers below. Additional information on program availability can be found on their websites.

Tellurian UCAN, Inc.: (608) 442-4333 (extension 3)
Tellurian offers Choices classes on Monday afternoons and evenings, Wednesday afternoons, and Thursday evenings. Their classes are in University Health Services or one of our residence halls.

Connections Counseling: (608) 233-2100 (extension 0)
Connections offers Choices classes on Monday afternoon and evenings, Tuesday afternoons, and Wednesday evenings at University Health Services or in one of our residence hall location.

6. How do I verify completion of my alcohol education program?

Compliance form, provided in your finding letter. Upon completion of your alcohol education program, the facilitator will notify the Dean of Students Office who will notify the investigating officer who resolved your case.

7. What will happen if I do not complete the required alcohol education program?

Failure to complete the program as assigned would constitute a violation of UWS 17.09 (16), “Noncompliance with a disciplinary sanction.” A student would face further disciplinary action/sanctions, and a hold will be placed on the individual’s registration and transcript until such time as the program is successfully completed.