Further information on Health at Mac

By Lisa Broek

I am a health educator who works in the Health and Wellness Center. I wanted to send in additional data that would clarify some of the information provided by Igor Stanceric in the article from the March 9, 2012 edition of the Mac Weekly. The article was titled Board of Trustees meets to discuss IGC, Winter Ball. The Health and Wellness Center collects data every other year asking students about their health habits, behaviors, and perceptions on the most prevalent health topics. Questions explore alcohol and other drug use, physical activity and nutrition, sleep, stress, sexual health, safety and violence, and mental health issues. The most recent data was collected in spring 2011. Because the assessment instrument is used by hundreds of colleges nationwide, comparisons between our school and the national data set is possible. When you look at marijuana use 30-day prevalence (using at use at least once in the last 30 days): Mac = 33 percent, national = 16 percent. However when you look at heavy marijuana use defined as 10 or more times in the last 30 days: Mac = 8 percent, national = 6 percent. Daily marijuana use: Mac = 1.3 percent, national = 2.0 percent. Alcohol 30-day prevalence: Mac = 77 percent, national = 66 percent. Heavy alcohol use defined as 10 or more times in the last 30 days: Mac = 16 percent, national = 16 percent. Interestingly, it is the perception that Macalester students hold about their peer’s use that is very distorted. Mac students believe that 98% use alcohol on a monthly basis (reality is 77 percent) and that 91 percent use marijuana on a monthly basis (reality is 33 percent). A closer look at the statistics show that a predominantly healthy campus culture exists at Macalester in many of the health areas the survey examines. If you are interested in more statistics, please contact Lisa Broek at [email protected] refresh –>