Frequently Asked Questions

All FAQs

What can I expect during a BASICS appointment?

During BASICS appointments, students also have the opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns, including sleep and mental health. BASICS is administered through Alice! Health Promotion, a part of Columbia Health.

What should I expect when I sign up for a CU Move email update?

CU Move participants have the opportunity to receive updates and motivational messages via e-mail. These messages are tailored to members of the Columbia community and are designed to help you stick to your overall physical activity goals. Messages are sent about once a month. Please complete the form to join the CU Move mailing list.

How does the 21st Birthday Card program work?

The online system is designed to automatically send an e-mail with a link to students a few days before their 21st birthday and sends a follow-up post-event assessment two weeks following. The online 21st birthday card includes a data tool that allows Alice! Health Promotion to review (in aggregate) the responses, allowing the ability to compare pre-birthday intent to post-celebration actuals. All data collected is kept confidential and private.

I own a neighborhood restaurant and would like to participate in the 21st Birthday Card Program. What should I do?

If you are a neighborhood restaurant and would like to be a part of the incentive program, please contact us at alice@columbia.edu.

How do I license the 21st Birthday Card for my school or department?

One of Alice! Health Promotion’s goals is to make health promotion tools more accessible. To that end, Alice! Health promotion has developed the ability to license the code for the automated electronic 21st Birthday card to other colleges and universities at no cost. Alice! simply requires a note of credit on your version of the site. While there is no cost to receive the code package to replicate the site, Alice! cannot guarantee that the code will be compatible with your systems. Because Alice! is providing this system at no cost, there will not be any form of technical support provided. A signed letter of agreement is required in order to receive the code and Columbia University reserves the exclusive right to determine if the license will be offered. There is no guarantee to be granted the code and permission.

If you are interested in licensing the 21st Birthday Card website code from Columbia University, please send an e-mail to Dr. Michael McNeil, Executive Director for Alice! Health Promotion, at mpmcneil@columbia.edu. Due to high volume demand and continual updates of this service, there may be a delay in the reply. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

How are students referred to BASICS?

Students may be referred to see a BASICS provider in one of three ways: self-referral, soft referral, and mandatory referral.

Self-Referral

The self-referral option is available to all students on campus. If students are concerned about their relationship with alcohol or you would like to learn more about how to maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol, the self-referral option may be a good option. To refer yourself to BASICS, simply complete the brief Anonymous Alcohol Self-Assessment. At the end of the assessment, you have the option to participate in BASICS. If you are interested in participating in BASICS, simply click the icon “Yes, I am interested in BASICS”. Taking the self-assessment does not commit you to being contacted by a provider. The self-assessment will be anonymous unless you specifically request to be contacted.

This brief screening tool is not intended to serve as a substitute for a complete substance use evaluation. If you feel that it would be beneficial for you to receive assistance for alcohol or other drug related concerns, please speak with your health care provider. This service is available to Columbia students on the Morningside campus and the Medical Center campus as well as Teachers College.

Soft Referral

Soft referrals are for students whom BASICS is recommended, but not required. Soft referrals are available to all students on campus. There is a network of trained soft referrers across campus, including Deans, Columbia Health staff, athletic trainers, academic advisers, and others. Examples of soft referrals may include:

  • Faculty member, instructor, staff member, or adviser is concerned about student’s use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Academic problems that may be connected to student’s use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Medical provider who has concerns about a student’s health related to substance use
  • Mental health provider who has concerns about a student’s substance use

Mandatory Referral

Mandatory referrals are for students whom BASICS is required. There is a network of trained mandatory referrers across campus, including various Deans, Residential Programs staff, Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Standards staff, and other administrators on campus. Examples of mandatory referrals may include:

  • CU-EMS transports for alcohol or other drug related reason
  • Violations of school policies or other students’ rights (e.g. sexual harassment) in which alcohol or other substance use was involved
  • Ethical violations in which alcohol or substance use played a part
  • Inappropriate behavior at school sponsored events, either on or off campus, in which alcohol or other drug use was involved
  • Disruptive classroom behavior involving alcohol or substance use
  • Alcohol or substance use–related problematic behavior at internships, externships, or other field placements

For policy violations involving substance use, the mandatory referrer also has the option to recommend BASICS as an educational part of the process. It is up tat the mandatory referrer’s discretion if BASICS would be an appropriate educational option for those in violation of policies, procedures, or regulations that are related to alcohol or other substance abuse or misuse on or off campus. It’s important to emphasize that a referral to BASICS is educational and is not meant to be a means of discipline. Regardless of the type of referral, BASICS sessions are always tailored to the goals of each individual student.

For questions about BASICS, email basics@columbia.edu.

How do I find out if BASICS is available at my school?

Similar services are available at numerous other colleges and universities around the country. Please check with the health, counseling, or health promotion services on your campus to determine if the service is available or to be referred to another appropriate program. More information about substance abuse issues is available from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

What other departments or services could I contact about my alcohol use?

Columbia University students can also contact Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS) at (212) 854-2878 during scheduled office hours. For after hours, you can contact the clinician on call at (212) 854-9797. Services provided by CPS are free and confidential to Columbia students.

Is BASICS available for employees, alumni, or other non-students?

BASICS is currently unavailable to employees, alumni, or other non-students. Some Columbia University staff and administrators may serve as referrers to the program. Students may be referred to see a BASICS provider through self-referral, soft referral, or mandatory referral.

What is Go Ask Alice!?

Go Ask Alice! is the health question and answer Internet resource produced by Alice! Health Promotion at Columbia University — a department of Columbia Health.

This site has three frequently used features (among the many):

  • New Go Ask Alice! Q&As of the Week gives you the most recently published inquiries and responses — this section is updated every Friday.
  • Search Go Ask Alice! lets you find health information by subject via a search of the ever-growing Go Ask Alice! archives containing thousands of previously-posted questions and answers, and reader responses.  The search box is located at the top of every page on the site.
  • Ask Alice! gives you the chance to ask and submit a question to Alice!

Go Ask Alice! is produced and funded entirely by Columbia University. The site does not receive funding to promote specific products, nor does it accept advertising of any sort.

Top Viewed FAQs

What is health promotion?

“When prevention works, nothing happens.” - Glen Novak

Health promotion is focused on broad, community-level interventions that help shape the environmental contexts in which people live, learn, love, and work. Health promotion includes policy change, advocacy, adjusting built environments, and coalition building. Much of the work of health promotion happens “behind the scenes” and involves collecting and analyzing data, setting priorities for interventions, assessing and evaluating the progress of programs and services, meeting with key stakeholders and decision-makers, advocating for policies or structural changes that will help improve the health of the population, and implementing health-enhancing initiatives.
Some of the specific health promotion work that Alice! does includes: conducting assessments of student health attitudes and behaviors; analyzing data to determine where our resources can best be utilized to prevent illness and improve student health and learning; meeting with groups of students and the faculty and staff that work with them to determine how to address the health issues most affecting their academic performance; and advocating for policy and programmatic changes that enhance the health of the campus environment.

How do I request a training or workshop from Alice! Health Promotion?

Alice! Health Promotion offers a variety of interactive workshops on health-related topics that provide current health information, teach skills necessary to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors, and connect students with appropriate on- and off-campus resources. To request an Alice! training for your student group/organization, classroom, or residence hall, please fill out and submit the Alice! online interactive training request form.

How can I request Stressbusters at an event?

Having Stressbusters at your event provides a simple and enjoyable experience that fosters a sense of community. Having Stressbusters at an event can complement a requesting organization’s own mission by supporting the health and well-being of its membership. To request Stressbusters at your next event, please complete a Stressbusters Request Form. **In order to best accommodate your event, we ask that requests be submitted at least two weeks before the scheduled event. We will try our best to fill your request. Stressbusters are limited to two events per day and based on Stressbusters’ availability. If we are able to fill your request, you will receive a confirmation at least five days prior to the scheduled event.

How do I get involved with Stressbusters?

Come to Alice!’s Stressbusters Training and learn techniques from a professional Licensed Massage Therapist. The rewards of being a Stressbuster are endless - Stressbusters get $10 gift cards for each hour of service. To attend an information session about becoming a member or to attend our next training, email stressbusters@columbia.edu or call (212) 854-5453.

What can I expect during a BASICS appointment?

During BASICS appointments, students also have the opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns, including sleep and mental health. BASICS is administered through Alice! Health Promotion, a part of Columbia Health.

How are students referred to BASICS?

Students may be referred to see a BASICS provider in one of three ways: self-referral, soft referral, and mandatory referral.

Self-Referral

The self-referral option is available to all students on campus. If students are concerned about their relationship with alcohol or you would like to learn more about how to maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol, the self-referral option may be a good option. To refer yourself to BASICS, simply complete the brief Anonymous Alcohol Self-Assessment. At the end of the assessment, you have the option to participate in BASICS. If you are interested in participating in BASICS, simply click the icon “Yes, I am interested in BASICS”. Taking the self-assessment does not commit you to being contacted by a provider. The self-assessment will be anonymous unless you specifically request to be contacted.

This brief screening tool is not intended to serve as a substitute for a complete substance use evaluation. If you feel that it would be beneficial for you to receive assistance for alcohol or other drug related concerns, please speak with your health care provider. This service is available to Columbia students on the Morningside campus and the Medical Center campus as well as Teachers College.

Soft Referral

Soft referrals are for students whom BASICS is recommended, but not required. Soft referrals are available to all students on campus. There is a network of trained soft referrers across campus, including Deans, Columbia Health staff, athletic trainers, academic advisers, and others. Examples of soft referrals may include:

  • Faculty member, instructor, staff member, or adviser is concerned about student’s use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Academic problems that may be connected to student’s use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Medical provider who has concerns about a student’s health related to substance use
  • Mental health provider who has concerns about a student’s substance use

Mandatory Referral

Mandatory referrals are for students whom BASICS is required. There is a network of trained mandatory referrers across campus, including various Deans, Residential Programs staff, Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Standards staff, and other administrators on campus. Examples of mandatory referrals may include:

  • CU-EMS transports for alcohol or other drug related reason
  • Violations of school policies or other students’ rights (e.g. sexual harassment) in which alcohol or other substance use was involved
  • Ethical violations in which alcohol or substance use played a part
  • Inappropriate behavior at school sponsored events, either on or off campus, in which alcohol or other drug use was involved
  • Disruptive classroom behavior involving alcohol or substance use
  • Alcohol or substance use–related problematic behavior at internships, externships, or other field placements

For policy violations involving substance use, the mandatory referrer also has the option to recommend BASICS as an educational part of the process. It is up tat the mandatory referrer’s discretion if BASICS would be an appropriate educational option for those in violation of policies, procedures, or regulations that are related to alcohol or other substance abuse or misuse on or off campus. It’s important to emphasize that a referral to BASICS is educational and is not meant to be a means of discipline. Regardless of the type of referral, BASICS sessions are always tailored to the goals of each individual student.

For questions about BASICS, email basics@columbia.edu.

What is Go Ask Alice!?

Go Ask Alice! is the health question and answer Internet resource produced by Alice! Health Promotion at Columbia University — a department of Columbia Health.

This site has three frequently used features (among the many):

  • New Go Ask Alice! Q&As of the Week gives you the most recently published inquiries and responses — this section is updated every Friday.
  • Search Go Ask Alice! lets you find health information by subject via a search of the ever-growing Go Ask Alice! archives containing thousands of previously-posted questions and answers, and reader responses.  The search box is located at the top of every page on the site.
  • Ask Alice! gives you the chance to ask and submit a question to Alice!

Go Ask Alice! is produced and funded entirely by Columbia University. The site does not receive funding to promote specific products, nor does it accept advertising of any sort.

What other departments or services could I contact about my alcohol use?

Columbia University students can also contact Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS) at (212) 854-2878 during scheduled office hours. For after hours, you can contact the clinician on call at (212) 854-9797. Services provided by CPS are free and confidential to Columbia students.

Is BASICS available for employees, alumni, or other non-students?

BASICS is currently unavailable to employees, alumni, or other non-students. Some Columbia University staff and administrators may serve as referrers to the program. Students may be referred to see a BASICS provider through self-referral, soft referral, or mandatory referral.

How do I find out if BASICS is available at my school?

Similar services are available at numerous other colleges and universities around the country. Please check with the health, counseling, or health promotion services on your campus to determine if the service is available or to be referred to another appropriate program. More information about substance abuse issues is available from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

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Last updated November 17, 2017