The Campus Coalition for
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention held its inaugural meeting in spring 2014 to begin expanding and advancing alcohol
prevention initiatives at the University of Delaware.
The coalition, co-chaired by Dawn Thompson, vice president for
Student Life, and Nancy Chase, director of Student Wellness and Health
Promotion, was charged by Provost Domenico Grasso with providing
visible, vocal and visionary leadership regarding student drinking and
the University’s position regarding it.
Acknowledging that there is no “silver bullet” or right answer for
resolving the issues of alcohol abuse and underage drinking on college
campuses, Grasso said that the goal of the coalition is to encourage
responsible drinking among students who can legally drink and to
minimize the risks of drinking for all UD students.
“The coalition is a campus-wide initiative engaging faculty, staff
and students from all corners of the UD community in the development of
practices that will help reduce the risks associated with alcohol and
other drug abuse,” Thompson said. “The formation of the coalition
reflects the institution’s commitment to the safety and success of our
Chase added, "The coalition will provide oversight to ensure that
institutional concerns about substance abuse are addressed in a
comprehensive manner and that University efforts are modeled after
evidence-based, promising practices within the discipline of college
Changing the culture
“According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
(NIAAA), having a functioning campus community coalition for substance
abuse prevention is a best practice in college alcohol and drug
prevention efforts,” said Chase.
NIAAA is one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the
National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIAAA supports and conducts
research on the impact of alcohol use on human health and well-being.
Through its work, the NIAAA Task Force developed a “3-in-1 Framework”
strategy showing that effective interventions need to occur
simultaneously at three distinct levels -- individual, student body and
community -- for optimal success.
“We would be remiss if we did not form a functioning coalition to
address our prevention efforts both on campus and in the greater Newark
community,” Chase said. “This group will eventually be expanded in
thoughtful ways to bring in key representation from our community
partners, so that efforts which will span the entire environment in
which our students live and our institution functions can be implemented
for their maximum preventative reach.”
Engaging in ongoing conversations
Goals of the coalition include familiarizing the campus community
with the factors associated with excessive drinking and identifying and
implementing environmental management strategies to address these
“One specific goal of the coalition will be to encourage more
attention to these issues by simply keeping campus stakeholders more
regularly informed about the issues which emerge as a result of
students' risky substance use, particularly drinking,” Chase said. “We
will be utilizing many means to keep campus stakeholders engaged in the
ongoing conversation about how we all can work together to shape a safer
and healthier campus environment for all our community members,
especially our students.”
The offices of the President and the Provost will be kept apprised of the coalition’s progress, Thompson said.
In 2011, Student Wellness and Health Promotion was awarded a
Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG) to
implement a community-based effort to prevent underage and binge
drinking among 12-25 years olds.
As a result of the funding, Student Wellness and Health Promotion
launched initiatives that support the six prevention strategies
established by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: information
dissemination, education, alternative activities, community based
processes, problem identification and referral, and environmental
The grant is part of a five-year cooperative agreement between the
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services-Center for Substance Abuse
Prevention and the Office of the Governor.
About the Division of Student Life
The Division of Student Life
supports the educational mission of the University through student
advocacy, innovative services and programs that promote student
learning, personal development and well-being, and academic success. The
division fosters inclusive communities, facilitates student engagement
and leadership development, and promotes responsible citizenship.
About Student Wellness and Health Promotion
Student Wellness and Health Promotion,
a department within the Division of Student Life, works to engage all
members of the University community in health promotion and prevention
strategies that empower students to develop skills and competencies that
support healthy choices and academic success as a foundation for