Initiatives engage students to promote a healthier campus and reduce harmful drinking

Yale College Dean Mary Miller announced new initiatives to reduce high-risk drinking on Feb. 24.

“Students, faculty, and staff have long pressed for a more welcoming social scene that supports community wellness and promotes healthy options,” Miller wrote in an email to the Yale College community. She added “students have advocated for a campus culture that prepares them to thrive in adult life, confident in their ability to make choices for themselves.”

The initiatives will go into effect by fall of 2014 and will:

  • Unify the university’s approach
  • Clarify and communicate policies and procedures
  • Enhance training and education
  • Support low- and no-alcohol events
  • Engage the entire community

Miller said these “significant and positive developments in student life at Yale” flow from recommendations made by two groups that spent the past year reviewing existing policies toward alcohol: a Task Force convened by Miller in December 2012, and a University Council Committee on Alcohol in Yale College convened by former President Richard C. Levin in January 2013. Both groups met with a broad range of students who shared their personal observations and their experiences as members of various student organizations, Miller reported, and also met with instructors, administrators, alumni, parents, and outside specialists in college life.

Kimberly Goff-Crews, secretary and vice president for student life and W. Marichal Gentry, senior associate dean of Yale College and dean of student affairs, are chairing the implementation committee, with active student membership, for the new initiatives. A student-only advisory committee will further engage students across campus.

 Goff-Crews and Gentry wrote to students to encourage them to participate with the committees and to share their ideas and suggestions through the online portal run by the Alcohol and Other Drugs Harm Reduction Initiative (AODHRI).

 “We want to work together with you from the beginning of these efforts,” they said.