Campus: CSU Fresno -- January 28, 2005

CSU Launches New Alcohol Abuse, Misconduct Prevention Campaign for College Students Today

Training is underway at California State University, Fresno today (Jan. 28) for a new $750,000 CSU Alcohol and Traffic Safety grant for 10 CSU campuses designed to reduce alcohol abuse and alcohol-related crashes as well as alcohol-related misconduct by college students.

The CSU Alcohol and Traffic Safety (CSU ATS) program was funded as part of $74.2 million in traffic safety funds awarded last year to 277 California state departments and communities that are committed to improved traffic safety.

"This program works to change an environment from one where binge drinking is socially acceptable to one that encourages more responsible behavior," said Sunne Wright McPeak, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which administered the funds through the Office of Traffic Safety. "The end result will be increased awareness which translates into lives saved."

Headquarters for the CSU program is at Fresno State, administered through the Division of Student Affairs. The 10 participating campuses are Bakersfield, Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Pomona, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Marcos, Sonoma, and Stanislaus. The CSU is the nation's largest university system with 23-campuses.

Representatives from the10 CSU campuses were expected to participate in the two-hour training this morning in the Smittcamp Alumni House on campus that launches the campaign, said Perry Angle, director of the new CSU Alcohol and Traffic Safety. Dave Doucette, OTS regional coordinator, also is in Fresno today for the training session.

Through a series of mini-grants, the new CSU Alcohol and Traffic Safety funds will promote anti-DUI initiatives created by campus Alcohol Advisory Councils, said Dr. Paul Oliaro, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Fresno State.

"The program addresses alcohol-related incidents at the college level, particularly driving under the influence and campus misconduct," Oliaro said.

Specifically, the programs two key goals are to reduce the incidence of driving after consuming alcohol by 18-25 year-old CSU students; and reduce alcohol-related misconduct by CSU students -- both by five percent by Dec. 30, 2006.

The program's objectives are:

  • To improve and/or develop partnerships with law enforcement to accomplish goals like increasing DUI checkpoints, campus policy enforcement, etc.

  • To implement the training of at least 500 CSU beverage servers (on and near campus) via LEAD training in conjunction with ABC regional trainers by 9/30/06.

  • To assist campuses in developing or improving on-line personal drinking assessment programs similar to e-CHUG (Check Up to Go),, etc.

  • To work with each campus to identify strategies to reduce availability and accessibility of alcohol, particularly to minors.

  • Organize, schedule, and promote a minimum of four guest speakers for the CSU and/or CSU ATS campuses.

  • To provide support to campus peer educators (Health Centers, Bacchus & Gamma clubs, SADD, etc.) through training and information dissemination efforts.

  • To work with media throughout the state and at each campus to publicize the funding of the project, keep the public informed of its intent and progress, and to inform the general public about other alcohol related items and events.
This is the second such grant CSU has received for alcohol awareness and prevention measures. In 2002, nearly $2 million in grants from state agencies was awarded to the CSU to further curb abuse on its campuses.

Called the Sober Drive Initiative, that program's funds were used for training, education, enforcement and prevention programs at its 23 campuses and also was administered out of Fresno State's Student Affairs. In the previous CSU Sober Driver Initiative, projects employed social norms marketing strategies to change the misperceptions students have regarding college drinking.

"This project will emphasize managing the campus environment, peer education, and law enforcement partnerships," said Angle, who is also director of the CSU Sober Driver Initiative.

With the new program, both OTS grants have now served two-thirds of CSU campuses, he added.

He said that Office of Traffic Safety data shows that fatalities in alcohol involved collisions increased 8.3 percent - up from 1,308 in 2001 to 1,416 in 2002. Since 1998, California has experienced a 32 percent increase in persons killed in alcohol-involved collisions, according to the OTS. However, in OTS grant funded cities, alcohol-involved fatal and injury collisions decreased 26.3%. In 2003, 1,445 people were killed and 31,337 injured in alcohol-related crashes in California -- the fifth consecutive year of increases in alcohol-related fatalities after more than a decade of decline.

For more information about the program, contact Angle at (559) 278-1908 or Doucette at (916) 262-0990.

Contact: Tom Uribes (559) 278-5366 or 246-1717

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