Understanding the Program and Commitment

The Program
FailSafe is a set of activities designed to help student organizations, clubs, fraternities, sororities, and other formal student groups assess and address their risk-taking related to alcohol use. To implement the program successfully, we recommend completing all of the modules in one academic year, and repeating the program every four years as new members and leaders join the group.

The Commitment
The program is implemented by a small team of student leaders from the student organization. You may also wish to use an outside facilitator, such as a peer educator, alumnus/alumna, or faculty advisor, but having a team of student leaders is critical to the success of FailSafe.

  • We estimate that student leaders will spend 20 to 30 hours on the program each semester.
  • We estimate that Coaches will spend between 30 and 40 hours on the program each semester.

Before starting FailSafe, it is important that the entire organization make a commitment to engaging in the program.

Making a Commitment: Institutions of Higher Education

  • It is important that upper-level administrators be aware of the program and see its value for student organizations on campus. The institution does not have to “approve” the use of FailSafe, but it is beneficial to communicate to student leaders a commitment to the program.
  • Because FailSafe involves collecting data from members of the student organization through the Member Alcohol Profile, your institution may require an IRB review before starting the program. If you need assistance completing IRB materials, please contact us at failsafe@unl.edu.
  • Your institution may want to adopt FailSafe as a formal sanction for student organizations involved in alcohol or related violations, or as a resource for all leaders of student organizations. Doing so may require discussion with key administrators or a recommendation from an alcohol task force or coalition.
  • Success with FailSafe requires that the student organization be accountable for actively participating in the program and completing the modules. A Coach or a university Student Organizations or Greek Affairs staff member can promote accountability.

Making a Commitment: Student Organizations

  • You do not need permission from your college or university to adopt FailSafe, although your institution may already be aware of the program and be encouraging or mandating that you use it.
  • You do not need permission from your national organization or corporation. If you are a fraternity or sorority, be aware that both the National Panhellenic Council and the North American Interfraternity Council have been informed about FailSafe, as have many national corporations.
  • Your alumni, faculty advisor, or alumni board should be informed about FailSafe and may want to review the program before you commit. They are welcome to contact FailSafe staff for more information.
  • Once you commit to FailSafe, it is important to concentrate on the program and not plan several other major projects for the academic year. National organizations and corporations may need to be informed that your group is taking on this program as a priority.
  • The most important commitment you’ll want to secure is that of the entire membership. Keep in mind the following issues:
    • You should discuss the program with your membership, explaining why the program is important, and showing members the video on the home page of the FailSafe website.
    • You may or may not want members to vote on whether your organization will implement the program, but you do need to make sure that all members commit to supporting the program and being an active part of it.
    • The student leaders overseeing the FailSafe program should be fully committed, and should make sure that they do not have too many additional responsibilities for the academic year.

FailSafe is a flexible program, and you can work on the modules when you wish. The materials are always available from any computer or mobile device with Wi-Fi.

Ready to start? Go to Using the Toolkit on the FailSafe website.


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University of Nebraska - Lincoln Student Affairs