Fourteen colleges and universities announced this week they have banded together to fight binge drinking. The institutions, including Dartmouth, Cornell, Duke, Boston University, Northwestern, Princeton and Stanford, plan to test and measure new strategies and share their results with other colleges.
The initiative, called the Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking, will begin meeting this summer. Dartmouth President, Jim Yong Kim, says he hopes at least 20 colleges will be a part of the collaborative by then, The Washington Post reports.
One of the participating institutions, Frostburg State University in Maryland, has long fought its reputation as a party school, the article notes. University President Jonathan Gibralter told the newspaper that the school starts its campaign against drinking even before students enroll. Prospective students at open houses are told that Frostburg is not a party school. That message pops up again at freshman orientation, as well as during an online alcohol education class for incoming students. Police break up off-campus parties and when students have an alcohol-related infraction, their parents are notified.
Gilbralter says that the anti-drinking effort is showing results. A 2009 survey of students found 43 percent said they participated in binge drinking in the previous two weeks, down from 59 percent in 1997. They reported drinking less overall and the university reports fewer students are getting into trouble for alcohol-related incidents more than once.