Incoming students must complete eCHECKUP TO GO

Survey helps students reflect on substance use, impacts of usage

The+eCHECKUP+TO+GO+is+mandatory+for+underage+incoming+students.

MAX CIOT

The eCHECKUP TO GO is mandatory for underage incoming students.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

Incoming students are required to participate in the eCHECKUP TO GO online survey asking questions about their substance use. 

The survey is a way for incoming students to reflect on their substance use and decide if they need to make any changes, said Alex Steiner, Cougar Health Services substance abuse prevention program coordinator.

“For folks who don’t use substances like alcohol or any other kind of drugs … they can actually learn other ways to help others lower their overall risk should they choose to use substances,” he said. 

The eCHECKUP TO GO is confidential and is mandatory for incoming students under the age of 21, he said. The cutoff date to complete the survey is Aug. 1 for students starting in the fall semester and Jan. 1 for students starting in the spring. 

Steiner said a hold will be placed on a student’s account until they complete the survey. They will not be able to sign up for classes for the next semester if they do not complete it. 

The survey is a good way for students to check in with themselves, and while it is only mandatory to take it one time, Steiner said students have the option to take it however many times they want if they feel the need to check in. 

Students are given a user ID number every time they take the survey, he said. As long as they have that number, they can look at their results from each survey and reflect on how the results changed. 

When students are transitioning from their home to college, they are entering a new world they are not used to, he said. When they come to college, a lot of boundaries from home are not in place anymore.

Steiner said even if a student partied in high school, they most likely had a curfew and knew their parents would check on them. 

“All bets are off once they move here. We know they’re moving into a high-risk time,” he said. “We want to be able to put something in place that gives them an opportunity to stop, think, reflect [and] think about their own pattern.”

The survey is meant to get students thinking about their substance use and how to make changes if needed, said Patricia Maarhuis, CHS senior health promotion specialist.

“If we just yell at students, that doesn’t work very well in terms of any kind of positive behavior change,” Maarhuis said. 

She said faculty members want to avoid punishing students and encourage them to make small changes in their substance use. 

“It’s really about treating students like adults, really smart people who are in charge of their own choices, and giving them really accurate, non-judgmental information based on their own experience,” Maarhuis said. 

Faculty members want students to focus on their academic success, she said. By taking this survey, it helps students understand how their substance use impacts their social experiences, mental health and school routine. 

Steiner said even if a student does not use any substances like drugs or alcohol, they still have the ability to learn how to help their peers make changes to their usage if needed.