To the Editor: I am very disappointed in The Daily Pennsylvanian's coverage of the release of the Year One Review of the Working Group on Alcohol Abuse Recommendations. The editorial and article in the September 14 issue do not accurately capture the extent of the commitment Penn has made to ensuring an environment that fosters the health and safety of our students. The report details numerous successful measures we have taken to increase late-night social options on campus, provide enhanced alcohol education opportunities to students and ensure responsibility and accountability of both individuals and student organizations. For those who have not had the opportunity to read the entire report as printed in the Almanac on September 12, allow me to cite some examples of the successful new initiatives: € More events were registered by undergraduate student organizations last year, as compared to 1998-99. € Thousands of students attended non-alcoholic events sponsored by the Office of Student Life and student organizations, such as the Tangible Change Committee. € An extensive student-led social marketing campaign to correct misperceptions of student drinking at Penn has been expanded to include weekly advertisements in the DP and large posters for college houses and academic and student support sites. € A Web-based alcohol and other drug survey conducted in February 2000 collected 3,504 undergraduate responses. Data from this survey reveal that 74 percent of Penn students have four or fewer drinks when they party and 67 percent of Penn students drink once a week or less. € Additional educational measures to include alcohol and other drug issues in the academic setting has been accomplished in a variety of ways, most notably through the Penn 101 freshman seminar and the Anthropology 216 course. € The Drug and Alcohol Resource Team peer program has a larger membership than ever before, currently providing 27 peers as student educators on alcohol and other drug issues. With respect to the criticism that the University's policy "does not best promote student safety," I would strongly disagree. From the beginning, student leaders who participated in the Working Group on Alcohol Abuse advocated policy measures that would demand accountability and responsibility of individuals and student organizations. The on-campus alcohol-related party registration system is neither cumbersome nor mired in red tape. One simple form to be filled out and signed is all that is requested. This form can be found online or at a variety of offices. In spring 1999, students on the WGAA maintained that the University cannot shy away from promoting a safer environment on campus for fear of how some individuals and student organizations may respond off campus. Individuals and student organizations that choose to rebuff the registration system are neither acting responsibly nor promoting the safety of students. We encourage all student organizations to hold registered parties on campus. We welcome the vibrant social life they bring and look forward to working with these organizations as partners in fostering a safe and healthy campus.
Stephanie Ives Alcohol Policy CoordinatorComments powered by Disqus
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