STONY BROOK, NY, October 5, 2012 – A team of students, faculty, staff and administration from Stony Brook University, joined similar teams from 31 other colleges and universities from across the country for three days in Washington D.C. this past summer, to learn from and share with one another about improving the health of their students by reducing harms associated with high-risk drinking.
|Stony Brook University’s NCHIP team (full caption below).|
During the three-day conference, Stony Brook University representatives led by Jenny Hwang, PhD, Director of University Counseling, presented their progress in harm reduction and helping students make safer choices regarding alcohol use. The team conducted a presentation for their peer schools on “Think Again,” a student-developed social norms campaign designed to inform the campus community of alcohol use on campus. Campus statistics show that students overestimate the percentage of their peers who are engaged in heavy or high-risk drinking.
Since 2011, Stony Brook University has been a member of the National College Health Improvement Project (NCHIP), a nationwide learning collaborative that seeks to combat high-risk drinking behavior on college campuses through data-driven, community-wide efforts involving several areas of the University. The goals are to increase effective education and prevention models, ensure enforcement of policies and laws, and early intervention for those at risk.
"We're seeing the impact of institutional commitment and thoughtful, systematic engagement of our students to help increase the health and safety of the campus community," said Dr. Hwang. "It's not about dumping information into students' heads - it's about engaging them in a process as critical thinkers around what matters to them and how health and wellness play a role in being able to stay close to their goals, aspirations and values."
The Washington D.C. session was the third face-to-face meeting of this unique “learning collaborative” led by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth College. Campus improvement teams participated in strategy-sharing sessions on the subjects of “pre-gaming,” off-campus parties and other high-risk behaviors. According to statistics from the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, these high-risk behaviors result in the death of approximately 1,800 college students across the nation each year and contribute to hundreds of thousands of injuries, sexual assaults and academic failures.
Since joining the collaborative, Stony Brook has seen several positive improvements in student health and safety across campus, including an increase in Red Watch Band membership, Stony Brook’s bystander intervention program, and increased help-seeking behavior by students. Please click here for more information on the Red Watch Band and the Center for Prevention and Outreach at Stony Brook University.
Caption: Stony Brook University’s National College Health Improvement Project (NCHIP) team (left to right, front row): Peter Baigent, Vice President for Student Affairs; Lara Hunter, Substance Abuse Counselor; Jenny Hwang, Director, University Counseling; (middle row) Amy Hammock, Asst. Professor of Preventive Medicine; James Fiore, Athletic Director; Smita Majumdar Das, Asst. Director, Center for Prevention and Outreach; Alison Kruger, graduate student; Ahmed Belazi, Program Evaluator, Center for Prevention and Outreach; (back row) Aleef Rahman, creator, Think Again and recent SBU graduate in Public Health; Charles Robbins, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges; Matilde Punnett, Director, Community Standards; and Quinn O’Brien, SBU undergraduate student.