- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 11, 2004

Two university presidents were recognized Wednesday for forging new policies aimed at curbing alcohol abuse on college campuses.

The Center for College Health and Safety honored David Roselle, president of the University of Delaware, who instituted the first policy in the United States to notify parents when students break campus drinking rules, and Robert Carothers, president of the University of Rhode Island, who banned alcohol from all social events on campus, including at fraternities and sororities.

“I commend President Carothers and President Roselle for having the courage to change campus culture and create an environment that is safer for all students,” center director William DeJong said.

In 1997, Mr. Roselle initiated a policy of sending letters to the parents of students who didn’t abide by the campus alcohol policy. This original initiative, the first of its kind nationwide, was the first of a wave of stronger law enforcement and alcohol policies at the school.

Since then, he has implemented a “three strikes and you’re out” suspension policy for alcohol violations and has prohibited fans from re-entering the stadium during football games.

The college teamed up with the city of Newark to curb alcohol-related incidents. As a result, the Newark City Council lowered the blood-alcohol level within city limits and restricted happy hours and times for discounted drink specials to between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

According to the Harvard University School of Public Health, the number of students who abstained from drinking at the University of Delaware has doubled since the alcohol policies were implemented.

At the University of Rhode Island, Mr. Carothers developed a “no-tolerance” policy toward violence and drug and alcohol abuse. In 1995, the president banned all campus social events with alcohol, and in 1999, fostered a similar program to the one at Delaware that notifies parents when a student violates the school’s drug or alcohol policies.

With 1,400 alcohol-related deaths annually, “student alcohol abuse is probably the most-significant social problem faced by higher education,” said Mark Goldman, associate director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism during a press conference on Wednesday.

“College presidents should take heart knowing that a majority of students share their concerns about campus safety. The bottom line is that today’s college students want something done about out-of-control drinking,” Mr. DeJong said.

Ninety percent of U.S. college students support the use of stricter disciplinary sanctions for students who engage in alcohol-related violence and 72 percent support them for students who repeatedly violate campus alcohol policies, according to a survey by the Center for College Health and Safety.

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