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Ohio University receives Prevention Excellence Award for alcohol prevention efforts

ATHENS, Ohio (May 22, 2006) -- Outside the Classroom Inc. recognized Ohio University with the 2005-2006 Prevention Excellence Award at the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators annual conference in Washington, D.C.

"Staff, faculty and students at Ohio University who have been working for many years to address this important issue are very deserving of this recognition," Hogan said.  "It affirms for me that our approach is state-of-the-art, and it will motivate us to continue moving forward with our efforts."

The Prevention Excellence Award is sponsored by Outside the Classroom, who produced the online alcohol prevention program AlcoholEdu, and honors higher education institutions and Greek organizations who have worked through alcohol prevention efforts to positively influence students and their quality of life. 

In a letter to Provost Kathy Krendl announcing Ohio University as a recipient of the award, Brandon Busteed, founder and CEO of Outside the Classroom, stated, "Ohio University's ability to develop, implement, and sustain comprehensive alcohol prevention and education clearly demonstrates a commitment to creating a healthier, safer campus," he said.  "Most importantly, it is a testament to Ohio University's investment in creating optimal conditions in which students can learn." 

Ohio University programs employ a multi-part strategy including education, peer communication, expanded programming, law enforcement and discipline.

Some examples of recent initiatives are:

  • AlcoholEdu for College is an online alcohol prevention program that Ohio University requires all incoming freshman to complete.  The program works to motivate behavioral changes in students, increase practical knowledge of alcohol, help students make safer decisions and through education, decrease negative consequences due to drinking. 
  • The "Stop at the Buzz" campaign reaches students through commercials and posters designed by fellow students to encourage responsible decision making among students.
  • POWER is a peer-to-peer education program that informing students about various health and wellness issues, including drinking.  Issues discussed include high-risk drinking in residence halls, and responsible actions. 
  • Additional programming has been added as part of the university's strategy to reduce high-risk drinking such as extending intramural sporting activities to the weekends.  Baker University Center has also extended its hours in a concentrated attempt to add more late night activities on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.  Events include a book club, comedy shows, ping pong, poker, foosball and euchre tournaments, poetry, concerts, arts and crafts, food, dancing and numerous other late night activities. The programming efforts of Baker will expand when the new university center opens in January 2007. The hours will also be extended further.
  • Ohio University also created the Bobcat Passport program, which provides incentives to students who participate in at least one event in seven areas, documenting each event on the passport.  Areas included in the passport are recreation, late night, diversity, resident assistant/faculty, performing arts, athletics and lecture.  Upon completion of the passports, students were entered into a drawing and eligible for numerous prizes including one year of in-state tuition, a year supply of books and iPods.

Nationally recognized scholars reviewed applications, scoring them based on implementation practices, communication, evaluation, programmatic linkages and organizational linkages.  Other institutions honored were Syracuse University, Central Missouri State University, College of Charleston, Frostburg State University, Southern Methodist University, University of Connecticut and Washington University in St. Louis.

Hogan accepted the Prevention Excellence Award on behalf of the Coalition Advocating Responsible Drinking Decisions (CARRD) and the Office of Health Education and Wellness.  Hogan co-chairs CARDD with Judy Piercy, interim director of residence life and assistant vice president of student affairs. Char Kopchick is director of health education and wellness, and Terry Koons, is assistant director for substance abuse education. CARRD is comprised of students, faculty, staff and community members working together to reduce high risk drinking among Ohio University students through an environmental change approach.  The coalition develops recommendations for the university and community officials on matters of program, policy and coordination in terms of alcohol initiatives.  The goal of CARDD is to reduce the incidents of high risk drinking and related consequences on Ohio University's campus. 

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Media Contact: Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark, (740) 597-2938 or starkj@ohio.edu

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