Alcohol & Other Drug Prevention (AOD)
President's AOD Advisory Committee
Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Prevention Program
(Final Report August 1, 2006 – Presidential Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention)
Ramapo College of New Jersey is committed to providing a safe, healthy learning environment for all its members and to reducing the harm associated with alcohol and other drug use by students, faculty and staff. We believe that all members of the College community have a responsibility to encourage and support appropriate norms regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs.
The abuse and the illicit use of alcohol and other drugs interfere with the mission of the College by exacting a significant cost through its interference in academic achievement, and the associated violence, vandalism, accidents, injuries, and health related problems. It also interferes with the academic pursuits and work performance of the majority who do not abuse alcohol or use illicit drugs, and can lead to conflict, legal problems and an unsafe environment.
The President’s Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Task Force was established as a campus-wide committee to review and recommend policies regarding the above matters. Its mission and responsibilities include the following:
- Clear institutional statement regarding policy and standards.
- Develop coalition building and advocacy among campus and community groups.
- Monitor campus conditions, evaluate prevention efforts and support and participate in grant projects.
- Prepare biennial review of prevention program as required by Federal law.
- Help maintain prevention as a priority concern on the Ramapo College agenda.
- Review enforcement of policy sanctions.
- Make recommendations about alcohol-related policies and procedures.
- Provide an annual written narrative report about AOD prevention efforts including annual survey and data collection.
Ramapo’s AOD prevention efforts utilize the components of Environmental Management (DeJong, Vince-Whitman, Colthurst, Cretella, Gilbreath, Rosati, and Zweig, 1998) and the 3-in1 Framework supported by the National Institute on Alcohol, Abuse, and Alcoholism (NIAAA) final report, A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges
The social ecological framework of alcohol and other drug prevention is a commonly used public health model that recognizes that alcohol and other drug use behaviors are influenced by multiple factors that include the individual, peers, institutional and community factors, and public policy. It is important to address the physical, social, economic and legal environment in which students make decision around alcohol consumption. To be effective, these factors must be addressed through institutional, community and public policy change. This is what is meant by environmental management (DeJong and Langford, 2002 and The U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention).
In order for any AOD prevention program to be effective it needs to be comprehensive in nature and focus on not only individual students who are at risk for alcohol and other drug problems (1) but also the student body as a whole (2) and the College and surrounding community (3). The 3-in-1 Framework, presented in the National Institute on Alcohol, Abuse, and Alcoholism (NIAAA) final report A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges, suggests simultaneous focus on each of the three primary audiences.
In trying to determine what prevention strategies work with reducing alcohol and other drug problems on college campuses, the research highly supports that evidence-based prevention strategies be used to guide AOD prevention efforts. The NIAAA report groups prevention strategies into 4 tiers of effectiveness.
Tier 1: Evidence of effectiveness among college students: Tier 1 strategies have strong research evidence to support effectiveness among college students.
- Combining cognitive-behavioral skills with norms clarification and motivational enhancement interventions
- Offering brief motivational enhancement interventions
- Challenging alcohol expectancies
Tier 2: Evidence of success with general populations: Tier 2 strategies have been successful with other populations, although they have not yet been comprehensively evaluated with college students. These environmental strategies are not guaranteed to alter college student’s behavior, but they can help change those aspects of the campus and community culture that support excessive and underage alcohol use.
- Increased enforcement of minimum drinking age laws
- Implementation, increased publicity, and enforcement of other laws to reduce alcohol impaired driving
- Restrictions on density of retail alcohol outlets
- Increased price and excise taxes on alcoholic beverages
- Responsible beverage service policies (social and commercial settings)
Tier 3: Evidence of logical and theoretical promise: Tier 3 strategies make intuitive sense or have strong theoretical support, but more research is still needed to show effectiveness.
- Reinstating Friday classes and exams and Saturday morning classes
- Implementing alcohol-free, expanded late-night student activities
- Employing older, salaried resident assistants or hiring adults
- Controlling or eliminating alcohol at sports events and prohibiting tailgating
- Refusing sponsorship gifts from the alcohol industry
- Banning alcohol on campus, even at faculty and alumni events
- Increasing enforcement at campus-based events that serve alcohol
- Increasing publicity about enforcement of underage drinking laws
- Consistently enforcing disciplinary actions associated with policy violations
- Conducting marketing campaigns to correct student misperceptions of alcohol use
- Providing “safe rides” programs
- Regulating “happy hours” and sales
- Informing new students and their parents about alcohol policies and penalties before arrival and during orientation
Tier 4: Evidence of ineffectiveness: Tier 4 strategies do not have research to support, or they have the opposite effect. It is worth noting that some interventions may be ineffective when used in isolation, but might make an important contribution as part of a multifaceted integrated set of strategies.
- Informational, knowledge-based, or values clarification interventions about alcohol and the problems related to its excessive use (when used alone)
- Providing blood alcohol concentration (BAC) feedback to students who are drinking
NIAAA highly recommends that campus practitioners strongly use those strategies listed in Tiers 1 and 2.
It is important to note that Tier 1 strategies can typically only be implemented when working on an individual basis with students and thus are difficult to implement on a large scale level. Tier 2 and 3 strategies are implemented to address issues with the larger student body as well as the environment and surrounding community. Tier 4 strategies, which include informational and educational programs, are the most commonly used techniques in college AOD prevention programs need to be used as part of a comprehensive plan which is how they are used at Ramapo.
Ramapo College’s AOD Prevention Program consists of the following individual and environmental strategies:
* The President’s Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Advisory Committee was officially created in 2000 (the original name of the committee was the Presidential Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force) and continues to meet, on average, twice a semester to carry out its mission. See Appendix A for a list of current members.
* Utilizing the 3-in-1 framework individuals at risk for AOD issues are able to receive counseling through the College’s Counseling Services department. In addition, most students who receive an alcohol or drug violation through the College’s judicial system receive an AOD assessment. The AOD assessment program, Checkpoint, has multiple intervention levels that range from an on-line assessment (called Innerview) to an in-person assessment with the Coordinator of Alcohol and/other Drug and Violence Prevention. The assessment and intervention services (Checkpoint and AOD counseling) consist of the following Tier 1 Strategies:
- On-line AOD assessments with personal feedback (combining cognitive-behavioral skills with norms clarification and motivational enhancement interventions)
- Offering brief motivational enhancement interventions
- Challenging alcohol expectancies
* The following alcohol and/other drug educational programs are conducted:
- Peer facilitated first-year student AOD educational program (CHOICES)
- AOD personal development workshop for first year students
- Athletic Team AOD educational training
- Fraternity/Sorority AOD educational training
- Residence Life staff AOD educational training
Although the above listed educational programs are technically classified as Tier 4 approaches, an attempt is made to incorporate Tier 1 components into these presentations such as combining cognitive-behavioral skills with norms clarification and motivational enhancement interventions. In addition, these programs are not used in isolation but rather as part of the College’s comprehensive AOD prevention plan.
* Problems related to alcohol that affect the student body as a whole and the College and surrounding community are most effectively mitigated by utilizing numerous environmental management strategies which are listed below (DeJong & Langford, 2002). The following strategies are classified as Tier 2 and Tier 3 according to NIAAA.
Problem: Many students, especially at residential colleges, have few adult responsibilities and a great deal of unstructured free time, and there are too few social and recreational options.
Strategic Objective: Offer and promote social, recreational, extracurricular, and public service options that do not include alcohol and other drugs.
How does your campus provide an environment with alcohol-free options? Please check all that apply:
_X_ Alcohol-free events and activities are created and promoted.
_X_ Student service learning or volunteer opportunities are created, publicized, and promoted.
_X_ Community service work is required as part of the academic curriculum.
_X_ The campus offers a student center, recreation center, coffeehouse, or other alcohol-free settings.
_X_ The student center, fitness center, or other alcohol-free settings have expanded hours.
_X_ Nonalcoholic beverages are promoted at events.
___ Does not promote alcohol-free options.
New Initiatives for Fall 2010:
1. After Dark Grant Program
Problem: Many people accept drinking and other drug use as a “normal” part of the college experience.
Strategic Objective:Create a social, academic and residential environment that supports health-promoting norms.
How does your campus create a social, academic, and residential environment that supports health-promoting norms? Please check all that apply:
__ College admissions procedures promote a healthy environment.
_X_ The academic schedule offers core classes on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
_X_ Exams/projects increasingly require class attendance and academic responsibility.
_X_ Substance-free residence options are available.
_X_ The campus encourages an increase in academic standards.
_X_ Faculty and staff are educated about behavioral indicators, student norms, and cultural attitudes related to high-risk or illegal alcohol use.
_X_ Faculty and staff are educated about behavioral indicators, student norms, and cultural attitudes related to illicit drug use.
_X_ Faculty are encouraged to engage in a higher level of contact with students.
_X_ Students are educated about misperceptions of drinking norms.
_X_ Student leadership (e.g., orientation leaders, resident assistants, fraternity and sorority members, athletes, student organizations) promotes positive, healthy norms.
_X_ Students have opportunities to advise and mentor peers.
_X_ Pro-health messages are publicized through campus and community media channels.
__ Does not promote a normative environment.
New Initiatives for Fall 2010:
1. Expand marketing campaign to correct students’ misperceptions of alcohol use
Problem: Alcohol is abundantly available to students and is inexpensive.
Strategic Objective: Limit alcohol availability both on and off campus.
How does your AOD prevention program limit alcohol availability? Please check all that apply:
_X_ Alcohol is banned or restricted on campus.
_X_ Alcohol use is prohibited in public places.
_X_ Delivery or use of kegs or other common containers is prohibited on campus.
_X_ Alcohol servers are required to be registered and trained.
__ Server training programs are mandatory.
__ Guidelines for off-campus parties are disseminated.
__ The number and concentration of alcohol outlets near campus are regulated.
__ The costs of beer and liquor licenses are raised.
__ The days or hours of alcohol sales are limited.
_ The container size of alcoholic beverages is reduced.
__ Alcohol is regulated by quantity per sale.
__ Keg registration is required.
__ State alcohol taxes are increased.
__ Does not limit alcohol availability.
New Initiatives for Fall 2010:
Marketing and Promotion of Alcohol
Problem: Bars, restaurants, and liquor stores use aggressive promotions to target underage and other college drinkers.
Strategic Objective: Restrict marketing and promotion of alcoholic beverages both on and off campus.
How does your AOD prevention program limit marketing and promotion of alcohol on and off campus? Please check all that apply:
_X_ Alcohol advertising on campus is banned or limited.
_X_ Alcohol industry sponsorship for on-campus events is banned or limited.
__ Content of party or event announcement is limited.
_X_ Alcohol advertising in the vicinity of campus is banned or limited.
_X Alcohol promotions with special appeal to underage drinkers is banned or limited.
_X_ Alcohol promotions that show drinking in high-risk contexts is banned or limited.
__ Pro-health messages that counterbalance alcohol advertising are required.
__ Cooperative agreements are endorsed to institute a minimum price for alcoholic drinks.
__ Cooperative agreements are endorsed to limit special drink promotions.
__ “Happy hours” is eliminated from bars in the area.
_X_ The sale of shot glasses, beer mugs, and wine glasses at campus bookstores is banned.
__ Does not restrict marketing and promotion of alcohol.
New Initiatives for Fall 2010:
Policy Development and Enforcement
Problem: Campus policies and local, state and federal laws are not enforced consistently.
Strategic Objective: Develop and enforce campus policies, and local, state and federal laws.
How does your AOD prevention program develop and enforce AOD policies on and off campus? Please check all that apply:
_X_ On-campus functions must be registered.
_X_ ID checks at on-campus functions are enforced.
__ Undercover operations are used at campus pubs and on-campus functions.
_X_ Patrols observe on-campus parties.
__ Patrols observe off-campus parties.
_X_ Disciplinary sanctions for violation of campus AOD policies are increased.
__ Criminal prosecution of students for alcohol-related offenses is increased.
__ Driver’s licensing procedures and formats are changed.
_X_ Driver’s license penalties for minors violating alcohol laws are enforced.
_X_ Sellers/servers are educated about potential legal liability.
_X_ ID checks at off-campus bars and liquor stores are enforced.
_X_ Penalties for sale of liquor to minors are enforced.
_X_ Laws against buying alcohol for minors are enforced.
_X_ Penalties for possessing fake IDs are enforced.
_X_ Undercover operations are used at retail alcohol outlets.
_X_ DUI laws are enforced.
__ Roadblocks are implemented.
_X_ Open house assemblies are restricted.
_X_ Dram shop laws that apply legal action for serving intoxicated drinkers or minors are established.
__ Does not develop or enforce AOD policies.
New Initiatives for Fall 2010:
1. Resident and Community Assistants (RA/CA) will be involved in assisting with enforcement of College AOD Policies during the overnight hours.
Statement of the Problem:
Too many students are engaging in high risk drinking. High risk drinking is defined as “any time the health, well-being, or safety of the individual drinking or others is compromised or when community standards are compromised” (reference Alcohol Coalition Committee Strategic Plan, Princeton University). Examples of high risk drinking include, but are not limited to, binge drinking, drinking too much, too quickly, or too fast and illegal drinking, which includes underage drinking and drinking and driving.
The following statistics from student surveys as well as statistics on AOD violations at Ramapo lend credence to the statement of the problem.
Ramapo College participated in the ACHA-NCHA during the spring 2009 semester. Statistical data was obtained from 645 students who completed an anonymous on-line survey. The data reveals that 36.9% of the students surveyed engage in high risk drinking (defined as consuming 5 or more drinks the last time a student “partied” or socialized).
Ramapo College also surveys its residential students using the ACUHO-I. Statistical data from the 2009-2010 ACUHO-I study, which was completed by over 1800 students, reveals that 27% of residential students reported consuming on average 5 or more drinks per event. Combining these statistics it can be stated with relative certainty that approximately one-quarter to one-third of Ramapo students are engaging in high risk drinking.
According to the ACHA-NCHA data, the following chart provides data on how frequently over a two week period students are consuming 5 or more drinks of alcohol at a sitting.
Over the last 2 weeks, how many times have you had 5 or more drinks of alcohol in one sitting?
- N/A Don’t Drink: 16.60 %
- None: 46.30 %
- 1 Time: 13.70 %
- 2 Times: 7.60 %
- 3 or More Times: 15.80 %
The following charts provide additional data from the ACUHO-I survey which report the frequency with which residential students engage in pre-gaming and how much alcohol they consume during this time period.
Over the past 30 days how often have you participated in pre-gaming, which is defined as the practice of drinking alcohol in a private setting prior to attending an organized event/social activity where alcohol may or may not be served?
3 – 5 Times
6 – 9 Times
10 or More Times
% of Total
If you engage in pre-gaming how many drinks do you usually have during that time period? If you don’t pre-game, mark the last response.
1 – 2 Drinks
2 – 4 Drinks
4 – 6 Drinks
6 or More Drinks
I Do Not Engage in Pre-Gaming
% of Total
It is not uncommon for students to misperceive the rate at which their peers are consuming alcohol. Providing students with accurate information about drinking rates can help contribute to a healthy normative environment for students and dispel the myth that drinking is a normal part of the college experience. Data from the ACHA-NCHA survey questioned students about their perceived use of alcohol among students at their school in ranges of days over the past 30, as well as actual consumption of alcohol within these time ranges. Ramapo students believe that 21.4% of students used alcohol on a daily basis over the past 30-days. However, only 0.9% reported daily use. Ramapo students believed that only 1.9% of students never used alcohol when the actual amount on non-use was 14%. Ramapo students perceived a higher percentage (52.3%) of students on campus who drank alcohol 10-29 days in the past 30 than those students reporting actual use (16.7%). Examining this data suggests that our student underestimate the amount of students who don’t drink and overestimate the amount of alcohol that students do consume.
The ACUHO-I survey provides a national reference group which consists of 282 colleges and universities with which Ramapo can compare its data. Statistics indicate that approximately 28-29% of our residential students indicate that they do not consume alcohol. This is good news. However, this falls below the reference group average of 40% of students who indicate that they do not consume alcohol.. This indicates that other colleges and universities have a higher percentage of students who abstain from using alcohol. In addition, the data from the ACUHO-I survey indicates that our students drink more alcohol per event and more frequency than students in the national reference group.
Alcohol and/other Drug Violations: 2009-2010 (7/1/09-6/30/10)
Public Safety Statistics:
Liquor Law Violations (Violations of the NJ State Laws) 222
College Alcohol Policy Violations 61
Drug Law Violations 20
Breakdown of AOD Incidents by 24-hour time periods:
S – M
M – T
T – W
W – T
T – F
F – S
S – S
The violations listed in the Public Safety statistics reflect the number of incidents. These statistics do not reflect the actual number of students involved in each violation. Individuals receiving AOD violations are reflected in the Office of Student Conduct stats listed below.
Office of Student Conduct Statistics:
ALCOHOL/OTHER DRUG OFFENSES
Alcohol Related Offenses Charged…………………….794
Found responsible for Alcohol Related Offenses….…..565
Drug Related Offenses Charged………………………..26
Found responsible for Drug Related Offenses…….……12
6 drug related cases are pending Fall ’10 semester.
5 cases are pending a return to the College.
Innerview Referrals Completed…………………364
Checkpoint Referrals Completed………………..99
Alcohol Assessment Referrals Completed………28
Drug Assessment Referrals Completed………….7
Sub. Abuse Assessment Referrals Complete…….4
Loss of Wet Housing……………………………..7
EMS transports to the Emergency Room for AOD Issues
2007-08 Academic Year
Fall 2007 = 22
Spring 2008 = 17
2008-09 Academic Year
Fall 2008 = 17
Spring 2009 = 12
2009-10 Academic Year
Fall 2009 = 22
Spring 2010 = 16
AOD Program Goals:
1. Educate students on the harm associated with the abuse and the illicit use of alcohol and other drugs and provide students with knowledge and tools to make healthy decisions about their use of alcohol and other drugs.
2. Reduce harmful consequences of high risk drinking by continuing to use and expand Tier 1 strategies when conducting individual AOD interventions with students and by utilizing environmental management strategies.
3. Compile statistics on drinking rates of Ramapo College students and compare with national averages. Participate in a national study (e.g., American College Health Association (ACHA) -National College Health Assessment (NCHA) every two years.
4. Continue to compile statistics on AOD Violations and referrals to Checkpoint.
Achievement of goals will be measured using the following objectives:
Objective 1: The number of students transported to the hospital for alcohol-related emergencies, as measured by number of EMS transport to the emergency room, will decrease.
Objective 2: The number of individuals involved in alcohol-related incidents, as measured by Public Safety and the Office of Student Conduct statistics will decrease.
Objective 3: The number of events and participation from students in alcohol-free social activities on nights and weekends, as measured by number of social activities offered and attendance at programs will increase.
Objective 4: The percentage of students who misperceive the frequency in which students consume alcohol, as measured by responses to student surveys, will decrease.
Objective 5: The number of students referred to the Checkpoint program from the Office of Student Conduct will decrease.
Objective 6: Drinking rates as measured by students surveys such as the ACHA-NCHA and ACUHO-I will decrease.
Important Note: Due to increased enforcement of alcohol and drug policies (i.e., change in RA/CA model to include overnight duty) it is fully expected that there will be an increase in reported alcohol and drug incidents and judicial sanctions for the upcoming 2010-2011 academic year. This however should not be interpreted as a negative. It is anticipated that through the current and new initiatives being proposed the rate of AOD incidents will decrease over a 5 year period. It is anticipated that by 2015 AOD incidents will decrease by 5%.
The President’s AOD Advisory Committee met six (6) times during this time period:
October 1, 2008
November 5, 2008
February 11, 2009
April 22, 2009
September 16, 2009
April 29, 2010
Highlights and Accomplishments:
- Fall 2008 New Chair appointed to President’s Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Advisory Committee (previous Chair retired).
- Fall 2008 the three previous subcommittees were disbanded and the efforts refocused on three new committees: Good Samaritan Policy, Pre-gaming, and Limiting alcohol availability on campus.
- Fall 2008 the Good Samaritan Policy went into effect. A large scale marketing and advertising campaign was conducted throughout this academic year informing the College of this new policy. By the end of the Spring 2009 semester this sub-committee indicated that it had accomplished its goals.
- Fall 2008 a local bar owner joined the President’s AOD Advisory Committee and after listening to the College’s concerns about the size of alcoholic drinks he was serving agreed to reduce the size.
- January 2009 modifications were made to Checkpoint program which included implementing an on-line assessment component.
- April 2009 Committee to limit alcohol on campus – An informal survey of campuses in New Jersey was conducted to inquire as to how this issue is handled. Ramapo College and New Jersey City University are the only colleges in New Jersey that do not employ police. On other campuses underage drinkers are routinely arrested. With Ramapo’s situation it would be extremely difficult to limit alcohol in any real fashion as Public Safety is already stretched thin and cannot respond to all calls at all times and would have difficulty enforcing this policy. Ramapo’s RA’s and CA’s are not on-duty during the evenings to assist in managing alcohol violations. Many colleges give free room and board to attract students willing to serve as RAs/CAs. Last year there were 17 RA/CA vacancies. There is also the perception that students do not respect RAs/CAs as they know they do not have any authority. Students have begun to run away during incidents as they know they won’t be caught. A vote was taken to recommend that the role of Resident Assistants and Community Assistants be looked at again within the context of keeping students safe and assisting Public Safety with alcohol and drug related issues. This committee has not completed its work and needs to continue next year.
- Summer 2009 focus groups were held to discuss Pre-gaming.
- September 1, 2009 Counseling Services and the Center for Student Involvement co-sponsored the first LollaNoBooza Event (this event aimed at competing with the first night of partying on-campus). 300-400 students attended.
- Spring 2009 Health Services conducted the American College Health Association (ACHA) Survey to assess AOD, mental and physical health issues of our students. 645 students participated.
- February 2010 President Peter Mercer discussed his concerns about students’ alcohol use at the State of the College Address.
- Spring 2010 AOD Planning Group (see Appendix A) was created and appointed by President Peter P. Mercer to create a strategic plan which includes more formally defining AOD program goals, identifying the strategic initiatives needed to meet goals and evaluating AOD prevention efforts. The AOD Planning Group is comprised of members from the larger President’s AOD Advisory Committee. The AOD Planning Group will work to outline the prevention goals and provide direction and guidance to the larger President’s AOD Advisory committee.
- April 2010 the AOD Planning group participated in an on-line training through the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention entitled “Building Momentum for Creating Environmental Change”.
- April 2010 the President’s AOD Advisory Committee had a discussion and voted on recommendations regarding the College’s philosophy and policies related to alcohol at College-sponsored events. The intended goal was to make institutional changes about whether to continue to offer alcohol at College-sponsored events. The AOD Advisory Committee recognizes that following a comprehensive approach to AOD prevention needs to address individual students, who are at risk or alcohol-dependent drinkers; the student population as a whole; and the College and the surrounding community. Creating a unified College philosophy would help to support and strengthen AOD prevention efforts.
Voting results were:
- Discontinue alcohol at College-sponsored events where current students are the primary attendees (e.g., Octoberfest, Wine or Beer tasting).
- Discontinue alcohol at Senior Send-Off events.
- Discontinue alcohol at Alumni events that include current students in attendance (e.g., Greek reunion).
- Continue to offer alcohol at Alumni events that do not include current students.
- Discontinue alcohol at College-sponsored celebrations, openings etc. open to the public where students may be in attendance (e.g., gallery openings, Media Collision).
- Continue to offer alcohol at College-sponsored celebrations, openings etc. open to the public where students are not likely to be in attendance (e.g., retirement party).
- Continue to offer alcohol at College-sponsored events that are by invitation only and consist primarily of adults who are over 21 (e.g., Hall of Fame Dinner, Holiday parties, events at Havemeyer House).
- Summer 2010 After reviewing the voting results and consulting with the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Center for Student Involvement) and the AOD Planning group the Chair of the President’s AOD Advisory Committee convened meetings with key staff who could assist in implementing the recommendations from the Committee.
- Summer 2010 Numerous meetings were held with Unit Directors and the Associate Vice Presidents for Student Affairs and a decision was made to discontinue offering alcohol at Student Affairs sponsored events where students are the primary audience. This means that there will no longer be a beer tent at Octoberfest or during Greek Week. The recommendation to discontinue alcohol at Senior Send-off will be revisited during Fall 2010 President’s AOD Advisory Committee meetings as the AOD Planning Group realized that this question was not clearly written and there was some debate as to whether people were answering no alcohol at events on campus, no alcohol at events off-campus, or no alcohol at both on and off campus events.
- Summer 2010 A meeting was held with the Executive Director, Foundation/Vice President for Institutional Advancement (IA) to discuss the goals of the President’s AOD Advisory Committee and the recommendations that were made. It was agreed that Alumni Affairs would follow the recommendations of the President’s AOD Advisory Committee and discontinue serving alcohol at alumni events where both alumni and current students were in attendance. Alcohol would still be offered at alumni events that were strictly attended by alumni and not open to current students. Reviews of two College-sponsored events (i.e., Beer Tasting and Wine Tasting) that offer alcohol to students were discussed. The discussion revealed that these events serve as Senior Class fund raising activities and are intended to introduce soon-to-be alumni to giving. The outcome of this meeting was an agreement that these events would be reviewed with IA staff to determine attendance numbers and to brainstorm if other events that did not have alcohol could be created which would meet the goals of IA while also incorporating the recommendations from the President’s AOD Advisory Committee.
- Summer 2010 A meeting was held with Dean of Contemporary Arts, Director of Angelica & Russ Berrie Center, and Art Gallery Director to discuss AOD recommendations and review events that serve alcohol. Information was provided regarding the purpose of the Berrie Center which is partly to serve as a community theatre as well as to function to support the fundraising efforts of the College. Art Gallery Openings and Foundation dinners connected to the Performing Arts Series offer wine; however, there is a bartender present and identification is checked verifying that the patron is of legal drinking age. These events are marketed to an adult audience and to outside constituents. It was agreed that alcohol will be allowed at public events that are oriented to an adult audience, such as opening receptions for art gallery exhibitions and Foundation dinners, but will not be served at events where the primary audience is students, such as Media Collision and student art exhibits.
- July 2010 the AOD Planning group participated in an on-line training through the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention entitled “Developing a Strategic Plan for Campus Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention”.
- Summer 2010 The AOD Planning Group begins to create a strategic plan for AOD Prevention.
- Summer 2010 The Center for Health and Counseling Services hires a Graduate Assistant (GA) for AOD Prevention. The primary role of the GA for AOD Prevention will be to assist in the oversight of a new student-grant program entitled “After Dark Grant Program”, which is designed to create alcohol-free programs to be held on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evenings, which are the party nights on campus.
- Fall 2010 After Dark Grant Program at Ramapo was initiated. A large scale marketing and advertising campaign will be conducted.
- Fall 2010 Resident and Community Assistants will be involved in assisting with enforcement of College AOD Policies during the overnight hours.
So what’s the big picture at Ramapo with regard to alcohol use? Well, the good news is about 30% of our students indicate that they do not consume alcohol. Approximately one- quarter to one-third engage in high risk drinking behaviors and about 40% drink alcohol in the low to moderate range (defined as consuming 4 or less drinks the last time the student “partied” or socialized, ACHA-NCHA). AOD prevention efforts need to target the students in the high risk drinking category. Another problem area for our students is the rates at which they misperceive other students’ rates of consumption. This highlights the importance of changing students’ perception of the frequency and quantity with which Ramapo students use alcohol. Correcting these perceptions will help create a social, academic and residential environment that supports health-promoting norms.
The data from Public Safety highlights the importance of looking into adding additional Wednesday and Friday morning classes and adding more alcohol-free programming to combat Tuesday and Thursday party nights.
The AOD Advisory Committee is recommending the following strategies be evaluated for implementation in the next 1-5 years:
- Increase the number of Wednesday and Friday morning classes in order to combat Tuesday and Thursday party nights (Normative Environment).
- Prohibit bringing outside beverages (which may contain alcohol) into the Bradley Center during sporting events (Limiting alcohol availability).
- Eliminate alcohol at all events that target current students as the primary audience (Alcohol-Free Options).
- Limit the amount and/or type of alcohol students can have in the residence halls (Alcohol Availability).
- Explore the option of offering Recovery Housing and what resources (e.g., staff, financial, etc.) would be needed to create a vibrant program (Normative Environment).
- Require first-year students to complete AlcoholEdu which is an on-line alcohol prevention program (Normative Environment).
- Explore implementing stricter disciplinary sanctions for AOD violations (Policy Development and Enforcement).