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New Mexico State University
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WAVE Brochure [132 KB]

About the WAVE Program

Guiding Principles

Peer Education:
With the understanding that Peers have a significant ability to influence behavioral choices in the targeted areas (alcohol harm reduction and violence prevention), WAVE utilizes well-trained Peer Educators to deliver information and strategies to fellow NMSU students.

Research Based Strategies:
An abundance of research exists on the effectiveness of particular prevention efforts. WAVE utilizes these research findings to develop and implement programming with proven track records, while still employing innovative strategies. Further, by using existing research to avoid interventions proven to be ineffective, WAVE can maximize its resources and minimize wasted effort.

Pistol Pete stops by the WAVE table.

Social Norms:
Social Norming is an approach with a demonstrated success record. Students tend to make decisions based on their perception of how their fellow students would behave in a similar situation. Unfortunately, students have many misperceptions of how their fellow students really do behave; they overestimate the amount of alcohol fellow students consume and underestimate the desire to intervene in dangerous situations. Social norming clarifies the actual behavior of fellow students, so students can make better decisions regarding their own behavior.

Multiple Exposures to Information:
Recognizing that one exposure to information will have little impact on behavior, WAVE strives to provide many opportunities for students to receive prevention information and tools, using both written and verbal materials. Essentially, WAVE attempts to ‘catch them early and catch them often.’

Movement from Knowledge to Behavioral Adaptations:
Knowledge alone is not enough to impact behavioral choices. Students must examine their own behavior, see how the information is relevant to their own lives and experiences and understand their own ability to change their behavior to protect themselves. WAVE programming encourages students to not only understand the basic prevention strategies on an intellectual level but also to change/adapt their own behavioral decisions.


The purpose of WAVE is to provide programming that will positively impact the behavior of the following constituencies:

• Individuals
• Groups: particularly high risk groups such as freshmen, Greek community and athletics
• Community: creating and/or supporting a community culture that encourages safe environments in regard to alcohol and violence prevention