March 17, 2003
UC, state agencies sign pact to target alcohol
By Deniene Erickson,
UC Office of the President
The University of California and Gov. Gray Davis's administration signed
a memorandum of understanding on March 13 aimed at preventing alcohol
abuse in UC campus communities.
"This partnership will build upon our existing prevention
and education programs, bringing the expertise of many agencies
to bear on a problem that can have a serious impact on the health
and academic success of a college student."
--UC President Richard C. Atkinson
Nationwide, an estimated 1,400 student deaths and 500,000 injuries
each year are related to alcohol, according to the National Institutes
of Health. The new memorandum of understanding provides a framework
within which UC and six state agencies will take an increasingly collaborative
approach to the prevention of alcohol abuse through joint programs and
data collection, among other initiatives.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) brings together UC and the state
Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Alcoholic Beverage Control,
Alcohol and Drug Programs, California Highway Patrol, Department of
Motor Vehicles, and Office of Traffic Safety.
"We are very pleased to be taking part in this collaboration with
the Davis administration," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson.
"This partnership will build upon our existing prevention and education
programs, bringing the expertise of many agencies to bear on a problem
that can have a serious impact on the health and academic success of
a college student."
"This is an important step in combating alcohol and drug abuses
among California's college students," said Business, Transportation
and Housing Secretary Maria Contreras-Sweet. "By coming together
and pooling our resources, we will be able to address the consequences
of alcohol abuse in a much stronger way."
The memorandum of understanding was signed by Atkinson, Contreras-Sweet
and state Alcohol and Drug Programs director Kathryn P. Jett in a ceremony
at UC Berkeley. The MOU states that UC and the above agencies will:
Work cooperatively to address the issue of campus and community
alcohol-related problems and to share resources, as appropriate.
Jointly collect data that will help identify the scope and nature
of the problems on the individual campuses, focus strategies, and address
the issue of student alcohol-related problems.
Share information on grant funding opportunities and submit joint
grant proposals, as appropriate.
Develop joint alcohol education, enforcement, training, and prevention
programs for campus and community members, working with the community
surrounding the campuses and with regional and statewide programs.
Meet at least once each calendar year to review the status, accomplishments
and future goals of the cooperative agreement.
"This MOU is an important collaborative effort," Jett said.
"It drives home the message that alcohol related problems on college
campuses are a serious issue that needs to be addressed as such."
The new initiative builds on a number of other UC programs aimed at
combating alcohol related problems on campus. Some of the UC systemwide
efforts include drug and alcohol-free dormitories, drug and alcohol-free
sororities, peer counseling, freshman education programs, and campus
sponsored designated-driver programs.
The memorandum of understanding is expected to make $500,000 in federal
money available to UC through a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety.
The grant will be split among the UC campuses to fund alcohol abuse
prevention programs and educational efforts in the campus communities.