West Virginia University officials will meet with representatives from several other state colleges and universities Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 11 a.m. at Fairmont State Colleges Erickson Center to discuss ongoing efforts to combat high-risk drinking on campuses.
The planning meetingbeing coordinated by the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administrationis the second since April 7 when representatives from 22 colleges and universities across the state met at the WVU Mountainlair for the first ever Governors Summit on Alcohol Use in Higher Education. At that event, college and university officials signed a proclamation of their commitment to support a statewide initiative to ensure that the prevention of alcohol and other drugs remains a priority of their campus student life and health promotion programs.
Representatives from the schools that attended the April summit have been working to implement what they learned and identify issues they want to address on their campuses over the next year,said Mary Collins, who chairs WVU s Advisory Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.Four subcommittees have been formed as well, so theres a lot of work going on.
The statewide coalition is working to identify grants for education and alternative programming and assist schools in applying for them, Collins said.
The statewide group is also getting students from the various campuses involved in the planning, she added.Getting student input is key,Collins said.Students have great ideas on what will work and wont work when it comes to alternatives.
At WVU , Collins says the Council has identified five areas it hopes to address: underage drinking and high-risk drinking; consequences of alcohol consumption; education/prevention on other drugs on campus; programming alternatives; and bar owner cooperation/advertising.
Last spring, WVU was ranked first in a national survey of 58 comparable universities for conveying the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse to students. Coupled with weekend programming in the Mountainlair known as WVUp All Night, health conscious options at the Student Recreation Center, a campus-wide task force on drug and alcohol prevention, orientation programs, a University sanctioned tailgating area and back-to-school concert and other initiatives, WVU is taking a comprehensive approach to combating high-risk drinking and unhealthy lifestyles.