WASHINGTON, DC | March 10, 2004
Health and Human Development Programs, a division of Education Development Center, Inc., honored two university presidents in a ceremony at the National Press Club today for imposing some of the toughest alcohol abuse policies in the country.
The Presidents Leadership Group Awards, presented by HHD’s Center for College Health and Safety (CCHS), recognized President David Roselle of the University of Delaware and University of Rhode Island President Robert Carothers for implementing new methods of curbing excessive drinking on college campuses.
Alcohol-abuse experts and advocates for limiting student alcohol consumption, including Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), and Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE), attended the event and illustrated the need to put new campus policies into practice.
“College administrators can no longer afford to stand by and allow alcohol abuse to destroy lives,” said William DeJong, director of CCHS. “I commend President Carothers and President Roselle for having the courage to change campus culture and create an environment that is safer for all students.”
Roselle instituted the first-ever policy in the U.S. to notify parents when students break campus rules, and Carothers banned alcohol from all social events on campus, including at fraternities and sorori ties.
As part of the awards presentation, DeJong announced the results of a soon-to-be-published national survey of 32 college campuses, which found that a majority of students support stricter alcohol control policies.
The data, which came from the baseline assessment of an ongoing five-year experimental research project, demonstrate that:
- 90 percent of students want stricter penalties for classmates who are violent when drunk;
- 72 percent of students support disciplinary action to be taken on those who repeatedly violate campus alcohol policy; and
- Nearly 60 percent favor sanctions for students who use false IDs to purchase alcohol illegally.
“College presidents should take heart knowing that a majority of students share their concerns about c ampus safety,” said DeJong. “The bottom line is that today’s college students want something done about out-of-control drinking.”
CCHS established the Presidents Leadership Group Awards program in 2002 to recognize college or university presidents who ha ve taken an active role in addressing alcohol and other drug problems on campus and in the larger community. With support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the group was established in 1997 to underscore the important role college and university pre sidents play in prevention and highlight concrete ways they can serve as effective catalysts for change.