BASICS is utilized as an educational sanction when a UW-Madison student is found responsible for alcohol (or related) violations through the Chapter UWS 17 nonacademic misconduct disciplinary process. BASICS is an acronym that stands for Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students. BASICS is an evidence-based program designed to address higher risk alcohol use among college students.

  1. What is BASICS?

BASICS involves a personal self-assessment and two one-on-one sessions with a professional substance abuse counselor. The BASICS program is utilized to address high risk drinking behavior, repeated violations, or any violation involving more serious circumstances such as incapacitation (Detox or ER transport) or disorderly conduct. In the sessions, students will have a structured opportunity in a non-judgmental environment to assess their individual risk and identify potential changes for the future, and is intended to reduce the potential harms that are associated with higher risk drinking.

  1. Why are students required to complete BASICS?

Students found responsible for misconduct are supported by the University, which is committed to assisting them in reducing the negative consequences of their alcohol use on one’s self or others in the community. BASICS is one of the most effective education programs to help students reduce their risk associated with alcohol use. Information on the program’s impact can be found here.

     3. How do students enroll in BASICS?

BASICS is provided at two community locations by two community partner organizations, Connections Counseling and Tellurian UCAN, Inc. Both organizations have extensive experience providing community services around alcohol and drug misuse. Students can enroll in BASICS by calling one of the providers indicated below. Additional information on program availability is available online.

Tellurian UCAN, Inc.:         (608) 222-7311                          

Connections Counseling:   (608) 233-2100 (extension 0) 

4. How do students verify completion of BASICS?

Students are generally required to complete BASICS within four weeks from their case decision date, and the exact due date is listed in a student’s finding letter issued by the investigating officer.  Students must print the BASICS completion sheet (PDF) and bring it to the first session. The PDF is also included in your decision letter. Upon completion, the provider notifies the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, which will notify the investigating officer. Documentation regarding completion necessary for any court appearances should be requested from the provider.

5. What happens if I miss a session or do not complete BASICS?

Please refer to the provider cancellation policy for information on charges associated with missed sessions.  Failure to complete BASICS would constitute a violation of UWS 17.09(16), “Noncompliance with disciplinary sanctions,” and could result in additional disciplinary action, sanctions, and a hold placed on registration and transcripts.