Alcohol Culture Explored Interactive Theatre (ACE IT)
New Student Orientation Program
Each fall, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign requires all new students – freshmen and transfers – to attend ACE IT, an innovative orientation program that employs video and peer-led discussion to examine situations, attitudes, and choices regarding alcohol and the campus drinking culture. Students are encouraged to look at their own beliefs and behaviors regarding alcohol use, while listening to others and receiving information that will enable them to make low risk choices in regard to alcohol consumption.
Many new students are making their own decisions about the use of alcohol for the first time, and the University is committed to increasing the health and safety of students as they adjust to campus life. Students who arrive predisposed not to drink need to know that they are not alone and that the University supports this choice. Students who believe that drinking will be an important part of their college experience need to be aware of the possible impact that the abuse of alcohol may have on their health and academic success.
Attendance at the ACE IT program is mandatory for new students. During the first half of the fall semester, students will attend a 90-minute evening workshop where they will participate in small-group discussions stimulated by watching videotaped scenes representing the campus drinking culture. Each discussion is led by two peer facilitators to examine attitudes, situations, and choices regarding drinking in a non-threatening, non-authoritative manner. ACE IT facilitators do not lecture, but challenge students to look at their own expectations and assumptions to avoid making high risk or passive decisions related to the use of alcohol. All students receive several handouts with additional information and campus resources.
Opportunities for Student Involvement
The CHLH 199-ACE course prepares students to be peer facilitators for the ACE IT program, and is offered during the Spring semester. Students who successfully complete the course are eligible to become facilitators for the program presented the following August/September. Coursework focuses on learning practical facilitation skills and alcohol education.
If you are interested in becoming involved in the program, see the contact information below.
As a program of the university’s Alcohol and Other Drug Office, ACE IT is committed to working toward ensuring all students’ health, safety, and academic success.
Questions? Contact ACE IT Program Coordinator Betsy Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.