State/CSU Announce Attack on University Student Alcohol Abuse

(Dec. 18, 2002, Sacramento) – In what may be the largest state-wide effort in the nation to address alcohol abuse and binge drinking by university students, the Davis Administration and the California State University (CSU) system announced today a major program to reduce the negative impact of alcohol on CSU campuses.

At a news conference at Sacramento State University, Business, Transportation and Housing Secretary Maria Contreras-Sweet announced a $1.57 million Federal grant to deal with alcohol abuse at CSU campuses. Said Contreras-Sweet, "University officials in California and across the nation have come to recognize the negative impact alcohol can have on students trying to learn. Not only does the abuse of alcohol inhibit the learning process, it can also create dangerous and sometimes deadly situations."

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed called alcohol abuse by university students "…the number one problem on university campuses." Said Reed, "We can no longer ignore the adverse affect on young people trying to become doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, or to become successful in business."

Police records show that assaults, date rapes, property destruction, and even deaths of university students can be linked to binge drinking and alcohol abuse.

The federally funded grant will result in a comprehensive education, prevention and enforcement campaign. While the program will initially focus on eight CSU campuses, it eventually will include all 23 campuses of the university system and affect over 400,000 students.

The eight California State University campuses taking part in the program are: Sacramento, Chico, Fresno, Hayward, Long Beach, Monterey Bay, San Bernardino and Sonoma. Each campus will receive mini-grants of up to $50,000 to develop on- campus programs regarding alcohol abuse.

In addition, local law enforcement agencies in the campus communities will receive grants to focus on off-campus issues that involve alcohol. This includes targeting sales of alcohol to minors by liquor licensees, and sales of alcohol to obviously intoxicated students.

The grant involves the development of a partnership between CSU and six State agencies. The agencies include the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the Governor's Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, the California Highway Patrol CHP), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (BT&H).

In turn, this partnership will develop relationships with local community groups, student organizations, and anti-alcohol and drug coalitions to set guidelines and goals in reducing student alcohol-related problems.

For more on how each campus will address the issue, contact the Vice President of Student Affairs on the university nearest you.

Contact: Carl DeWing (ABC), (916) 263-7949 c.dewing@email.abc.ca.gov or
Colleen Bentley-Adler, CSU, (562) 951-4801, cbentley-adler@calstate.edu

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Last Updated: 18 December 2002

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