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The OneLess Campaign

The Choose OneLess program is Bentley University's collaborative campaign to reduce alcohol consumption and risk among moderate drinkers.  The program was an original collaboration between prevention professionals, nurse practitioners, a nutritionist, student conduct administrators and faculty. Since launching in 2011, our data shows students self reported drinking rates have declined, overall numbers of alcohol conduct cases have declined, students reported use of self-protective strategies have increased as well as students self-identified goals for choosing OneLess.

The highest number of negative consequences such as hangovers, black- outs, illness, missing class, or relationship disruptions occur in the population of moderate drinkers.  However, most moderate drinkers view their drinking as healthy and normal and don’t see their consumption patterns as problematic. They traditionally don’t pay attention to prevention messages. Practitioners often refer to this phenomenon as the Prevention Paradox (Rose, 1981) (Weitzman & Nelson, 2004)  Based on a harm reduction framework, the campaign encourages students who drink moderately to reduce their frequency or quantity of consumption, increases students’ knowledge of health, academic, and financial impacts from drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, and increases students use of self-protective measures while drinking.

Core Program Components

OneLess is multifacited. Key programatic initiatives included; social marketing and branding, pop- up programs, points for student engagement & community partnerships including First Year Seminar curriculum, templates for academic syllabi and student conduct sanctions.

OneLess Sanctions for Student Conduct Hearings.pdf

Social Marketing and branding 

  • engaging posters allowing students to identify a health, social, academic, or finacnial consequence of moderate consumption
  • targeted messaging around high-risk events on campus
  • co-sponsored events on campus
  • strategic use of social media

Clockwork from top left: Sample social marketing poster, sample advertisement targeting a higher risk event, teaser ad used in napkin dispensers prior to campaign launch in 2011, e-flyer for a co-sponsored event

Student engagement (examples below)

  • opportunities for student to create their own OneLess goal
  • media competitions
  • 4th credit service learning projects
  • First Year Seminar activities

Clockwork from top left: Example of a student with their OneLess goal, submission to media competition, meme generated by a first year student, 4th credit service learning ad proposal

Pop-up Programs

The OneLess Campaign also includes several Pop-up programs each year. One of the more successful programs included a roving art display featuring 3 posters that each depicted a negative health, financial or academic impact from consuming just 6 alcoholic drinks per week. Each poster had the tagline, "Drinking More, You Do the Math!" and were displayed next to a sculpture depciting the statistic. Below is an example of the health consequence poster and sculpture.

Community Partnerships

The OneLess Campaign relies on partnerships within academic affairs and student conduct in order to integrate the program further into campus culture.

  • Syllabus template for Faculty to distribute
  • 4th credit service learning projects
  • Educational sanctions template for conduct officers
  • First Year Seminar curriculum infusion