SEPTEMBER 20, 2006

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OU honored as 'success story' by underage drinking enforcement center

The University of Oklahoma was honored recently by the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center as a “Success Story” for the University’s efforts and commitment to curb underage drinking. The honor was presented to OU at the UDETC’s 2006 National Leadership Conference, hosted in conjunction with the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association’s Annual Conference, in Baltimore to recognize the innovative partnership between the University and the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office to enforce underage drinking laws both on campus and in the community.

“I am very pleased that the University has received this national recognition for policies aimed at protecting the health and safety of our students,” said OU President David Boren. “It is a tragedy that almost 1,700 college students across the country last year died from alcohol related causes. OU’s progress would not have been possible without the contribution to this effort by student leaders and our student body as a whole. It is a tribute to the values and shared responsibility of our students.”

“This award is presented annually in an effort to provide national recognition of the work being done at the community level. The policy of the University of Oklahoma is certainly a success story,” said Johnetta Davis-Joyce, director of the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center, which helps to increase the effectiveness of states and local communities in their efforts to enforce underage drinking laws, prevent underage drinking, and eliminate the devastating consequences associated with alcohol use by underage youth. “We are very interested in knowing that the programs we fund are making a difference,” Davis-Joyce added.

This recognition and the success of OU’s Student Alcohol Policy, which was established in January 2005, are in large part due to the assistance of the Oklahoma State Highway Safety Office (OHSO). The OHSO contracted with OU to demonstrate their support for the university’s Student Alcohol Policy. The two-year contract provided for a full-time staff position, training and operational funds for consistent policy enforcement and adjudication of reported student alcohol violations.

OHSO provided funds to OU that were received as part of a federal initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Program directed exclusively toward preventing underage drinking.

OU’s Student Alcohol Policy requires that all fraternities, sororities and residence halls be dry. The comprehensive policy expanded alcohol education programs, implementing a mandatory online alcohol awareness tutorial for all new undergraduate students age 22 or younger and the presentation of alcohol education seminars to residents in university housing as well as Greek houses. In the last academic year, 100 percent of new students completed online alcohol training courses and 94 percent of new freshmen had in-person alcohol awareness training.

The policy also set forth stricter plans and procedures for social events hosted by student organizations. In addition, the university established a formal relationship with licensed alcohol counselors for immediate student referrals, developed an alcohol recovery program and implemented the popular SAFEride program, which provides free taxi service to students from local nightspots to their residences on weekends.

OHSO contact: Kaye Statton, 405.523.1570
UDETC contact: Johnetta Davis-Joyce, 877.335.1287
OU contact: Blake Rambo, 405.325.3916