|February 28, 2005
Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or
CSUB will receive money to help launch a new program designed to reduce alcohol abuse and alcohol related misconduct by college students. It’s part of the $750,000 CSU Alcohol and Traffic Safety grant given to 10 CSU campuses. CSUB will receive nearly $43,000.
“We have been working since 2001 to increase awareness,” said LaShawn Barefield, CSUB counselor and chair of the alcohol and drug education committee. “Through our program we try to reduce underage drinking and offer alternatives to drinking.”
The CSU Alcohol and Traffic Safety (CSU ATS) program was funded as part of $74.2 million in traffic safety funds awarded last year to 277 California state departments and communities that are committed to improved traffic safety.
“This program works to change an environment from one where binge drinking is socially acceptable to one that encourages more responsible behavior,” said Sunne Wright McPeak, secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which administered the funds through the Office of Traffic Safety. “The end result will be increased awareness which translates into lives saved.”
Headquarters for the CSU program is at Fresno State, administered through the Division of Student Affairs. The 10 participating campuses are Bakersfield, Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Pomona, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Marcos, Sonoma, and Stanislaus.
The CSUB committee has already been working to develop outreach programs for students including the annual Oksoberfest event and participating in collegiate alcohol awareness programs. Barefield said in the fall the committee will be assessing the effects of alcohol on campus and try to implement a peer education class in the spring.
Specifically, the grant’s key goals are to reduce the incidence of driving after consuming alcohol by 18-25 year-old CSU students; and reduce alcohol-related misconduct by CSU students – both by 5 percent by Dec. 30, 2006.
The program’s objectives include:
- To improve and/or develop partnerships with law enforcement to accomplish goals such as increasing DUI checkpoints, and campus policy enforcement.
- To work with each campus to identify strategies to reduce availability and accessibility of alcohol, particularly to minors.
- To work with media throughout the state and at each campus to publicize the funding of the project, keep the public informed of its intent and progress, and to inform the general public about other alcohol related items and events.
Office of Traffic Safety data shows that fatalities in alcohol-involved collisions increased 8.3 percent – up from 1,308 in 2001 to 1,416 in 2002. Since 1998, California has experienced a 32 percent increase in persons killed in alcohol-involved collisions, according to the Office of Traffic Safety. However, in Office of Traffic Safety grant-funded cities, alcohol-involved fatal and injury collisions decreased 26.3 percent. In 2003, 1,445 people were killed and 31,337 injured in alcohol-related crashes in California – the fifth consecutive year of increases in alcohol-related fatalities after more than a decade of decline.
For more information about the program, please contact Barefield at (661) 664-3366.