Recommendations issued on reducing binge drinking

July 7, 1999

EDITORS: A copy of the report, titled “Initial Report and Recommendations to Reduce Risky Drinking of First-Year Students in Residence Halls,” is available at or can be faxed or mailed upon request.
ANN ARBOR—A committee of students, faculty and administrators at the University of Michigan has made dozens of recommendations aimed at the problem of high-risk, binge drinking, especially among U-M’s first-year students.
Among the recommendations in the report released today are:
The Binge Drinking Committee, as it has been called, was formed by outgoing Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford in August 1998. She charged the group with “identifying strategies to reduce harmful, high-risk drinking—and the negative consequences of this drinking—among first year students, particularly those residing in on-campus residence halls.”
The effort was chaired by Marsha Benz of the University Health Service, with co-chairs J. Ann Hower, director of the Office of New Student Programs, and Deborah Kraus of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
“I’m very impressed with the wide range of recommendations the committee has made,” said Royster Harper, U-M interim vice president for student affairs. “As the members have clearly recognized, there isn’t a quick fix to this problem. As we move to the next phase of addressing the issues surrounding binge drinking we will want to engage students, faculty and staff in answering the question of who we want to be as a community. As such I want right away to weave some of the recommendations into our overall efforts in building community at Michigan,” Harper said.
Facilitating the committee’s work, four sub-committees—Prevention/Education, Policy, Curriculum and Communications/Community Relations—were charged with developing goals and strategies that the full committee organized into eight categories of recommendations: central coordination and leadership; ongoing monitoring via research; campus policy; specific new initiatives for prevention; specific new initiatives for counseling and intervention support; specific new initiatives for education, both curricular and co-curricular; community relations.
Other recommendations resulting from this process include:
The committee’s strongest recommendation calls for “a committee, similar in nature to this current one, [to] continue in the fall [of 1999] to a) gather additional student input, b) make the necessary liaisons to other university units and staff, c) oversee those recommendations to be implemented in the fall?and d) continue to evaluate the feasibility of those ideas listed here and those that continue to be generated.”

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