SUNY New Paltz receives state grant
NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz has received a $12,500 "Healthy Campus/Community Demonstration Project Grant" from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
The grant, co-authored and co-directed by Ray Schwarz, Robin Cohen and Michelle Cangelosi of the Division of Student Affairs at SUNY New Paltz, will support the development of a coalition between the university and Ulster County's Underage Drinking Prevention Team (UDPT). Working with the UDPT and Community Asset Builders, the grant will enable the coalition to address the problem of underage drinking in secondary schools in Ulster County.
"The Ulster County Legislature is pleased that this important initiative to combat underage drinking is underway," said Ward Todd, Chairman of the Ulster County Legislature, "and we pledge to continue our strong collaborative relationships with SUNY New Paltz and local school districts to make Ulster County a better place to live."
The primary focus of the grant will be to correct misperceptions that foster high-risk alcohol use. SUNY New Paltz has been successful in decreasing the proportion of students who engage in high-risk drinking by 21 percent as a result of educating students about how much their peers were actually drinking.
School administrators and school teams will be invited to a free "Media Campaign Institute" hosted on the campus this spring. A social marketing ad campaign similar to the one used at New Paltz will then be disseminated to all middle and high schools throughout Ulster County.
Regarding the grant, Interim President Steven Poskanzer said, "I am absolutely delighted that the college's national leadership in addressing underage drinking and the responsible use of alcohol has been recognized with this grant. Bringing New Paltz's successful social-norming approach to alcohol education into Ulster's middle and high schools is a smart and proactive way of limiting alcohol abuse from occurring in the first place."
The grant will also enhance prevention efforts on campus, including research, health promotion through media, and continued collaboration with local tavern owners.
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.