The results of last spring's Health and Wellness Survey were reviewed and released by Bowdoin's Senior Officers this week, though the data will not be officially published by the College.
The survey was voluntary and anonymous. It was administered to all students in the spring semester, elicited 934 respondents. Of that number, 42.8 percent were men and 56.9 percent were women.
According to the survey results, 91 percent of students prefer being around other students who drink moderately or not at all. This surprised many students, as well as Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster.
"[We are] encouraged by the [high] percentage of students who express a preference for being around students who drink moderately or not at all," he wrote in an overview of the results. For some students, however, that proportion seemed a bit high.
"I don't see that being true," said Kailey Bennett '14, who lives in chem-free housing. "Drinking is cool at Bowdoin."
After the senior officer panel, Foster, President Barry Mills and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn reviewed the Health Survey results, an overview of the analyzed information was sent out to various parts of the College administration, including Health Services, the Alcohol Team and Peer Health.
The purpose of the survey was largely for planning purposes and to "get the data in the hands of the people who are most closely involved with the issues mentioned," said Foster.
"We've already been approached by some groups saying 'we might want to use some of these numbers in an education campaign,'" said Foster. "Different groups will use [the information] depending on their focus."
"Bowdoin's a pretty responsive place," said Yando Peralta '11, who said he thought that the data would change services offered to students.
For Peralta, the most unexpected results concerned students' stated sexual activity. Sixty-eight percent of students were sexually active last year, and of those who were sexually active, 67 percent had sex while drunk. Thirty-nine percent had sex they later regretted and men were more likely to regret a sexual encounter than women.
In his overall assessment of the results, Foster said that one of the more troubling facts revealed in the survey is the number of students who have sex when drunk. The administration is also concerned by the amount of students who drink for the purpose of getting drunk (36 percent) and the percentage who binge drink (33 percent).
"Irregular sleep patterns...followed by sleep binging in the form of sleeping in on the weekends," also concerns Foster. On weekend mornings, 59 percent of students reported being awake before 10 a.m. and on weeknights, 46 percent of students were asleep by midnight.
When the NESCAC Deans of Student Affairs meet in Boston in early December, Foster plans to propose that Bowdoin's peer schools institute similar surveys so that the Bowdoin may compare its results to those of like colleges.
Currently, there is no specific set of data that the 2010 Health and Wellness Survey results can be compared to. When the survey was administered in the past, it was only too a select (and much smaller) group of students. In 2002, of 400 students asked to take the survey, only 184 submitted answers.