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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday March 13, 2003
UC: Deniene Erickson (510) 987-0997
deniene.erickson@ucop.edu

UC, state agencies sign pact to target alcohol abuse

The University of California and Gov. Gray Davis' administration today (Mar. 13), signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at preventing alcohol abuse in UC campus communities.

Nationwide, an estimated 1,400 student deaths and 500,000 injuries each year are related to alcohol, according to the National Institutes of Health. The new memorandum of understanding provides a framework within which UC and six state agencies will take an increasingly collaborative approach to the prevention of alcohol abuse through joint programs and data collection, among other initiatives.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) brings together UC and the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Alcohol and Drug Programs, California Highway Patrol, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Office of Traffic Safety.

"We are very pleased to be taking part in this collaboration with the Davis administration," said UC President Richard C. Atkinson. "This partnership will build upon our existing prevention and education programs, bringing the expertise of many agencies to bear on a problem that can have a serious impact on the health and academic success of a college student."

"This is an important step in combating alcohol and drug abuses among California's college students," said Business, Transportation and Housing Secretary Maria Contreras-Sweet. "By coming together and pooling our resources, we will be able to address the consequences of alcohol abuse in a much stronger way."

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Atkinson, Contreras-Sweet and state Alcohol and Drug Programs director Kathryn P. Jett in a ceremony at UC Berkeley. The MOU states that UC and the above agencies will:

- Work cooperatively to address the issue of campus and community alcohol-related problems and to share resources, as appropriate.

- Jointly collect data that will help identify the scope and nature of the problems on the individual campuses, focus strategies, and address the issue of student alcohol-related problems.

- Share information on grant funding opportunities and submit joint grant proposals, as appropriate.

- Develop joint alcohol education, enforcement, training, and prevention programs for campus and community members, working with the community surrounding the campuses and with regional and statewide programs.

- Meet at least once each calendar year to review the status, accomplishments and future goals of the cooperative agreement.

"This MOU is an important collaborative effort," Jett said. "It drives home the message that alcohol related problems on college campuses are a serious issue that needs to be addressed as such."

The new initiative builds on a number of other UC programs aimed at combating alcohol related problems on campus. Some of the UC systemwide efforts include: drug and alcohol-free dormatories, drug and alcohol-free sororities, peer counseling, freshman education programs, and campus sponsored designated-driver programs.

The memorandum of understanding is expected to make $500,000 in federal money available to UC through a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety. The grant will be split among the UC campuses to fund alcohol abuse prevention programs and educational efforts in the campus communities.

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Office of Traffic Safety:
Janet Lane (916) 262-0980
vjlane@ots.ca.gov

Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Programs:
Les Johnson (916) 322-1654
ljohnson@adp.state.ca.us

 

 
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