By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University has received a grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) for reducing and eliminating underage and dangerous drinking.
The $15,000 grant is part of the PLCB's 2011-12 Alcohol Education Grant program totaling more than $1 million awarded to 77 organizations throughout the state. Lewisburg Borough was awarded a similar grant.
"This grant supports our alcohol education initiative for first-year students," said Susan Lantz, dean of students at Bucknell.
"All students are required to complete the on-line course, 'AlcoholEdu,' before arriving on campus. 'AlcoholEdu' educates students regarding college-related high-risk drinking by motivating behavior change, discussing effects of alcohol and assisting students in making healthy and safe decisions.
"This grant connects nicely with two other initiatives," said Lantz. The NCAA CHOICES grant was given to Bucknell in April 2011, allowing students to create fun and exciting programs designed to provide healthy alternatives to drinking. This program was co-developed by the Department of Athletics and the Dean of Students Office.
Also in April 2011, the University joined Dartmouth College and 31 other institutions in the National College Health Improvement Program Collaborative on High Risk Drinking. "This unprecedented initiative is using comprehensive assessment techniques to identify and implement the most effective ways to tackle high-risk drinking on college campuses," Lantz said.
Funds for local organizations
"As a partner in the effort to prevent underage, binge and problematic drinking, we provide funds to local organizations committed to making a significant difference in their community," said Patrick J. Stapleton III, PLCB chairman. "At a time when public funds are stretched thinner than ever, we know these grant awards will go a long way towards improving the health and safety of communities across the commonwealth."
PLCB grants help fund prevention programs focused on underage and college-age alcohol consumption as well as law-enforcement activities. Since 1999, the PLCB has awarded more than $7 million in competitive grants to hundreds of community groups.
"Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among young people, according to a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control," said Jerry Waters Sr., director of the PLCB's Office of Regulatory Affairs. "We know underage drinking has a tremendous impact on youth, families and communities throughout Pennsylvania, and we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help children make better choices."
Of the grants awarded, 26 will help colleges and universities develop strategies to eliminate underage and dangerous alcohol use including enforcement efforts; social norms campaigns to change how students think about alcohol and binge drinking; Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS), a program to help those students who drink heavily make less risky alcohol use decisions; training activities; and college alcohol risk assessments of the campus and surrounding areas to identify alcohol-related issues.
The grants also will support a range of initiatives that include law-enforcement training, community and teen outreach and other education programs.
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