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And at the colleges, a crackdown

September 01, 2008|Shari Roan | Times Staff Writer

Even as some college administrators push for a lowered drinking age, many campuses have invoked new programs and policies to reduce drinking, including several new measures to take effect this fall.

At the University of Florida, the drinking policy has been revised to specifically prohibit some popular activities, such as the use of kegs and drinking games like beer pong or ice luges (in which liquor is consumed after it runs down a track in a giant block of ice).

Auburn University will notify parents if students younger than 21 are involved in an alcohol- or drug-related incident.

The University of Maryland recently pressured local bar owners to stop offering 25-cent drinks to students, and the University of Wisconsin in Madison purchased 10 $1,000 ID scanners and gave them to local liquor stores so they can identify underage students and prohibit sales to them.

More schools are also increasing the number of classes held on Friday (to prevent Thursday-night drinking), refusing alcohol-industry ads to support campus events and offering more alcohol-free activities and entertainment.

"Most schools are recognizing that the most promising practices address the environmental approach," says Shirley Haberman, chairwoman of the alcohol, tobacco and other drugs coalition for the American College Health Assn. "You're not addressing individual students with problems but are trying to tackle the entire environment students live in."

Clearly some colleges and university do better than others. The U.S. Department of Education released a report last month titled “Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention on College Campuses: Model Programs," which lists 30 colleges that have implemented anti-substance abuse programs to positively influence the campus culture. Loyola Marymount and San Diego State universities are the only two California schools on the list.

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