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ama poll
AMOD Project Site: (University of Nebraska  and the City of Lincoln)

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

Lincoln (Neb.) – August 29, 2001 –  The co-chairs of the NU Directions program, Tom Casady and Jim Griesen, said they are able to relate to the worry expressed by most U.S. parents in a national poll about college drinking.
And it's not just because they've played a major role ion the work done in Lincoln to address the issue through NU Directions, the campus-community coalition with the goal of reducing high-risk drinking among students. Both Casady, chief of the Lincoln police department, and Griesen, vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, along with NU Directions project director Linda Major, have sons or daughters attending the university.
The poll, conducted for the American Medical Association, found that ninety-five percent of parents felt that excessive college drinking is a “serious threat” to college student health, and eighty-five percent believe that the easy availability of alcohol in college communities contributes to too much drinking.
"The three of us have a personal reminder of how important our work is," said Casady, whose daughter Kelley started her freshman year at the university this week. "We appreciate the feelings of the parents in the poll, because we're in the same boat."
For the UNL, however, that concern among parents has helped to foster a wide variety of solutions, from supporting the new digital driver's license in Nebraska to helping new students and parents communicate about the consequences of high-risk drinking.  Currently, two members of the UNL Parents Association, Theresa Schmidt and Ellen Williams, serve on the NU Directions coalition along with Casady, Griesen, and Major.  The coalition has forty members, including students, staff, faculty, parents, community leaders, prevention specialists, and members of the hospitality industry.
“I think high-risk drinking is a big concern among most parents,” said Teresa Schmidt, who has served on the coalition as the UNL Parents Association representative when NU Directions began in 1998.  
“The good news is that rather than worrying, we're doing something about it,” said Ellen Williams, who also serves on the coalition as a parent.  Williams has been involved in the coalition's work to reduce the heavy drinking at 21st birthday celebrations, a collaborative effort involving a UNL Marketing Department class and an ad-hoc committee of students, parents and Lincoln bar owners.
Major, whose daughter Katie is a sophomore at the university, noted that the NU Directions coalition works from a strategic plan involving 13 goals and 60 objectives, and that the coalition has seen encouraging preliminary results from their work.
“We are seeing a greater understanding both on campus and in the community that there is a shared responsibility for the problems of excessive drinking among students.  While we continue to help our students take more responsibility for their decisions and actions, we also want to ensure that the University and the city of Lincoln are environments that support making healthier choices,” she said.