Brockport receives grant to help curb drinking
Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Updated: Thursday, March 3, 2011 15:03
The College at Brockport received a $235,000 grant from the United States Department of Education (USDE) to help reduce high-risk drinking behavior among on-campus students, according to a press release. The grant, which was awarded to 20 institutions nationwide, will help fund the Health Promotion and Prevention Services' Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and Education Program. The College at Brockport was the only SUNY school to receive the grant.
The grant was awarded based on the effectiveness of past programs at each institution, and involved a data collection process that collected information from students. The research also included specific measurements of decreases in alcohol abuse on campuses.
"The USDE told us this past year that we really upped what we were doing to prevent high-risk drinking," said program director Joshua Fegley, Student Health Services Coordinator of Health Promotion and Prevention Services.
According to the press release, Brockport's programs have demonstrated results over the year that include substantial reductions in the prevalence of binge drinking, which came down 12 percent over a three-year period, and repeat alcohol-related conduct infractions, which came down 58 percent.
Other factors that were considered by the USDE included the qualifications of the professionals administering the programs and the comprehensiveness of program design.
The new grant will allow Health Promotion and Prevention Services to provide students with opportunites for educational programs as well as events for students that offer alternatives to drinking on weekends, Fegley said. All of these events and programs are student led. "Mostare student led.
"Most of the stuff we do is at the peer level," said Fegley. "We find that students are more likely to ask questions and interact this way. Plus, I am old, and some of the things I think are fun, students do not."
Students heading these programs are known as CREW members. CREW stands for Community, Responsibility, Education and Wellness.
Fegley said educational programs focus on providing students with information on how to avoid or react to potential issues of drinking. Topics covered during these presentations included how to intervene in potentially violent alcohol-related situations including rape, as well as the importance of understanding the dangers of alcohol poisoning.
The "Late Nights with Ellsworth" events are an important part of the program, and offer alternative activities to drinking for students. Events include club nights, craft nights, tournaments and movie nights.
"Through the grant we can do [these events] every Friday and Saturday through the next two years," Fegley said. "I supervise the team of student health advocates (CREW members), and as of right now we have 36 CREW programs scheduled."
The focus of these programs is students living on campus, with a particular focus on freshman students, who are considered the most at risk. Since freshmen are required to live on campus, residence halls provide an excellent location for these events.
"Our primary goal is to provide programs in the residence halls," said Fegley. "That gives us the majority of our first-year students, and that is the majority of our high-risk students."
Although on-campus students are the primary focus, Fegley said off-campus students are not excluded and are encouraged to attend these events as well.
Junior Sarah Mess, who lives on campus in the Townhomes, is a peer mentor and was able to take advantage of the late-night program "So You Think You Can Jam" on Sept. 11 to get her freshman students involved.
"We had to attend campus events, so it was great," said Mess.
The night included competitions in "Kan Jam," "Rockband," and billiards.
"The people there were very active and helpful, and you could definitely keep occupied," said junior Elisabeth Conger, who also attended the event.
Other institutions receiving the grant included The University of Minnesota, The College of William and Mary, and The University of Arizona.
Fegley said Brockport hopes to lead the way in reducing alcohol-related incidents, and share their successful techniques with other colleges. For more information regarding the grant, visit the USDE Web site at www.ed.gov.