by Vincent Reda (December
UAlbany Wins Best PSA in State for Fighting Underage Drinking
The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) announced on Dec. 13 that a panel of judges has named the University at Albany the winner of its Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest aimed at combating underage drinking on New York's college campuses.
The University was chosen first among submissions from 12 colleges throughout the state, each of whom were awarded up to $25,000 by OASAS to develop a PSA for both their college and surrounding community on the subject "Underage Drinking: Not a Minor Problem — College Edition."
UAlbany will now work with Sawchuck Brown, a professional advertising and marketing firm, to professionalize the campaign and revise it for distribution by OASAS throughout the state. The final product will be unveiled at the Statewide College Conference in Albany on March 11.
In his 2006-07 Executive Budget, Governor George Pataki provided $2 million to expand OASAS' national, award-winning Underage Drinking: Not a Minor Problem campaign to college campuses. The new "college edition" targets the college population — students under 21, their parents, college faculty, staff and administration, law enforcement, and other community partners.
Contest judges, comprised of professionals in the fields of substance abuse prevention, media and public relations, weighed each submission based on overall presentation, effectiveness of message to the target audience, and overall creativity.
Frances Harding, OASAS associate commissioner of Prevention and Treatment Services, said, "I'd like to congratulate the University at Albany on this tremendous achievement on behalf of the field of prevention in New York State. As this campaign has evolved over the years, it has proven that when communities get involved to prevent youths from drinking, self-destructive behavior can be hindered and lives can be saved. We look forward to rolling this PSA out on college campuses throughout the state in the coming year."
Dr. James A. Anderson, UAlbany's Vice President for Student Success and Vice Provost for Institutional Assessment and Diversity, said, "The quality of our PSA is a natural outcome of the excellent collaboration among our professionals, students from the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program, and our colleagues from OASAS. Each has made a critical and very valuable contribution to the final result."
OASAS Executive Deputy Commissioner Henry F. Zwack said, "At OASAS, our goal is for everyone in New York State to understand that underage drinking is not a minor problem, but a major one, with severe consequences. Governor Pataki has sent a clear message to college students, faculty members and administrators that New York State stands with them in their efforts to prevent underage drinking."
For more information, visit the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Web site.