If students are drinking on campus, students’ unions can take proactive steps to promote responsible alcohol consumption.
But with the continuing rise of pre-drinking in privately rented houses, it gets harder for unions to have influence on this crucial health and wellbeing issue.
Across Manchester, Alcohol Impact is helping Manchester Student Homes off-campus student affairs officer Poppy Humphrey to work across the entire community, helping students to make better choices about alcohol at home
"I've dealt with many cases of anti-social behaviour cases this academic year, in partnership with police and the council”, Poppy tells us. “What we’re seeing is the sheer scale of house parties becoming increasingly more concerning”.
That's why their Behind Closed Doors campaign is helping to communicate the dangers of unsafe levels of drinking across the city, fronted by a video viewed by nearly 10,000 people, produced by the students' union community officer.
“We worked with local landlords to film on location, with student volunteers in arts and drama courses, long-term local residents, and the local police”, explains Poppy.
This isn’t something which only affects local residents. House parties of hundreds and hundreds of people affect other students just as much, especially around exam times. And that’s to say nothing of the impact on health and wellbeing related to irresponsible drinking.
“This isn’t about telling students ‘don’t drink’, or ‘don’t have fun’", Poppy explains. "This is about making sure you keep yourself safe, and be aware of the impact of your behaviour”
Since taking part in Alcohol Impact, there have been community events run across off campus areas to help students and residents understand how the students’ union works with Manchester Student Homes, the local council, and the local police on these initiatives.
Hundreds of people attended, enjoying music while learning more about health and wellbeing, and drinking responsibly.
From tackling unhealthy drinking habits and anti-social behaviour in private homes, Alcohol Impact is helping improve the student experience across the whole city, boosting health and wellbeing and student safety, and bringing the community more closely together.