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November 10, 2011
By Misha Ray
RENO, Nev. - The University of Nevada, Reno Office of Student Conduct recently unveiled its new alcohol and campus education application for students, "Be in the Know." The app is available for a free download on iPhone and Android phones.
"It's all about a healthy, safe student lifestyle," said Carol Millie, assistant director for the Office of Student Conduct. "When we were developing the app, we had to think, 'What do students need to be successful and healthy?' Our research showed we needed to engage students educationally, academically and socially, and with students using their phones constantly, an app is the best way to do this."
The app comes with tools on alcohol education - a basic, nonscientific Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) calculator, a cab service option which easily connects a student to a taxi, and other facts and myths about alcohol.
"A student who has only had one or two drinks may not realize that their BAC could be higher than the legal limit to drive," Millie said. "They may think they are fine to drive, but by using the BAC calculator, they can get a general idea of how intoxicated a person is and hopefully they will either call a cab or a designated driver to give them a safe ride home."
The app includes other campus-related features, such as local coupons for students, campus news and events, and more.
"It was created to help provide students the knowledge about alcohol they may take for granted; along with other tools to make sure they're successful throughout their time at the University," Millie said.
Millie said that the app was funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs, College Discretionary Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Grant. This is a three-year grant collaboratively awarded to the University and Join Together Northern Nevada (JTNN), administered with help through University Police Services. JTNN is a coalition of concerned citizens working to address the substance abuse problem in Washoe County and build successful partnerships to create healthy, drug-free communities.
The app also introduces the "Do the Ride Thing" Program, which will launch this fall. This feature encourages students to pledge to be a designated driver or to use a designated driver themselves. Students committing to these safe practices can "Get Wolf Tagged" and wear specially designed and identifiable dog "wolf" tags. Students wearing the wolf tags are eligible to receive discounts, prizes and items at "Do the Ride Thing" events and from participating on- and off-campus vendors.
For people who do not have a smartphone or are not on the iPhone and Android marketplace, there is an accompanying website, Be In The Know Today!, which has all of the same information, coupons and services offered on the app.
"We aren't here to tell students not to drink and that's not what this app is about," Millie said. "We are here to ensure the safety of the students and to make sure they have the knowledge about what's happening on campus, what they can do to stay safe on the weekends, how they can be successful and how they can drink responsibly."