Congratulations to the University of Mississippi, the University of Miami, and Oklahoma State University for winning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place, respectively, in the Red Ribbon Week Campus Video PSA Contest, cosponsored by DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
1st Place – University of Mississippi
Fusing surprising statistics and student interviews and pledges, the University of Mississippi won a 1st place plaque, $5,000 to support drug misuse prevention efforts, and a trip to the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators 2023 Strategies Conference.
Ole Miss’ PSA video explained that substance use can impede students from accomplishing goals like a 4.0 GPA and a bachelor’s degree. Demonstrating that students often know little about drug use on campus, the school proceeded to highlight that 39% of college students binge-drank alcohol in the past month, 20% used marijuana, and 9.9% misused Adderall. The University of Mississippi wrapped up its video by featuring students pledging to live drug free.
“Our team wanted to focus on showcasing how substance misuse could disrupt a student's plans for success,” said Jazmine D. Kelley, coordinator of wellness education at the University of Mississippi’s William Magee Center for Wellness Education. “Therefore, [student wellness representative and sophomore student] Mary Kate [Nelson] had the bright idea to highlight students as they listed off their goals in the beginning of the video, which was then mirrored by them taking the pledge at the end of the video. [Graduate assistant for wellness education and master’s student] Sadie [Britton] figured that it would be helpful to include the national statistics as well as students' knowledge to substance misuse on our campus as a great segue into the students taking the pledge.”
“Our team figured that, regardless of the outcome, this would be excellent way to educate our campus community.”
2nd Place – University of Miami
An innovative “Substance Speed Dating: Some Things Just Don’t Mix” earned the University of Miami a 2nd place plaque and $3,000 in the 2022 Campus Video PSA Contest.
In this entry, “Alcohol” – played by marketing student Dylan Smith, a peer educator at the University of Miami’s Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education – went on ill-fated dates with various drugs, all played by other members of the school’s Sandler Center.
Cocaine promised to love Dylan “so intensely that [his] heart might stop.” Xanax pledged to “literally take [his] breath away until it’s lights out.” And Adderall vowed to “stimulate [his] heart but not [his] grades.” But all three drugs were met with a firm rejection by the peer educator before the University of Miami ended their video by promoting resources such as its counseling center and recovery program.
“There are a lot of parallels that could be made between toxic interpersonal relationships and the dangerous interactions between alcohol and other drugs,” said Rachel Askowitz Perse, assistant dean of students and director of the Sander Center. “Love can be unpredictable and risky, so we really focused on that concept and used it as an avenue to talk about AOD safety.”
3rd Place -- Oklahoma State University
In their 3rd place submission, Oklahoma State University’s “Cowboy Up Against Drugs,” won the school a plaque and $1,000 to support their campus’s drug misuse prevention efforts. The school displayed several alarming statistics, such as the fact that overdose deaths in Oklahoma surged by 25% between April 2021 and April 2022.
Furthermore, Oklahoma State’s video featured a compelling storyline, with the university’s Pistol Pete mascot initially demoralized by drug misuse statistics before encountering a QR code linked to campus resources, such as a Higher Education Prevention Services request form and overdose reversal training.
“We wanted the PSA to tell a story and inform about substance misuse on our campus while also educating students on what resources are available,” said Macy Stokes of OSU’s Department of Wellness, emphasizing the opportunity the Campus Video PSA Contest afforded OSU to “creatively highlight” and share with other schools the university’s drug misuse prevention resources.
Congratulations again to the University of Mississippi, the University of Miami, and Oklahoma State University!
Pictured left to right: Dr. Kari Pratt (Oklahoma State University), Rich Lucey (DEA)
Pictured left to right: Rachel Perse (University of Miami), Rich Lucey (DEA)
Pictured left to right: Jazmine Kelley (University of Mississippi), Rich Lucey (DEA)
Pictured left to right: Jazmine Kelley (University of Mississippi), Rachel Perse (University of Miami), Dr. Kari Pratt (Oklahoma State University), Rich Lucey (DEA)