Neighbor" Campaign Targets Neighborhood Perceptions of
UAlbany Student Drinking Habits
Heidi Weber (518) 437-4980
N.Y. (November 4, 2003) -- The University at Albany has launched
a public awareness campaign aimed at residents of Albany's
Pine Hills and Beverwyck neighborhoods. The campaign entitled
"Helping UAlbany Students be Your Good Neighbors,"
aims to inform residents about what UAlbany is doing to educate
students on alcohol misuse, counter current misperceptions
about UAlbany students and let residents know about the University's
work to help students be good neighbors.
to the University Police Department's director of personal
safety and off-campus affairs and chairperson of the Committee
on University & Community Relations Thomas Gebhardt, "Alcohol
and other drug prevention is a top priority at UAlbany. This
public awareness campaign is just one of our many efforts
to address alcohol-related issues. We want neighbors of the
University to know that we care about them, our students and
the neighborhoods in which they reside. This campaign will
allow us to further reach out to our neighbors, as well as
distribute accurate information about student drinking habits
and correct any misperceptions that may exist."
campaign, which will run through March, consists of a series
of mailings, posters and the University's twelve-year-old
Off-Campus Hotline number.
is a leader in campus alcohol and drug abuse prevention initiatives.
According to Albany Police Department Reports, in the past
decade, neighborhood noise-related arrests are down 100 percent,
DWI arrest are down 33 percent and all alcohol-related arrests
are down 35 percent. In addition, according to a UAlbany survey,
today's typical UAlbany student consumes zero to four drinks
when attending a party and 68 percent "sometimes"
or "usually" choose not to drink alcohol at all.
University's Committee on University and Community Relations
has impacted student alcohol use by creating an effective
partnership with local tavern owners in order to promote responsible
alcohol advertising and responsible behavior at their establishments.
The committee, consisting of local tavern owners, university
professionals, students, long-term neighbors, landowners,
law enforcement representatives from the city of Albany and
the University at Albany, staff from most colleges in Albany
and the New York State Liquor Authority, is nationally recognized
in the area of university-community coalitions for the prevention
of alcohol misuse and underage drinking.
embraces a social norms approach to addressing alcohol misuse.
The core of social norms intervention is to advance reality
over perception. The presence of alcohol within college life
might be a reality for some, yet students often overestimate
the amount and frequency of alcohol use by others. This misperception
overshadows the reality of alcohol use and its role on campus.
"We've had great success using the social norms approach
on campus with students and we're eager to take our initiatives
to the next level by reaching out to those outside of the
University. Our visible leadership along with assistance from
the community will help us with our mission of supporting
the health and safety of our students and also helping our
students to be good neighbors," said Dolores Cimini,
a licensed psychologist and director of the Middle Earth Peer
Assistance Program, University Counseling Center, Division
of Student Affairs.
campaign is funded by a $12,500 grant from the New York State
Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the
U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
more information about social norms, visit the National Social
Norms Resource Center at www.socialnorm.org.