The NDSU President’s Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs has updated its mission to support academics by increasing and sustaining all aspects of student well-being.
The updated mission reflects an evolution that brings together three programs, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention, Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy, and Health Promotion. The programs have all been actively involved in the council and working collaboratively toward similar goals. By integrating the three programs through the council, now called the President’s Council for Campus Well-Being, NDSU will be able to advance student well-being more holistically.
“Addressing alcohol and drug misuse has been a leading priority at NDSU, but we recognize that interpersonal violence, sexual assault and other health-related behaviors have far-reaching physical, academic, social and legal consequences as well,” said Matt Larsen, council co-chair and director of athletics. “Our ultimate goal is to support the academic mission of the university by promoting a culture and environment where each community member can actively advance well-being for themselves and our community.”
The council was established in 2007 and focused on reducing the harmful effects that result from alcohol and other drug misuse for individuals, the campus and the broader community. After a decade, major outcomes include:
• Providing late night, alcohol-free campus activities on a consistent basis.
• Achieving dramatic reductions in students experiencing alcohol and drug-related harm. Driving under the influence decreased from 48.8 percent in 2001 to 15.3 percent in 2016.
• Increasing the number of underage students who don’t use alcohol from 16.2 percent in 2006 to 31.1 percent in 2016.
• Reducing the number of students who binge drink from 55.8 percent in 2005 to 43.7 percent in 2016.
• Implementing individualized prevention education for all first-year students.
• Implementing a student-led prevention campaign.
• Providing training for faculty, staff and student organizations.
• Advocating for policies aimed at reducing high-risk alcohol use.
• Hosting Town Hall Meetings and engaging the community.
“The council has made significant strides, particularly when we look at consequences related to alcohol and drug misuse, such as driving under the influence or missing class,” said Laura Oster-Aaland, council co-chair and vice provost for student affairs and enrollment management. “With the success of our harm-reduction efforts, we see an opportunity to evolve and dig deeper into the complex and often interconnected issues that affect student well-being and success.”
The President’s Council for Campus Well-Being includes approximately 35 faculty, staff and students. It is led by co-chairs Oster-Aaland and Larsen. Council members meet monthly during the academic year to review progress on key priorities, receive training and discuss emerging issues while also serving on workgroups that execute specific strategies, such as holding events and establishing policies.
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