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Office of the Dean of Students

Alcohol Education at Bowdoin

My Student Body

msb_logoMyStudentBody (MSB) is an online course that all first years complete before arriving at Bowdoin. The course covers the three most significant behavior risks new college students face: alcohol, illicit and prescription drug use, and sexual violence. The course includes audio, video, and interactive tools to teach students about these topic areas. Follow-up assessments provide feedback to first years on their knowledge of these issues. 

Peer 2 Peer

peerhealth_logoPeer 2 Peer is a program run by Peer Health. Peer Health is comprised of upperclassmen who are trained in motivational interviewing techniques, empathetic listening skills, and college health issues. During the Fall semester, each first year meets with a member of Peer Health and discusses his/her impression of Bowdoin’s social scene. This conversation provides first years with the chance to talk about alcohol and drug use with trained upperclass students.

Active Bystander Training

Active Bystander Training is a training which targets student leaders and is available to all students throughout the College. This training helps students to become active bystanders. Through role plays and skits, this training helps students think about themselves as social leaders who have a responsibility to intervene in situations that might negatively impact other students and also provides them with a toolbox to pull from in these situations. This training has helped students think about drinking as a high-risk behavior that they have the power to influence.

Alcohol and Drug Awareness Month

Alcohol and Drug Awareness Month occurs every October at Bowdoin. During this month, Peer Health and the Alcohol Team work to educate the student body about high-risk health behaviors associated with drinking. The educational programs that occur during this month vary every year.

Some examples of past programs include:

  • Social Norming Poster Campaign: Posters highlighting recent alcohol-related statistics were designed by members of Peer Health
  • First Year Alcohol Summit: Hosted by the Alcohol Team, first years were invited to a lunch and participated in conversations with upperclassmen about the drinking scene at Bowdoin This event includes:
    • A panel discussion by upperclass students who talk about their current relationship with alcohol and how it has changed over their time at Bowdoin
    • Small table conversations facilitated by upperclassmen focusing on Bowdoin's alcohol scene and goal setting for the year
  • The Perfect Pour: Peer Health members set up stations in the dining hall where students can learn more about standard drink sizes


CHOICES is a one-time small group education program that is held monthly. Run by Christian van Loenen, this class is designed to help students identify risk-reduction techniques that will help lower their risk for negative consequences related to alcohol use.

Alcohol Screening

Peer Health and the A team host a campus-wide Alcohol Screening Day every February. Hundreds of students are screened for alcohol abuse and misuse. This quick screening provides students information about how their drinking choices compare to other college students nationwide. The Assistant Director of Health Promotion and Education is available to provide Alcohol Screening to groups throughout the year.