Vol. 10, No. 1  August 1998

Campus Alcohol Problems: A Federal Response

Two initiatives aimed at reducing abusive drinking on college campuses recently passed in both the U.S. House and Senate as amendments to Higher Education Act (H.R. 6 and S. 1882) bills in each house. The initiatives, which differ slightly in their House and Senate versions, were introduced by Representative Joseph Kennedy, and by Senators Robert Byrd and Joseph Biden.

First introduced as resolutions in the House (Kennedy) and Senate (Biden), one amendment encourages campus administrators to establish a code of principles and practices to change the culture of alcohol and other drug consumption on college campuses. It calls on colleges and universities to (1) appoint a campus task force, (2) offer "dry" living alternatives, (3) enforce a policy of zero tolerance, (4) establish sanctions and counseling, and (5) limit the promotion and sponsorship of alcohol on campus, and initiate other programs.

The other amendment proposes a national recognition awards program to provide grants to select institutions of higher education for the planning, development, and implementation of innovative and effective alcohol prevention programs that can serve as models for nationwide efforts to change college drinking cultures. The two bills will go to a conference committee later this session, where we expect the Senate language of the amendments to be adopted.

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