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Alcohol Coordinator Appointed

As part of its ongoing efforts to curb alcohol abuse on campus ["Gazetteer," May/June; "From College Hall," July/August], the University has appointed an alcohol coordinator to consolidate its various alcohol-related programs. She is Stephanie Ives, who recently coordinated a campaign at the University of Arizona to change students’ perceptions about alcohol on campus.
    Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, the vice provost for University life, called Ives "an extraordinarily talented health educator of national standing with terrific experience in efforts to help curb alcohol abuse among college students." Ives, who in 1996 earned a master’s degree from Arizona in higher-education administration, said she looked forward to building on the "splendid work already accomplished by the Working Group on Alcohol Abuse and by concerned students, faculty and staff."
    Over the summer, based on the working group’s recommendations, the University enacted some new alcohol-related guidelines, including a ban on hard liquor at all undergraduate registered events on campus; stopping alcohol distribution at registered parties at 1 a.m.; and providing counseling for students who commit alcohol-related violations. Penn is also increasing its non-alcoholic social options, among them a movie series, concerts and extended hours for Gimbel Gymnasium.
    One measure still being debated would involve notifying parents of students engaging in "frequent or serious" alcohol-related incidents, perhaps after the third such violation. (The Undergraduate Assembly passed a resolution last month stating that while it "wholeheartedly" supports the notion of "personal responsibility and a student’s right to privacy," it understands that the University "has a vested interest in protecting the health and safety of its students.")
    "Some students are concerned that if they’re caught holding a beer their parents will be notified," said Ives. "That’s not the case. I think Penn is being very responsible in consulting with its community to see how they feel about what steps can be taken. The law gives a fair amount of discretion to schools on this. Some are notifying parents immediately, on the first violation. Others are not notifying at all. I don’t think the community here feels that after the first serious violation, the parents should necessarily be notified."
    It’s already clear to her, she added, that the majority of Penn students are "low-risk users," and that notification "would affect a very, very small number" of them.

   
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Copyright 1999 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 10/26/99