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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
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Ohio University developing approach to high-risk drinking with community-wide Day of Dialogue

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 15, 2006) -- Ohio University continues to develop strategies to reduce high-risk drinking with a community-wide meeting called "Day of Dialogue: Addressing High-Risk Drinking at Ohio University." The event will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Walter Hall rotunda.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend, though a reservation is necessary to ensure adequate space. To attend, contact Natalie Pariano, graduate assistant to the dean of students, at 593-1800 or natalie.pariano@ohio.edu.

"We are concerned about high-risk drinking because we care about the health and safety of our students, their academic success, and the community. We also want to promote personal and civic responsibility among all members of our community," Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis said.

Ohio University is continuing to gather input from a broad base of constituents regarding a set of recommendations for reducing high-risk drinking. The goal of the Day of Dialogue is to engage a wider circle of community members in consideration of the problem and potential solutions.

"The event will include several brief presentations that provide some background on the topic of high-risk drinking," Dean of Students Terry Hogan said. "Most of the event, however, will be devoted to the sharing of ideas. Attendees will break into small group discussions, where they will discuss alcohol-related issues and the recommended policy changes, and then share their ideas with the larger group."

The recommendations about strategies to reduce high-risk drinking under consideration were made by two groups: the Coalition Advocating Responsible Drinking Decisions, which has existed since 1996 and includes faculty, staff, students and community members; and the Alcohol Response Protocol Task Force, a group assembled in 2005 to help develop potential new approaches to reduce high-risk drinking. Additional recommendations have been developed by Student Senate's Special Committee on Alcohol Response.

The recommendations include:

  • Expanding off-campus living efforts and opportunities for positive student activities
  • Enhancing intervention efforts by implementing a non-therapeutic audit to help hearing officers assign correct and consistent sanctions for each student's actions, adopting consistent and research-based sanctions, and creating college-level intervention for students' alcohol- or drug-related misbehavior
  • Strengthening the disciplinary response by adjudicating all instances of off-campus behavior, expanding parental notification, enhancing sanctions for violations of code of conduct, and suspending students who violate probation
  • Improving communication and law enforcement efforts and expanding assessment of the various initiatives

Feedback about the recommendations from all sources will be assembled and shared with McDavis. The university anticipates announcing a new, comprehensive strategy to address high-risk drinking during the spring quarter so it can prepare for implementation in fall 2006.

Ohio University first adopted an alcohol policy in 1982 and has been addressing alcohol-related issues since, introducing revised policies, programming, services, marketing and other initiatives.

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Media Contact: Dean of Students Terry Hogan, (740) 593-4022 or hogan@ohio.edu, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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