UI presents alcohol plan - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI presents alcohol plan

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- The heavy drinking culture is prevalent at schools across the country.

Studies, however,  show the University of Iowa's high-risk drinking problem is more extreme than most.  The binge drinking rate at the UI is double the national average.

A university-appointed committee is addressing the issue by setting an ambitious and very measurable goal.  To reduce the binge drinking rate from 70% to 55% over the next three years.

''We're at a unique time in history where a 15% change over three years just might be possible,'' said Tom Rocklin, Vice President of Student Services at the University of Iowa.

The committee, made up of staff and students, was formed last December.  It has created an unprecedented comprehensive plan to reach that goal.

''We have a variety of known affective interventions that we can provide to students and the plan calls out specific interventions that we think would work here,'' Rocklin said.

Under the outline, the University will implement extensive education programs and various alcohol-free activities available to students.

The University will also provide stricter punishments for students who continually are in trouble with the law due to alcohol-use.

''The two things we really can do is to keep people from becoming riskier drinkers than they were when they arrived and to help risky drinkers to become less risky drinkers,'' Rocklin said.

The plan sets the bar high and students we spoke with wonder given the culture, if the goal is attainable.

''It's just one of those things where you tell a young teen who's free from their parents reign 'no', there going to find a way to do it,'' said Grant Uding, a junior at the University of Iowa.

Online reporter:  Jason Epner

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