B.C. In Effort To Curb Student Drinking

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

Boston College has joined 23 other Boston-area colleges and universities in adopting a set of guidelines that will allow them to address the issue of underage drinking among college students in a uniform manner.

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, attended a Dec. 7 ceremony at Northeastern University, where college and university presidents signed the agreement. Dean for Student Development Robert Sherwood, Assistant Dean for Drug and Alcohol Education Kimberley Timpf and several BC students also were among those in attendance. Lindsay Hayes '98, who was active in combating substance abuse among her peers while a BC student, spoke at the event.

The agreement - the product of over a year's work among the deans of students and presidents at the various institutions that was led by the Boston Coalition - sets collective standards for dealing with underage and binge drinking among students. It is the most widespread effort of its kind in the country.

By signing on to the agreement, a wide variety of institutions - large and small, public and private - have agreed to take a number of steps, among them:

-Promote and increase alcohol-free programming for underage students.

-Prohibit commercial delivery of alcohol to first-year student residences.

-Hold students responsible for behavior both on and off campus.

-Impose university sanctions for the manufacture, sale, distribution or use of false ID cards.

-Involve students, parents and alumni in fostering a healthy campus.

.Continue to prohibit sponsorship of campus events by the alcohol industry.

-Increase cooperation between university public safety departments and local law enforcement agencies.

Each institution will adapt the guidelines to its campus, but Sherwood said nearly all of the measures are already in place at BC.

"This agreement is very much a reflection of what we're doing here," Sherwood said. "It looks at all aspects of the problem - underage drinking, binge drinking, false IDs, off-campus behavior, parental notification, and education.

"But this is a phenomenal collaboration on a very complicated issue. Until now, there hasn't been a lot of consistency and conformity among colleges and universities on this issue, and I am unaware of any similar effort among higher education institutions in any other city in the country.

"It's a nice message to be able to send to prospective students from across the country: If you come to college in Boston, you need to understand that colleges and universities here take this issue very seriously."

In addition to BC, the institutions which adopted the agreement are: Aquinas College, Bentley College, Berklee College of Music, Brandeis University, Bunker Hill Community College, Curry College, Emerson College, Emmanuel College, Harvard University, Lesley College, Massachusetts College of Art, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Regis College, Salem State College, Simmons College, Suffolk University, Tufts University, Urban College of Boston, Wellesley College, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Wheelock College.

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