Shaquille O’Neal Speaks to Members of Congress on The Century Council’s Efforts to Fight College Binge Drinking

On Friday, basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, Ed.D. joined The Century Council on Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress and their top staffers.  Dr. O’Neal spoke about The Century Council’s effort to address college binge drinking across the country and highlighted new research completed by Morgan State University on binge drinking among Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students.

Morgan State University, funded by a grant from The Century Council, conducted and compiled research which revealed that consumption and attitudes about alcohol among HBCU students are different that the national college sample:

  • Two-thirds of HBCU students like to pre-game versus thirty-six percent of the national sample.
  • Eighty-two percent of HBCU students have a good grasp on their drinking limits and maintain them versus seventy-eight percent of the national sample.
  • One-third of HBCU students don’t always realize how drunk they are until later compared to 39% of the national sample.
  • One-half of HBCU students who drink and go out socially report binge drinking on a weekly basis while two-thirds reported binging in the national sample.

Using the results of this recent research, The Century Council plans to pair Shaq and Morehouse College to create a new communications campaign to fight binge drinking among African American students.  The Century Council’s research on college binge drinking shows an important aspect of a successful campaign to fight college binge drinking is the students’ own voices.  This new initiative will be in addition to The Century Council’s student-generated college binge drinking initiatives presently on various campuses across the country.

“The Century Council has made a considerable commitment to developing impactful initiatives to combat dangerous overconsumption on college campuses across the country,” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Century Council.  “We wanted to understand the differences, if any, in binge drinking behaviors among students on HBCU campuses versus other colleges and universities, and we found some.  With the new insights that we gained from the recent research into binge drinking on HBCU campuses and the creativity of Shaquille O’Neal, we know we can make an impact.”

“Binge drinking on college campuses is dangerous and has got to stop,” said Shaquille O’Neal.  “Strategies to combat it need to be more effective on a national level, which is why I am proud to lend my support to this effort by working with Morehouse College and The Century Council.  I am sure that the campaign we develop will be creative and is going to have a large impact.  It’s exciting work.”

Blackman noted that “perceptions and how students handle drinking on HBCU campuses is different from non-HBCU students.  One-size-fits-all approaches to issues like college binge drinking don’t work and we believe that this new data and initiative will help to address a problem at a more strategic level.  It goes without saying that Dr. O’Neal will generate a lot of attention in launching this important initiative.”

Pictured: Shaquille O’ Neal speaks during the 2nd Annual Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards at the Barker Hangar, Santa Monica Airport on February 18, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)