Photograph of signing by CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and BT&H Secretary Maria Contreras-Sweet

Major Pact Signed to Curb Student Alcohol Abuse

Sacramento/Long Beach - In the first compact of its kind in California, a memorandum of understanding has been signed involving six state agencies and the California State University system to address the problem of alcohol abuse among university students.

At a meeting in Long Beach today (Wednesday, February 13, 2002), CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Business, Transportation and Housing (BT&H) Secretary Maria Contreras-Sweet. The MOU commits the CSU and the state agencies to fight alcohol abuse on and off university campuses. The state agencies include BT&H, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, California Highway Patrol, Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Office of Traffic Safety.

"Alcohol abuse on university campuses continues to threaten the health and academic success of students, and has negative impacts on the campus and surrounding communities," Reed said. "This relationship with these state agencies definitely will make a difference in the lives of CSU students."

Secretary Sweet, a member of the Governor's Cabinet, said, "This partnership between CSU and the six state agencies will address the tragic consequences of high-risk drinking, and the potential loss of life by students who have so much to offer society." The MOU creating the partnership between CSU and the agencies outlines seven steps toward reducing dangerous practices involving students and alcohol. The steps include:

  • Work cooperatively to address the issue of student alcohol abuse and to share resources, as appropriate.
  • Jointly collect data that will help identify the scope and nature of the problems on the individual campuses, focus strategies, and address the issue of student alcohol abuse.
  • Support, provide resources and participate in an Annual CSU Alcohol Issues Conference. The agencies of the State of California will provide speakers and/or workshop presenters, as appropriate.
  • Share information on grant funding opportunities and submit joint grant proposals, as appropriate.
  • Cooperate on a legislative agenda that addresses issues of alcohol education and alcohol abuse and its consequences.
  • Develop joint alcohol education, enforcement, training and prevention programs for campus and community leaders. Such efforts are to include coordinated regional and statewide approaches.
  • Meet at least two times each calendar year to review the status, accomplishments and future goals of the partnership.

The MOU is an outgrowth of a policy on alcohol adopted by the CSU Board of Trustees in July 2001. The policy was developed by a committee of university presidents, vice presidents of student affairs, students, faculty, staff and alumni, and was chaired by CSU Fresno President John Welty. Chancellor Reed created the committee after the death of a Chico State University student, and a number of other near-fatal incidents involving alcohol abuse.

The MOU is expected to result in a broad spectrum of activities, including educational efforts, prevention programs, and enforcement activities both on and off the campuses. The extent of the activities will vary from campus to campus, depending on the assessed needs and problems of each university.

Follow-up meetings between CSU officials and State Agency representatives are expected to begin within the month to address the seven areas outlined in the MOU.

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Last Updated: 13 February 2002

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