Jayhawk Buddy System
The Jayhawk Buddy System is a protective behavior campaign created by KU students to help peers stay safe if they or their friends choose to drink alcohol. This campaign was designed by a JOUR 640 Strategic Campaigns class in the School of Journalism in Spring 2010. Students in the class spent months researching protective behaviors, assessing KU-specific data, and reviewing programs from other institutions across the nation. The Jayhawk Buddy System resulted from their efforts and was implemented in Fall 2010.
Protective behaviors are what students should be doing to keep them safe! The vast majority of KU students make good choices while out with friends but the intent of the campaign is to provide non-judgmental, practical, proactive action steps to empower them in their decisions.
Another key component to the campaign is the use of social norms - standards of proper or acceptable behavior. “Social Norms” is a theory and evidence-based approach to addressing various health issues. Social norms theory describes situations in which individuals incorrectly perceive the attitudes and/or behaviors of peers. Incorporating social norms into this program allows KU students to have accurate information about the behaviors of their peers.
It is a longstanding tradition that Jayhawks look out for one another so this campaign supports that tradition and aims to keep students safe.
In fall 2020, the Jayhawk Buddy System celebrated ten years on campus!
In 2021, the Jayhawk Buddy System was featured in Kansas Alumni magazine.