Ivy League Universities Unveil New Programs to Combat Drinking

This fall, seven of the eight Ivy League universities introduced new alcohol policies in an effort to combat high-risk drinking, the Yale Daily News reports.

The new policies at Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard emphasize educational programming over direct disciplinary approaches, the article notes.

“We are in a wave where many universities are trying to curb high-risk drinking,” Yale Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Affairs Melanie Boyd told the newspaper. “There is a lot of research that high-risk drinking has risen in recent years.”

Close to 40 percent of college students in the United States engage in binge drinking, and that number has remained virtually unchanged for decades. Almost 2,000 college students in the U.S. die each year from alcohol-related injuries. An estimated 600,000 students are injured while under the influence, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Administrators from Dartmouth launched the National College Health Improvement Project in 2010. This project includes 32 colleges and universities that are collecting data on the effectiveness of alcohol regulation policies on campus.

At Yale, all off-campus parties must now be registered with the Dean’s Office. Two new committees have been formed to address alcohol and drug use among students. Students at several Ivy League institutions said a number of new alcohol-related policies are aimed at fraternities and sororities. Dartmouth has instituted a ban on punch at parties held by fraternity and sorority houses, and conducts random walkthroughs at the houses by safety and security officers.

    User Picture

    Chudley Edward Werch, PhD

    January 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    It’s time for colleges to go beyond presenting the risks of excessive drinking and start illustrating the benefits of avoiding dangerous alcohol use in terms of achieving naturally motivating positive images and multiple behavior improvements. We must start giving college students regular opportunities to consider desired future images of themselves to motivate setting and monitoring multiple interrelated behavior goals for obtaining desired self-identities, improved health and personal growth.

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