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A committee of CU faculty, staff and students are formulating recommendations for CU for the next five years to address a broad range of alcohol-related issues. They intend to report to the chancellor in January of 2007.
Phil DiStefano, the CU Boulder provost, created the Chancellor’s White Paper Committee on Alcohol on Oct. 25, 2005. DiStefano was interim chancellor at the time.
The charge is to articulate where the university ought to be in the next five years regarding alcohol use and abuse, said Robert Maust, chairman of the Standing Committee on Substance Abuse and a nonvoting member of the White Paper Committee.
Maust said that a ‘white paper’ is a political and corporate tool that advocates a position instead of reporting data.
The final report “won’t be a detailed plan. It will be more a series of ideas, some more specific than others,” Maust said.
The group is currently researching aspects of alcohol in five two-person subcommittees. There are subcommittees to research education for students, treatment plans for students and faculty, alcohol abuse prevention measures that the university could pursue, university enforcement policies and the cultural effects of alcohol.
“The university is in a reactive mode,” Maust said. “The school is in an environment that aggressively promotes alcohol.”
He said the number of alcohol venues around campus is higher than the average for universities nationwide.
None of the students interviewed for this article had heard of the committee.
Josh Minor, a junior film studies major, said the final report would be unlikely to change student behavior.
“I think that, given the amount of alcohol-related deaths and incidents in the past, the committee is a good idea,” Minor said. “But kids go to college to get drunk, and no report from any committee will change that. The ultimate goal for the university should be saving people’s lives.”
The university already has a judicial system in place that deals with alcohol-related infractions.
I thought the university’s position was pretty clear. I got an MIP, and the system seemed pretty efficient already,”? said Aaron Quilling, a sophomore English major. “I just don’t see how useful these committees are. I think they will probably just say the same things they’ve already said and spend a bunch of money to say it.”
The voting members of the committee include journalism professor and Associate Dean Robert Trager, psychology professor Kent Hutchinson, communication professor Stan Deetz and sociology professor Lori Hunter.
The student members are Mark Bradburn, a doctoral candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology; Matthew Edwards, a senior aerospace engineering major; and Kate Flanagan, a senior biological sciences major.
Staff members are Jamal Ward, director of judicial affairs; Gardiner Tucker of the Residence Halls Association; and Elease Robbins, dean of students and associate vice chancellor.