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University seeks students’ help in reducing alcohol incidences

By : Sarah Lifshin

In an effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents and bet-ter educate students about the perils of drinking, Binghamton University has reached out to the campus to ask what can be done to battle an increasing problem.

Rodger Summers, vice president for student affairs, last week distributed a letter to students asking them for help and advice on how to decrease problems associated with alcohol use both on and off campus.

Summers said that since the beginning of the semester, he has received reports of alcohol-related sexual assaults, vandalism and property damage and alcohol-induced emergency hospitalizations.

“I’m concerned about those who put themselves and others in harm’s way because they underestimate the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption or illegal drug use,” Summers wrote. “This is a problem nationally, not just at Binghamton, and I need your help to address it.”

The University Community Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force was formed last year as part of a SUNY-wide initiative to combat alcohol and alcohol-related problems at each academic institution. The task force also recommends and oversees changes to existing programs and policies.

A number of campus-wide resources are available to help students, including the Counseling Center, Wellness Program and Health Services. Gerald Johansen, campus alcohol and other drug program coordinator, is also available to students.

Summers has asked students to provide imput on how to deal with problems — offering information from creating new initiatives for reducing risks associated with alcohol to stricter sanctions for violations of the alcohol policy.

Students are replying to Summer’s queries. To date, Summers had received more than 60 replies from students relating their own experiences and offering assistance.

“The University cares about you as an individual and as a member of an academic community built on excellence,” Summers noted. “We want you here to complete your degree and we would welcome your contributions as we address this very disturbing problem.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08