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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
University Newswire
 
University Newswire
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Date: August 17, 2004
Contact: Amber Rach
Email: amber.rach@uncp.edu
Phone: 910.521.6863
Fax: 910.521.6694
 

By Scott Bigelow

Program to combat high-risk drinking begins at UNCP

Jennifer SmithA program to combat high-risk alcohol use at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is taking shape just as students begin returning to campus.

A coalition of University and community stakeholders met August 11 to develop strategies including education, alcohol-free social activities and law enforcement.

A broad-range of interest groups were represented from University departments, students, courts, public school, healthcare, business, community-based organizations and state, local and campus law enforcement agencies.

Entitled SPARC (Study to Prevent Alcohol Related Consequences), the program is funded by a $150,000, three-year grant at five universities in North Carolina by a National Institute of Health grant through the Wake Forest University's Bowman Gray School of Medicine. The universities - Duke, Western Carolina, UNC Greensboro, Appalachian State and UNCP - are a testing ground for the prevention program, which seeks to change the environment surrounding high-risk alcohol use by college students.

Jennifer Smith, who directs SPARC at UNCP, is pleased with the response from the community groups.
"I was really excited to see the balance between community and campus participants at this first meeting," Smith said. "It is very important that we gain input from diverse groups as we begin strategic planning."

Several programs are in the works, including undercover law enforcement checks for underage sales of alcoholic beverages.

"Representatives from the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) promised an undercover operation sometime during the school year," Smith said. "This is good news as businesses educate their employees about underage sales."

SPARC will bring the Save-a-life Tour to UNCP and locations in Lumberton and Fayetteville this fall, Smith said.

"This is a mobile drunk driving simulator that gives students of all ages an opportunity to get a first-hand experience of how alcohol impairs driving skills," Smith said. "It is a state-of-the-art driving simulation and very effective."

A 'social norms' campaign to demonstrate alcohol-free social activities is also in the planning stages.

"We are planning events at times that are considered prime for high-risk behaviors," Smith said. "During conversations with the committee we learned that the University already has good alcohol policies in place for student housing and student activities."

At the meeting were: Herbert Battle, N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement; Stan Carmical, Robeson County District Court Judge; Janice Oxendine, Larry Pittman, Carolina Manor Recovery Alternatives/Addiction Professionals of North Carolina; Robeson Healthcare Corporation; James Bell, N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs; Travis Bryant, Pembroke Police Chief; Darrell M. Goldsberry, Pembroke Food Lion; Wesley Revels, Prinicpal, Purnell Swett High School; Beverly Hall, American Indian Mothers; R.D. Locklear, Pembroke Chamber of Commerce and Herman Locklear, Public Schools of Robeson County.

From UNCP were: David Helton and Ed Locklear, Police; Lisa Schaeffer, Student Affairs; Lorna Ricotta, Alumni Relations; Linda Greaver, Healthy Start Program; Cora Bullard, Student Health Services; Shannon Wharry, Housing; Cynthia Redfearn, Housing and Residence Life; Michael Graham, student; Monica Osburn, Counseling and Testing; Sandy Stratil, College Opportunities Program; George Gressman, Counseling and Testing; Dan Kenney, Athletic Director; Preston Swiney, Dean of Students; Kevin C. Hunt, student and Jennifer Smith, SPARC Campus/Community Organizer.

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The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Updated: Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Copyright © 2001-2004 The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
University Newswire
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
Phone: 910.521.6863
Fax: 910.521.6694