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Contact: Justin Harmon (609) 258-5732
Date: September 15, 1999

Trustee Committee Issues Report on Alcohol Initiative

PRINCETON, N.J. -- In its July 1999 report on the trustee alcohol initiative, the Trustee Committee on Student Life, Health and Athletics summarizes proposals that have already been implemented or will be implemented during the fall of 1999 to address the problem of alcohol abuse on campus. The report emphasizes the importance of measuring patterns of alcohol abuse on a continuing basis, and it establishes a mechanism to allocate funds for efforts that require them.

The more than 70 new efforts described in the report are grouped under the rubrics of "education and communication," "campus culture and social climate," and "policy and enforcement." They are being undertaken by offices and groups including the residential colleges, the offices of the dean of the faculty and the dean of student life, the departments of Athletics and of Health Services, the offices of Religious Life and of Communications, the Undergraduate Student Government, the eating clubs, and the Alumni Council. The full text of the report is available on-line at

The Student Life, Health and Athletics Committee will "actively and closely" monitor progress on the various initiatives through the Office of the Dean of Student Life, according to the report. The committee proposes to do the following:

The report underlined the importance of maintaining the highest possible level of student engagement in the initiative. It also warned that the University community would have to be prepared to work on the problem of alcohol abuse indefinitely, since it is endemic to society. The report emphasized that the University needs to develop the means to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of new programs and activities.

The committee and the president agreed that funding should be set aside for new programs and proposals that will require additional financial support, according to the report. The dean of student life will convene and chair a small committee of students, faculty, and administrators who will receive funding proposals and will allocate these additional resources through an open, competitive grant process.

In the spring of 1998, the Trustees announced a Trustee Initiative on Alcohol Abuse, calling on the entire Princeton University community &emdash; students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, parents, and others &emdash; to join with the Trustees in developing a broad-based action plan to reduce alcohol abuse at Princeton. The initiative grew out of a year-long study of patterns of alcohol use and abuse at Princeton and elsewhere by a special subcommittee of the Student Life, Health and Athletics Committee, led by Dr. Marsha Levy-Warren. The primary purposes of the initiative were to focus the attention of the University community on alcohol abuse and to involve the entire community in addressing this concern.

The Trustees charged the Committee on Student Life, Health and Athletics with oversight of the initiative and, in particular, with development of an action plan. At the September and November 1998 board meetings, the Committee met with more than 20 groups and University departments to communicate with them about the initiative, to seek their support, and to request specific action plans from each group by December. The final report compiles these proposals.