TWO NEW YORK UNIVERSITIES LAUNCH NEW PROGRAMS TO COMBAT ALCOHOL ABUSE WITH GRANTS FROM DISTILLED SPIRITS INDUSTRY
October 16, 2002 12:00 pm
— SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence University receive $20,000 grants —
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 16, 2002 – The State University of New York at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam) and St. Lawrence University each received a $20,000 grant from the Distilled Spirits Council and state liquor wholesalers to implement alcohol abuse programs on their campuses. “We appreciate the Distilled Spirits Council’s support of our proactive educational outreach to students about the use and abuse of alcohol,” said Dr. John Fallon, President of SUNY Potsdam. “The grant will allow SUNY Potsdam to gauge student attitudes about alcohol and to modify their attitudes and behavior” Dr. Fallon stated that the grant from the distillers’ national trade organization and three New York wholesalers — Charmers Industries, Inc., Peerless Importers, Inc. and Premier Wine & Spirits — will assist the University in launching a new feedback intervention program for all full-time students. Under SUNY’s program, students who participate in the program will be given anonymous individual feedback which will compare their behavior to the student norm and will identify harmful or risky behaviors. They will also receive information on how to reduce risky behaviors. Six weeks following the intervention, students will be resurveyed to assess any changes in behavior. St. Lawrence University plans to use the grant to implement a new peer educator program that also focuses on brief alcohol screening and intervention. This program is designed to provide personalized feedback regarding alcohol consumption of sub-groups of college students such as freshman, athletic teams, sororities and fraternities and other interested groups. “This timely and thoughtful grant from the Distilled Spirits Council has helped support a research-based responsible drinking initiative at St. Lawrence, a consequence of which has been a steady reduction of high-risk drinking by our students. It’s a forward-thinking thing they have done, for which we are deeply grateful,” said Dr. Daniel Sullivan, President of St. Lawrence University. Dr. Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council and former Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth, commended the universities for working with its surrounding community to collectively address alcohol abuse. “The key to effectively addressing this issue is maintaining an open dialogue between the academic institution, the local community and surrounding beverage alcohol businesses,” said Dr. Cressy. “Working together is the best solution. We all have a stake in ensuring that our campuses and surrounding communities are safe.” SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence University became aware of the Distilled Spirits Council’s matching grant program after participating in “The American Campus and Alcohol” conference, a national conference convened in Washington D.C. in October 2000 by the Distilled Spirits Council and five universities. Thirty-four universities attended the national conference with their campus-community teams to develop individual sustainable plans to combat alcohol abuse. Following the conference, SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence University applied for matching grants from the Distilled Spirits Council to fund the alcohol abuse prevention plan they developed at the conference. To date, the Distilled Spirits Council has awarded matching grants totaling $300,000 to 17 universities across the country. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States. Members include Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine North America, Bacardi U.S.A., Barton Incorporated, A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Brown-Forman Corporation, Diageo, Future Brands LCC, McCormick Distilling Co., Inc., Pernod Ricard USA, Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc., Suntory International Corp. and Todhunter International Inc.