The role of the university administrator is critical to this complicated issue of changing the campus culture of alcohol. The president, in particular, must be a visible and vocal spokesperson on the issue and articulate the fundamental mission of the university and how alcohol abuse runs counter to that mission. The president also must be comfortable in being honest about the specific situation on his/her campus and set forth realistic, but visionary goals.
Often these goals will not be for total prohibition—in fact, one could argue that such policies have already failed miserably in this country. Yet, at the same time, a call for moderation should not be seen as an acceptance that the alcohol culture is intractable and simply a 'rite of passage.' In fact, change can occur and has occurred in several different ways. The true success is found when campus and community members come together to form solid coalitions and all key stakeholders, especially students, see that such change can be an improvement.
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Last reviewed: 9/23/2005