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ama poll
AMOD Project Site: (Louisiana State University and the City of Baton Rouge)

New American Medical Association Poll Finds College Binge Drinking a Top Concern for Parents

LSU's Coalition for Change Working on the Problem Locally
BATON ROUGE —  Ninety-five percent of parents believe that binge drinking is a serious threat to their children and 85 percent say that easy access to alcohol contributes to too much drinking, according to a national survey conducted by the "A Matter of Degree" initiative of the American Medical Association.
Nationally, the number of frequent binge drinkers has increased, according to the survey. One in four students are frequent binge drinkers, which places them and their fellow students at risk for numerous alcohol-related harms, from common annoyances such as interrupted sleep and study time to more dangerous effects, including sexual assault and other violence. Each year, a number of college students die from binge drinking.
The survey will be released in full Wednesday, Aug. 29, during a 10 am. national telephone press conference held by the AMA. Since LSU is one of 10 universities in the nation participating in the AMA's program to reduce binge drinking, Louisiana media representatives will be able to participate in the conference call.
In addition to the poll findings, the chair-elect of the American Medical Association and representatives from the "A Matter Of Degree" partnership in Madison, Wis., will discuss their innovative efforts to reduce college binge drinking and its negative effects.
Recognizing that binge drinking is not solely a matter of individual responsibility, AMOD's 10 "town-gown" partnerships are part of a national pilot project designed to counter the many social influences that converge to encourage high-risk drinking, including cheap drink specials and other alcohol promotions, the high concentration of bars near campuses and lax enforcement of the legal drinking age.
For more information on the survey or the AMA, contact Lisa Erk, communications director for the AMA's "A. Matter of Degree" Program, at, 312-464-4532. For more information on participating in the conference call or on LSU's efforts to reduce binge drinking locally, contact Nancy Mathews, project director for LSU's Campus-Community Coalition for Change, at 225-578-5650.
Background: LSU Campus-Community Coalition For Change
The LSU Campus-Community Coalition for Change was formed upon receipt of the five-year "A Matter of Degree" grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1998. Its primary mission is to reduce high-risk drinking and the associated negative consequences by changing cultural norms, policies and practices within LSU and the community of Baton Rouge.
The coalition is comprised of more than 100 administrators, faculty members, students and community leaders who are working to implement a strategic plan to foster a healthier population and enhance the living and learning environment at LSU and in Baton Rouge.

Three task groups are implementing the strategic plan: Campus Policies, Community Policies and Student Initiatives. An executive board administers the overall plan of action. The task groups meet at least bi-weekly, and the entire coalition assembles quarterly. The program is staffed by a project director, a communications coordinator, an evaluation coordinator and student employees. The "A Matter of Degree" grants are administered by the American Medical Association and are evaluated by the Harvard School of Public Health.

LSU Environmental-Change Accomplishments: 2000-2001
Campus Policies and Practices 

Academic Calendar/Scheduling Policy: The Office of Academic Affairs established a new course-scheduling policy which resulted in a broader spectrum of classes offered in more time slots over an expanded academic week. The purpose of the policy change was 1) to meet enrollment and classroom needs and 2) to extend the class week to inhibit Thursday night partying and improve the learning community.

Football Stadium Enforcement Policy: The Athletic Department established and enforced new football stadium. alcohol policies resulting in fewer disruptions and arrests during the fall 2000 football season "No backpacks permitted; large bags searched; no beverage cups/containers permitted (except sealed water bottles); all entrance gates enforced equally."

Parental Notification Policy: The Dean of Students Office established a parental notification policy to become effective in fall 2001: Parents of incoming students under the age of 21 will be 1) notified of their child's alcohol/drug violations and 2) encouraged to discuss the implications.

Referral System for Troubled Students: A brochure, "How to Refer a Troubled Student," was developed and distributed to faculty and staff campus‑wide and lists 1) the steps for referring students exhibiting problematic behaviors and 2) sources of help on campus.

Intervention Program for Policy Violations: The Wellness Education Department developed and implemented the "TEAM" class for students referred by the offices of the Dean of Students and Residential Life for violating university alcohol policies. Further referrals for mental health counseling may result based on individual assessments,

Faculty Awareness: A brochure, "Faculty Can Influence Institutional Change Concerning Student Alcohol Use," was developed and distributed to all faculty and 1) explains the relationship between substance abuse and academic success and 2) highlights the faculty's role in reducing high-risk drinking among LSU students.

Faculty Incentive Grants: Two faculty units were selected through a competitive application process to receive "Faculty Incentive Grants" of $2,000 each for the infusion of alcohol environmental-change concepts into their curriculums.

Faculty Recognition Program: Faculty were nominated by graduating seniors to be recognized as members of the "Faculty Honor Roll" for their influential student/faculty involvement.

 Community Policies and Practices

Baton Rouge Hospitality Resource Panel: This alliance of business associations, government agencies and community organizations is dedicated to developing safer communities and healthier businesses through the promotion of responsible hospitality practices.  The panel is now developing its management structure and strategic plan.

Baton Rouge Student Housing Council: This alliance of apartment managers and prevention agencies has been established to promote safer and healthier off-campus living environments for college students. It is developing membership standards and benefits, a model lease agreement, strategies to reduce and prevent high risk drinking and a conflict intervention system.

Policy Advocacy regarding Drinking at Public Events: In 2000, the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council passed Resolution 392 designed to 1) establish alcohol-free family zones and 2) locate adequate non-alcoholic beverage stations contiguous to beer stations at all public parades, festivals and fairs. Policy advocacy packets were disseminated to local organizers of public events containing letters of support, assessment of legal risks and prevention strategies. The monitoring of public events and evaluation of the policy is planned.

Policy Advocacy concerning Alcohol-Licensees: Policy advocacy packets containing a letter and door stickers were mailed to all 900+ alcohol licensees within the Baton Rouge community to urge them to 1) enforce the legal drinking age law and 2) reduce price discounting advertising. Student Initiatives Student Initiatives: An alliance of individual students and student organizations/units has been established to encourage cultural change regarding high-risk drinking within existing peer groups. Organizations are publicly rewarded for establishing better social policies/practices and for improving the living and learning environment through community and campus involvement.  

Student Initiatives

Student Initiatives: An alliance of individual students and student organizations/units has been established to encourage cultural change regarding high-risk drinking within existing peer groups.  Organizations are publicly rewarded for establishing better social policies/practices and for improving the living and learning environment through community and campus involvement.

Chimes Street Clean-Up Project:  Students organized and implemented the third Chimes Street Clean-Up Project in a high-risk area bordering campus.  Students are planning a policy advocacy campaign to urge 1) businesses to comply with city ordinances and 2) governmental agencies to enforce city ordinances in that area. Long-term efforts are underway to attract more business prospects to the area.

Alternative Late-Night Campus Social Activities: A "Mini-Grant Program" was established for student organizations coupled with LSU departments to apply for funds to host alternative late-night social activities on campus. Seven student organizations implemented new late-night social activities during spring-summer 2001.

Social Norms Videotape: The Office of University Relations developed an MTV style video based on student testimonials regarding the second-hand effects of high-risk drinking. Targeted to potential and new students, the video is being used in freshman English classes (as a writing stimulus), residence halls, sororities and fraternities, student organization meetings, student leader training and recruiting events.

Promotion of the Campus Living-Learning Community: A student contest was established for the design of two posters to be distributed during fall 2001 titled "101 Things to Do Before You Leave ISO.'' The posters advocate specific substance‑free activities to enhance the living-learning community.

For more information, go to www.Isu.edu/cccc, call 225-578-5650, or e-mail cccc@lsu.edu