MINNEAPOLIS, MN | July 14, 2003
EDC’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention recently brought together leaders from 39 states to meet with top alcohol policy researchers as part of a national institute on reducing high-risk drinking on college campuses.
The Statewide Initiatives Leadership Institute, held in Minnesota in late June, focused on providing state teams with information and skills needed to plan state and local policy change. Experts from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, the University of Minnesota Alcohol Epidemiology Program, and the Enforce the Underage Drinking Laws Training Center made presentations on their prevention work on a local, state, and national level.
“In order to change the culture of high-risk drinking by college students, campus administrators must work closely with local and state government officials and community leaders,” states William DeJong, director of the Higher Education Center, a project of EDC’s Health and Human Development Programs division. “By working together to strengthen state and local policy and enforcement, these campus and community collaborations have the potential to prevent alcohol problems not just among college students but in society as a whole.”
Previous institutes have focused on how statewide initiative leaders can support the formation of campus and community coalitions dedicated to changing the broader environment that encourages student substance use. Typically, meeting participants come from state government substance abuse officers and alcohol beverage control agencies, colleges and universities, and state coalitions working to reduce underage drinking.
“We know that neighborhoods surrounding campuses often experience alcohol-related disturbances,” said Traci Toomey, associate director of the University of Minnesota Alcohol Epidemiology Program. “It’s appropriate that campus officials should take a leadership role in working with state and local officials to change policies to reduce problems associated with alcohol use in the larger community.”