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Old Dominion University was recently awarded a $7,000 college partnership grant from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), through a federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Phoebe Butler, health education coordinator for the Office of Student Health Services, authored the grant, which is modeled after the successful "Party Smart" campaign implemented at Ohio State University following off-campus disturbances in the spring of 2000. The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech were also awarded the college partnership grants.

"Underage drinking and abusive drinking are not only campus problems but also community problems," said Maureen Earley, ABC education manager. "The College Partnership grants provide colleges and universities the opportunity to collaborate with the community to address underage drinking as well as the many other issues associated with abusive drinking."

"The grant is to address off campus parties," said Butler. "We will be working with landlords and property owners to encourage them to include information in their leasing agreements to discourage off-campus parties. We will also educate owners, renters and organization advisers on their liability when students have parties. We are developing an environmental policy to encourage safer parties and will also continue to develop our partnership with bar owners to use the safe ride program and to not over serve."

Butler is working with the university's Alcohol and Drug Task Force, which includes members on and off campus to implement the "Party Smart" plan. They are consulting with student groups to develop a "Party Smart" kit, which will be available to students at various campus locations, including Student Health Services, and at alcohol distributors. The kit will contain a handbook on how to have a safer party, ODU and Virginia's alcohol policies, and recipes for nonalcoholic drinks and party foods. An ODU Party Smart Web site is being constructed. Ohio State's "Party Smart" Web site can be found at http://www.acs.ohio-state.edu/partysmart/index.php.

Butler and the task force will work with the community and students during the spring and summer and plan to have the kits ready in August before the first week of classes.

This article was posted on: March 10, 2003

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.