President's Office

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Administrative Response to the Findings and Recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Alcohol Abuse

To: The Muhlenberg Community
From: Randy Helm, President
Date: 4/4/2005

In the spring of 2004 I appointed a task force comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and trustees to explore the phenomenon of alcohol abuse on the Muhlenberg campus and to recommend measures that we could take, as a community, to nurture a healthier campus culture and reduce the risks to student well-being represented by alcohol abuse. This effort was undertaken in the context of increasingly serious binge-drinking problems on campuses nationwide. Though Muhlenberg had (and has) been spared the worst of this plague, our campus has not been immune to this problem. Indeed, last spring we noted an unwelcome upswing in hospital transports for alcohol abuse at Muhlenberg.

The Task Force, co-chaired by Professor Hemchand Gossai (Religion) and Director of Counseling Services Anita Kelly, delivered its final report in November 2004. Since that time, the College's senior staff and I have spent hours discussing its findings and recommendations. This response represents the fruits of those discussions and charts a path for the College's future efforts in reducing alcohol abuse on campus.


  1. 1.   Findings and Observations from the Task Force

    1. 1.   Finding: There is unanimity among Task Force members that the principal concern of Muhlenberg College is for the welfare, safety and ongoing development of the "whole" student. In this regard, the use and abuse of alcohol is seen as part of the personal maturation of the student.

      We agree with this Task Force finding. The College is committed to the well-being and development of our students. Accordingly, we must create a safe, secure environment where they may take risks, and then learn and mature from their experiences and mistakes. A draft statement of the College's philosophy on student alcohol use is appended as Attachment 1.

    2. 2.   Finding: An acknowledgement and understanding of the fact while only a small percentage of students might be described as vulnerable, this group must be attended to, and focused on in particular.

      We agree with this Task Force Finding. Accordingly, the College has continued to emphasize educational programs for those students who, data suggests, are most vulnerable (first-year students, athletes, members of Greek organizations). During the fall 2004 semester, the College expanded and enhanced its alcohol educational program for first-year students through the Orientation Program, through programs in the residence halls, and by restructuring the Principles of Fitness and Wellness classes to ensure that all first-year students take an "Alcohol.edu" course during their first year (approximately 80% took the course during the fall semester). We also had new educational programs for all athletes and the Greek community. We intend to continue these programs once their effectiveness has been assessed.

    3. 3.   Finding: Based on national studies, e.g. Harvard School of Public Health study on the use of alcohol on college and university campuses, it is estimated that 40 % of students binge drink, with half of this number doing so frequently.

      While Muhlenberg has no definitive data, anecdotal information suggests that the percentages are less at Muhlenberg College, but still of sufficient size to warrant concern and continued attention. A Student Survey (to be completed this spring) will incorporate questions from the Harvard School of Public Health study and should give us data that will inform and guide our efforts to tailor appropriate responses to the actual alcohol situation at Muhlenberg College.

    4. 4.   Finding : There is a reported perception among some students that there is inequity in the manner in which athletes are treated for alcohol violations as compared with the rest of the student body.

      We acknowledge that this perception exists among some students, but must note that it is disputed by other members of the campus community.. Student-athletes and coaches believe that, in fact, athletes often receive consequences both through the College's Judicial System and from the coach. Nonetheless, in the fall semester coaches conducted educational programs for all athletes emphasizing their individual responsibility. There was a particular focus on making sure that the process and programs for handling prospective student-athletes (recruits) and training student hosts was reviewed and strengthened. The Dean of Students staff will collect data going forward that will clarify whether there is, in fact, any pattern of inconsistency in the handling of alcohol violations involving athletes.

    5. 5.   Finding There is a reported perception among some students that they do not understand Muhlenberg's current alcohol policy and judicial proceedings when there is an alcohol violation.

      If students perceive that they do not understand the alcohol policy, then it is probably true that they don't. While the Orientation Program for first-year students addresses both the College's Alcohol Policy and its Judicial System, new students may be overwhelmed with information at this busy time in the semester and may be unable to put that new information into perspective. Accordingly, two classes were added to the Principles of Fitness and Wellness course this fall, one that addresses the College's Judicial System and its Alcohol Policy, and a separate class on self-leadership that helps students make difficult decisions in challenging circumstances. In addition, as noted earlier, "Alcohol.edu" was given to over 80 percent of first-year students during their first semester.

    6. 6.   Finding: There is a reported perception among some students that the presence of Campus Safety in residence halls is routine and this seems to create more of an adversarial relationship with students.

      We must find ways for students to develop relationships of trust and familiarity with Campus Safety officers, while defining the responsibilities and protocols of Campus Safety officers in such a way that student privacy in the residence halls is not compromised. It is helpful and appropriate for Campus Safety Officers to meet with residents for scheduled crime prevention and awareness presentations, and essential for Campus Safety Officers to enter residence halls when Resident Advisers require their assistance to respond to serious incidents. However, routine patrols of residence halls will be re-evaluated. Campus Safety should continue to find other ways to let students know that their primary role is to create a safe, secure environment rather than just respond to disciplinary problems and confront misbehaving students.

    7. 7.   Finding: There is a reported perception among some students that a number of RAs are proactively seeking out students who might be drinking in their rooms.

      This finding troubles us. The primary role of the RA should be to focus on individual development and community building, not to seek out students who might be drinking. This must be accomplished by clearly defining the role and responsibility of the RAs and designing a training program that emphasizes the community-building responsibilities of the RA, and his/her responsibility as a role model, mentor and team builder rather than as a disciplinarian. RA training will emphasize these aspects of the job while also preparing Resident Advisers to respond appropriately when difficult situations occur. Continued oversight and supervision of Resident Advisers should reinforce this community-building role.

    8. 8.   Finding: There is a reported perception among some students that it is difficult to have a fair hearing for an alcohol violation given a perceived conflict of interest between parties who bring charges and those who adjudicate in judicial hearings.

      We believe this perception is inaccurate. We hope that the previously mentioned orientation of first-year students on the College's judicial system will correct this mistaken notion. While the Dean of Students is responsible for overseeing the College's Judicial System, those serving on the committee and boards are selected independently: the faculty members are selected by the faculty, the administrators are selected by the Vice President for Human Resources, and the students are selected by a Judicial Panel Selection Committee comprised of five students representing student organizations. Furthermore, there is an appeal process for major violations that is handled through the Provost and ultimately decided by the President. A flow chart is being prepared to help facilitate student understanding of the system as well as their rights and responsibilities, should they be in violation of the College's Social Code. Some have suggested that students perceive the system to be unfair because outcomes of judicial hearings are inconsistent. While there is tremendous variability among the specifics of different cases and inevitable differences among judicial panels, we will attempt to improve consistency by providing judicial panels with summaries of past decisions in ways that provide consistent background information without violating the privacy rights of individuals. Such summaries might also be shared with the campus community.

    9. 9.   Finding: Both students and staff have expressed concern about the level of alcohol consumption in secrecy by students, thereby raising the specter of more acute danger of alcohol abuse and serious physical consequences. This is attributed to two factors: students seeking to get a quick "buzz" of intoxication in a shorter period of time and more consumption of "hard liquor" in secrecy for fear of being caught.

      We share this concern, which speaks directly to the complexity of the alcohol abuse problem on our campus. The College's legal responsibility (not to mention liability) requires us to observe state liquor laws. This makes it impossible for the College to "turn a blind eye" to conspicuous public drinking by underage individuals. However, the more rigorous the College's enforcement of the liquor laws, the greater the likelihood that we will drive this behavior underground, with the result that students will drink in even more dangerous ways. Educational programs are not a perfect response to this challenge, but they are better than most of the alternatives. Other possible initiatives include providing BYOB events where students over 21 can drink publicly and in moderation.

    10. 10.  Finding: There is the perception among some students that if a student has an alcohol violation as early as first semester in his/her first year, he/she is likely to be barred from student leadership positions.

      We believe that this perception is inaccurate, and have observed numerous instances of students rebounding from early problems with alcohol to positions of prominence in campus organizations. Nonetheless, I have directed each member of the Senior Staff to review his/her policies on employing and selecting students for organizations they oversee and to ensure that one minor alcohol violation does not permanently disqualify a student from eligibility to hold positions of responsibility and leadership in student organizations. Of course, many if not most student leaders are elected by their fellow students. It would not be surprising if students regarded classmates who have recurring problems with alcohol as unpromising candidates for leadership roles.

    11. 11.  Finding: Given the perception by some students that Muhlenberg's culture has a punitive quality, students are reluctant to call Campus Safety in the event of a serious alcohol incident for fear of being penalized.

      This is a serious concern. However, the key issue is not whether Campus Safety is involved, but how an incident is handled by the College: what action is taken, whether it goes through the College's Judicial System, whether counseling is appropriate, or what other disposition is deemed necessary. Data for the last two years suggests that consequences for such incidents were normally only educational or counseling programs. The situation is further complicated because in the most serious (and life-threatening) cases, Campus Safety must call for an ambulance and the City's protocol then requires that a police officer respond to the scene. Accordingly, the student may also receive a police citation. This issue might be addressed either through an amnesty program, which is being evaluated by the College and/or by the way the College chooses to address situations of this type.

    12. 12.  Finding: Members of the Task Force believe that it is necessary to have a cultural shift at Muhlenberg.

      We agree with this finding. Of course, achieving a culture in which students are allowed to experiment and learn from their mistakes, without having a tragedy, is a difficult challenge. It is especially difficult because students' alcohol habits and attitudes are increasingly created in high school before they matriculate. As noted above, educational programs are an essential tool, so the College has expanded the type and quality of its educational offerings. Intervention, particularly by students who see a troubling situation developing, is also key to precluding incidents from spiraling out of control. Counseling and support systems are also essential for those who have developed alcohol dependency problems. All of this must be integrated into the fabric of the entire College community, and it must be recognized that the alcohol culture on our campus is not just a matter involving the Student Affairs professionals, but involves every member of the campus community.

    13. 13.  Finding: Several staff members from the Task Force spoke to the need for greater faculty awareness and involvement in the area of student activity.

      We agree. While some faculty may not regard student alcohol consumption as part of their social life as their area of concern or responsibility, we know that students have particular respect for faculty opinion and wish to meet their professors' expectations. Faculty can play an important role in creating a culture that respects moderate alcohol consumption by those of legal age and discourages underage and abusive drinking. Some faculty members have integrated alcohol discussions into their curriculum and have been pro-active in promoting appropriate behavior by students and alerting them to some of the concerns that they have seen. Others whose academic work does not lend itself to such efforts, may still play an important role in shifting campus culture. The College needs to do a better and more pro-active job of informing faculty about alcohol issues on the campus and orchestrating conversations about possible faculty responses to these issues.

    14. 14.  Finding: Some staff members on the Task Force suggested that faculty are in no position to evaluate students' social lives since they are unavailable to, and absent from the students in the evenings when much of the alcohol abuse occurs.

      We understand that this opinion was not shared by all members of the Task Force. Our view on the role of faculty in shaping alcohol culture has already been articulated above in response to Finding 13.

    15. 15.  Finding: There is widespread acknowledgement among students and faculty and staff that students begin their drinking on Thursday nights. Thursday night is College Pub Night in the neighborhood pubs. For many students Thursday begins the weekend, as there are few classes on Fridays.

      This is a legitimate concern and must be addressed. The Senior Class sponsors a weekly Pub Night on Thursday nights. In addition, many students purposely do not schedule classes on Fridays. Although the College does not sponsor late-night or BYOB events on the days before classes, there are numerous unscheduled, informal social activities where alcohol is consumed off-campus on Thursday nights and on weekends. The College must review the overall academic scheduling process, and this situation must be an important consideration. It should also be noted that faculty members frequently report that students are absent or not particularly alert at Friday classes and because of this faculty are reluctant to teach classes at that time. This is another area in which faculty engagement in culture change can be an important factor.

  2. 2.   Task Force Recommendations
    1. 1.   Programs and Provisions

      1. 1.   Recommendation: Hire one additional Alcohol Educator for the Counseling Center.

        Action on this recommendation will be deferred pending the College's annual budget and personnel request process this spring. At that time this and other requests for additional personnel will be considered.

      2. 2.   Recommendation: Appoint a standing committee that convenes at least twice a semester to address alcohol issues.

        The College Committee on Campus Life (CCCL) has revised its charter and will fulfill this function.

      3. 3.   Recommendation: Continue to send an annual letter from the President to parents and students regarding alcohol policies and issues.

        The President will continue to send letters to both parents and students. A letter to parents was sent during the 2005 Spring Semester, immediately prior to spring break.

      4. 4.   Recommendation: Continue focused alcohol educational programs during Orientation and throughout the Fall Semester of the first year.

        Several new educational programs were initiated in the 2004 Fall Semester and have been effective and well received. Included were specific programs for Greeks and athletes and changes to RA training. We also added a student speaker on alcohol as part of Orientation and more focused alcohol awareness training in the residence halls. (For a summary of new initiatives, see Attachment 2).

        In the summer of 2003, the Choices Program was reevaluated and a new and more experienced facilitator with a more interactive methodology was engaged. "Choices" is an interactive program based on two primary assumptions: (1) students primarily want to achieve success in their academic, athletic, and artistic goals and (2) the vast majority of students are already making decisions that will increase the likelihood of achieving success. Choices covers such topics as the biphasic response to alcohol (i.e. stimulating effects occur early on, followed by the depressant effects), alcohol and performance, how to help a friend who may be showing signs of alcohol poisoning, and sexual assault. These programs will be continued, evaluated on a regular basis, and expanded or modified as appropriate based on feedback and assessment. Importantly, the College's upcoming Student Survey should provide a better assessment tool on the effectiveness and quality of these programs.

      5. 5.   Recommendation: Expand opportunities for, and promotion of, alcohol-free on-campus recreation activities and publicize such events.

        There were several successful alcohol-free events in the Fall Semester: Dance for a Cure, Hip-Hop Dance, Student Council Homecoming Dance, and Texas Hold Em Tournament. These activities will continue and will be monitored by CCCL and the Student Life staff. Other events are planned for the spring. Funding is available from the Dean of Students Office to support these events. Appropriate Student Life offices will encourage students to initiate plans and to participate in such events.

      6. 6.   Recommendation: Investigate opportunities to provide transportation between campus and off-campus venues where student-sponsored events are being conducted and alcohol is being served.

        The College is investigating, through College counsel and its insurance carrier, the liability issues regarding various options for using College transportation, including the shuttle, to provide such support. If such measures seem practicable, the Administration will, after further discussion with the Board of Trustees, work with Student Council leaders on next steps.

      7. 7.   Recommendation: Have a course development grant that encourages faculty to focus on alcohol abuse in their course curricula.

        During the 2004 Fall Semester several courses incorporated alcohol issues. Last fall, for example, Professor Susan Kahlenberg's course, Health Communications included group projects addressing issues related to alcohol abuse. In spring 2005, Professor Linda Andrews is teaching a course Foundations of Exercise, Science and Wellness that addresses behavioral issues related to alcohol. The Provost will continue to encourage development of these types of courses.

      8. 8.   Recommendation: Continue the programs started in Principles of Fitness and Wellness classes this semester that all first-year students take the on-line "Alcohol.edu" program; consider other classes that address appropriate issues in this area.

        Over 80 percent of first-year students took the "Alcohol.edu" program during the 2004 Fall Semester and the remainder are taking it during the 2005 Spring Semester. Preliminary results indicate that student awareness and perception increased substantially as a result of participation in this program. It is too early to determine whether there have been changes in student behavior as a result of this program, but we hope that the student survey mentioned earlier will provide us the tools to measure such impact over time.

        In addition, in the 2005 Spring Semester, two modules in the course were added to the Fitness and Wellness curriculum: one summarizing the College's expectations for behavior as part of the College community and discussing the College's Social Code and Judicial System; the second addressing self or personal leadership in difficult and challenging situations where there might be serious consequences. The preliminary feedback for both of these courses has been positive.

      9. 9.   Recommendation: Have on-going/sustained training and continued education for staff members who are directly involved in student activities.

        This type of training was expanded in the 2004 Fall Semester and will continue to focus on a variety of operational issues in this area. We have also significantly increased staff attendance at conferences and participation in workshops and seminars as well as collaboration with other Colleges (i.e. Lehigh Valley Consortium for the Reduction of High Risk Alcohol Consumption in Higher Education).

      10. 10.   Recommendation: Create a physical location on campus for students in alcohol recovery to gather for support and have a sense of belonging.

        The College will offer and promote substance-free housing with the possibility of a section of a residence hall or a group interest house designated as a substance-free living area. The issue of trying to find a specific house for individuals in recovery will be evaluated in light of the experience of other institutions that have experimented with this concept.

      11. 11.  Recommendation: Continue to explore the feasibility of a campus venue where students of "drinking age" might gather on Friday or Saturday nights for socializing in a BYOB environment.

        During the Fall Semester, the College offered two BYOB events that were co-sponsored by student groups and were very well attended. Six BYOB programs are scheduled for the Spring Semester. The College will continue to work with students in an effort to identify an appropriate location for such a dedicated campus venue.

      12. 12.  Recommendation: Make greater use of Bear Security, or some other independent security agency, at BYOB events in order to assist staff with managing these events.

        The College continues to use private security firms (primarily Bear Security) for on-campus and off-campus events and have employed them in situations where we have previously used Campus Safety. The results have been satisfactory and have also avoided the possibility of confrontational situations between Campus Safety and students.

      13. 13.  Recommendation: Establish a dialogue with pub owners in the neighborhood and work together in shared responsibility for alcohol use and abuse.

        We support this recommendation. The College has worked with local venues to assist them in determining the actual age of Muhlenberg College students (and whether individuals are in fact students), in responding to situations where the venue might have a problematic situation involving students, and in helping pub owners understand and promote activities that would be of interest and responsive to the needs and desires of our students. We will continue these efforts.


        B. Policies And Procedures


      14. 14.  Recommendation: Have students establish guidelines/expectations for their own social events within the context of the College's Alcohol Policy.

        We support this recommendation. The Programming Committee, which includes students and staff, meets regularly to address such issues. They have been successful in assessing the students' needs by representing a variety of different constituencies. They are focusing on the different and changing social needs of first-year students; seniors and others who are older, more mature, and of drinking age and thus can patronize bars and pubs; and those in between who are developmentally beyond some of the activities that are of interest to first-year students, but who are not of age to legally drink.

        In addition, College officials in key positions have met with representatives of the College's insurance (liability) carrier to develop procedures and protocols for different events, including both those that are College sponsored (Senior Surprise, Family Appreciation Picnic) and those that are student sponsored ("100 Days," Senior Ball). Specific procedures have been developed and reviewed by the College's insurance (liability) carrier for some of these events.

      15. 15.  Recommendation: Encourage coaches and advisors to other student clubs and organizations to speak with the students in their organization about coach/advisor expectations relative to alcohol and drug use.

        The College has developed guidelines for the four Class Advisors and will expand these into guidelines for advisors of clubs and organizations. Coaches have a unique and special relationship with members of their teams and for several years have been discussing alcohol and substance issues with team members during their pre-season Orientation (this also fulfills an NCAA requirement). These discussions were more comprehensive and consistent this year.

        We will need to expand training and develop specific responsibilities for advisors to clubs and organizations. We also need to expand training to staff members as mentioned in Recommendation 9.

      16. 16.  Recommendation: Develop a standard system for reporting and recording alcohol-related incidents so that the effectiveness of Muhlenberg College's efforts can be evaluated and thus ensure that the system of adjudication is transparent.

        Federal law requires the College to gather information annually regarding on-campus crime, including alcohol-related incidents. The results are reported to state and federal officials, and a summary is sent to the College community. In addition, we have added a methodology to also include information on the seriousness of the incidents to help determine whether our efforts have been successful in reducing both the number of incidents and the seriousness of the incidents. We have such data for the 2003-2004 Academic Year and are gathering information from the 2004 Fall Semester. We are developing a flow chart to facilitate understanding of policies and processes. In addition, as noted in Recommendation #8, we have expanded the educational program for first-year students to help them understand how the College's Alcohol Policy is implemented, the College's expectations of them, and the judicial process. These programs also emphasize individual responsibilities and the need for appropriate intervention.

      17. 17.  Recommendation: Establish and maintain effort in the selection and training of RAs more as mentors and floor counselors rather than as policy enforcers.

        We agree that the primary responsibility of Resident Advisers is to build community in the residence halls. Resident Advisers also focus on individual development and integrating the residents into the overall College community. While the focus of RA training is on community building, each must also be prepared to address problem situations -- most of which are not alcohol related -- which emerge among the 25-30 students living together in their area of responsibility.

        Training will continue to focus on the positive development of the community while acknowledging that when there are clear violations of standards, there must be appropriate action. Such action should be in the learning context of an educational environment rather than always as a punishment. The training for RAs will continue to focus on community building and will include sessions with administrators who have different perspectives and investments in the College community.

        To address the perceived role of RAs a "policy enforcers", the RA training program will emphasize educational programs that strengthen the community and focus on student service and leadership.

      18. 18.  Recommendation: Establish training programs for Campus Safety officers to ensure consistency in application of actions between the different shifts.

        The Department of Campus Safety already has a comprehensive and on-going training program for all officers, some mandated by law and others by College policy. All training is designed to ensure that individual officers are current in appropriate policies and procedures. In addition, the Department has recently updated its Operating Procedures and Training Manual to ensure that uniform guidelines exist for responding to different situations. This should assure greater consistency between officers and between shifts. It is important to note, however, that each situation is different and is unreasonable to expect that there will be absolute consistency for all situations that may appear to be similar.

      19. 19.  Recommendation: Involve students, faculty, and staff in gathering data annually from among Muhlenberg College students regarding their drinking habits.

        The College is planning a comprehensive Student Survey instrument that will be administered during the 2005 Spring Semester. It includes an extensive section on alcohol and patterns of behavior relating to alcohol. The survey uses questions from the CORE study and the national survey administered by the Harvard School of Public Health. The results will provide some baseline data and allow us to compare our data with other colleges. In addition, the College is increasing its data gathering efforts both from the "Alcohol.edu" program and from the participants in the Decisions and Choices Programs. As noted earlier, we are generating information not only on the frequency of alcohol incidents, but on the seriousness of the alcohol incidents. This information will be shared with the campus community and will guide assessment and changes to educational programs. In addition, the College is expanding its Wellness and Community Health Programming to promote healthier lifestyles.

      20. 20.  Recommendation: There was a consensus on the Task Force that the College should continue to involve parents in some meaningful way regarding issues of alcohol abuse on campus.

        As noted earlier, the College will continue to dialogue with parents through letters from the President and identify other forums to share information with them about policies and situations that might necessitate their involvement. The President and Dean of Students discussed alcohol policy with the Parents Council at the Spring, 2005 meeting.

        In addition, the College will continue to notify parents when their son/daughter is involved in a serious alcohol incident (or a pattern of less-serious alcohol incidents) as is allowed by FERPA. Currently we do not inform parents of single minor infractions as some schools do.

      21. 21.  Recommendation: Staff and administrative officers who employee students or have student volunteers should craft a uniform policy with regard to students who have alcohol violations.

        As noted above, I have directed each member of the senior staff to review their policies on employing and selecting students for organizations they oversee and to ensure that one minor alcohol violation is not something that will permanently disqualify a student from eligibility to hold positions of responsibility and leadership.

      22. 22.  Recommendation: The Task Force explored the possibility of amnesty component in the report, but instead recommended the following: the College should closely monitor the progress and development of other programs and the College should explore models of amnesty programs at other colleges and universities.

        Staff members have already assembled information about amnesty programs at other colleges. We will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of such programs, how they have been implemented, and what the results have been.

      23. 23.  Recommendation: Encourage personnel to travel to other institutions and have conversations and conduct interviews with students and staff regarding the manner in which their alcohol policy works.

        The College has already taken a number of actions to develop closer relationships with other colleges. Specifically a staff visit was made to the University of Delaware to review their policies and programs. Staff members and the Dean of Students met with those responsible for alcohol education at each of the LVAIC schools to compare our programs and pool our resources to increase the effectiveness of our overall programs. The College recently joined a coalition that includes representatives from schools in eastern Pennsylvania and has support from the United Stated Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to collaborate on education and training programs. We will continue to explore other opportunities in these areas and get more students involved.

I hope that the above responses indicate how seriously we have taken the report of the President's Task Force on Alcohol Abuse. I am deeply grateful to Hemchand, Anita, and the other members of the Task Force for there many thoughtful, thorough, and helpful observations and recommendations. By continuing to address the problem of alcohol abuse as a community, Muhlenberg will be a safer, happier place for students, faculty, and staff.

Muhlenberg College Position Statement on Alcohol

“The Muhlenberg College position on the use of alcohol is one of education and individual accountability, not one of prohibition. While we observe the law, our primary appeal to students who choose to drink is that they will make conscious and low-risk choices that do not diminish the success and wellness of themselves or others.”

Alcohol Education and Programming Initiatives —
Academic Year 2004-2005

  1. 1.    Letter in the summer to first-year students and parents with case studies for discussion: alcohol, sexual assault, and academic integrity
  2. 2.   "Alcohol edu" for all first-year students; 80 % in first semester
  3. 3.    Expanded alcohol education programming for high risk groups — Greeks, athletes, first-year students
  4. 4.    Module was added to Principles of Fitness and Wellness Course that summarizes the College's expectations for behavior as part of the College community and discusses the Alcohol Policy, College's Social Code and Judicial System
  5. 5.    Focused programming before Spring Break
  6. 6.   President's letter to parents in Spring 2005 on alcohol
  7. 7.   Major changes to required education programs for violations of the Social Code:

    Choices - A 2-hour Interactive Program based on two primary assumptions: 1) students primarily want to achieve success in their academic, athletic, and artistic goals and (2) the vast majority of students are already making decisions that will increase the likelihood of achieving success.

    Decisions — A 12-hour alcohol and other drug (AOD) psycho-educational program. The group meets for two hours each week to discuss issues related to AOD use, abuse and dependency. Topics covered include DUI, healthy coping skills, relationship building skills, stress management, AOD and the brain, and family issues.
  8. 8.    Increased number of non-alcoholic social events (dances, bands, etc.)
  9. 9.    Increased BYOB events to promote responsible drinking
  10. 10.  Revised College Alcohol Policy
  11. 11.  Comprehensive review of high-risk events to reduce liability.
  12. 12.  Personal interaction with student rather than warning letter for minor and first-time offenses
  13. 13.  Conduct a comprehensive Student Survey to get base line data on trends and to inform changes to program
  14. 14.  Determined effort to change College culture