SUNY New Paltz wins national award for alcohol prevention
NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz is one of only six universities nationwide recognized for its model program for "Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Models on College Campuses," and was awarded a $99,200 grant by the U.S. Department of Education.
The grant will enhance an already successful prevention program at the New Paltz campus and provide the resources to disseminate the model to other SUNY campuses.
The grant recognizes the university for its outstanding history and continuing efforts in the field of alcohol, other drug and violence prevention. For example, from 1992 to 1996, binge drinking among New Paltz students decreased 21 percent as a direct result of ongoing programmatic efforts.
The programs that yielded those results, and will be used as a part of this grant, encompass six specific strategies:
- Freshman initiatives - Building and enhancing programs that address special interests and academic areas, thus providing young students options that are free of activities associated with risky behavior.
- Community/university collaboration - By working directly with local elected leaders tavern owners and merchants, the larger community is involved. For example, in 1999, New Paltz bar and nightclub owners signed the Tavern Owners Agreement, which detailed unified efforts to deglamorize alcohol.
- Multi-media social marketing campaigns - Using survey results, campaigns focus on students making healthy choices to promote the resiliency and positive decision making that takes place among the majority of students.
- Campus activities - New Paltz created a full calendar of activities geared to meet student expectations for fun and excitement without alcohol. Part of this grant will be used to expand this by installing a Dolby surround-sound theatre in the Lecture Center.
- Policy and enforcement - With community support and a host of safe alternatives available to students, the university has greater confidence in strictly enforcing policies regarding alcohol and drug use, and violence.
- Intervention - The university's first objective when addressing individuals with alcohol or other drug problems is treatment. Students who are identified for this type of intervention are assigned to a psycho-educational program.
The proposal for the grant, entitled "A Comprehensive Model Utilizing Social Norms and Community Collaboration for Alcohol Prevention," was co-authored and will be directed by Dr. Raymond Schwarz, Robin Cohen and Michelle Cangelosi, all in the university's Division of Student Affairs.
The co-directors will accept the award Thursday, Nov. 8 at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. The five other universities receiving the award are: Auburn University, Boston College, Lehigh University, San Diego State University and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.