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Ohio University’s comprehensive strategy to reduce high-risk drinking

ATHENS, Ohio (May 24, 2006) -- As an institution concerned for the health, safety and success of its students, and for the well-being of the community, Ohio University will continue to refine its efforts to reduce the incidence of high-risk drinking by students and thereby reduce the related negative consequences. The strategies outlined below will be implemented fall quarter 2006.

*Notes current policy or practice

Discipline

  1. Adjudicate all instances of off-campus misbehavior within the greater Athens community. All students arrested or cited for alcohol- or drug-related misconduct by law enforcement authorities within the greater Athens community will be referred for formal, university judicial action.

    * Students who are arrested or cited for first-time minor offenses of the law involving alcohol or other drugs receive written notification from University Judiciaries that acknowledges awareness of the charges. The incident is noted in students’ judicial files but no formal judicial action is taken.

     
  2. Expand parental notification. Parents of all first- and second-year students (with fewer than 90 credit hours) under the age of 21 will be notified of all violations of the Student Code of Conduct related to alcohol or other drugs.

    *Only parents of first-year students are notified of a student’s first major or second minor offense of the Student Code of Conduct provisions related to alcohol or other drug use.

  3. Enhance sanctions for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions for offenses of the Student Code of Conduct generally will be enhanced with first-time B-level offenders placed on probation for a minimum of six months and second-time B-level offenders placed on probation for a minimum of nine months, with fines for alcohol and other drug-related offenses. (B-level offenses are those for which students receive a reprimand or probation and are not suspendable or expellable.)

    *There is little formal guidance relative to imposition disciplinary sanctions for alcohol- and other drug-related offenses.

  4. Suspend students who violate probation. Violations of probation will result in suspension (except in extenuating circumstances).

    *Students on probation for misbehavior can violate the Student Code of Conduct again and receive sanctions less than suspension, with extended probation being the most common.
 

Intervention

  1. Integrate an alcohol audit into the disciplinary process. A non-therapeutic audit will be implemented to help judicial hearing officers assign appropriate and consistent sanctions for each student’s actions.

     
  2. Adopt consistent, research-based conditions of sanctions. A common set of interventions will be adopted and used consistently. The interventions will be research-based and for each case, based on the results of the student’s alcohol audit.

    *Students found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct relative to alcohol and other drug-related use are assigned one of  a variety of conditions of sanction.

  3. Add college-based intervention. In addition to interventions currently mandated through the judicial system, the Division of Student Affairs will work with academic colleges to develop communication methods for with intervening students relative to their alcohol- and drug-related misconduct.
 

Communication

  1. Adopt consistent message. In order to effectively communicate the university’s expectations to prospective and current students, community members, alumni, the public and others, the university will adopt and deliver a consistent message. University Communications and Marketing will assist Student Affairs in formulating a consistent, comprehensive institutional communications and marketing plan concerning alcohol and other drug misuse.

  2. Support faculty and staff. The Division of Student Affairs will assist the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Professional Development to routinely provide training for faculty and staff so that when they encounter students whose academic work suffers due to alcohol or drug use, they can assist those students.

  3. Enlist alumni support. As leaders and supporters, alumni must be informed and engaged in the university’s efforts. Alumni leadership will be involved in campus consideration of alcohol issues, and Ohio Today, the alumni magazine, will be used to raise awareness of the scope of the problem and the rationale for seeking change.

  4. Employ peer-to-peer messaging. Social marketing initiatives that rely on student creativity and involvement will be enhanced.

  5. Limit alcohol sponsorship of university activities. Alcohol-related sponsorship of all university programs will be reviewed.
 

Law Enforcement

  1. Expand law enforcement capacity. Additional law enforcement capacity will be explored so that policing of campus and assisting the Athens Police Department can be enhanced.
 

Positive Student Engagement

  1. Expand opportunities for positive student activities. Activities such as Baker Nights and initiatives that encourage students to participate in them will be continued, and additional campus-based, late-night activities will be initiated.
 

Community Development

  1. Expand off-campus living efforts. The programs of the Off-Campus Living Office will be enhanced.

    *The current effort is staffed by one full-time professional, one graduate assistant and 15 student community assistants.
 

Assessment

  1. Develop metrics and assess routinely. The Division of Student Affairs and the department of Institutional Research will create and manage an ongoing assessment effort.
 

Implementation

  1. Convene and charge implementation team. The interim vice president for Student Affairs will involve the Coalition Advocating Responsible Drinking Decisions and others from within and outside the Division of Student Affairs to make recommendations for implementing the various aspects of the strategy to reduce high-risk drinking.

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu, or Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark (740) 597-2938 or starkj@ohio.edu

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