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With Alcohol Awareness Week coming to an end, it’s time for college campuses as a whole, and individuals and groups within the campus community, to engage in more concerted and dedicated action. 

Research on college campuses over the last 30 years shows that campuses are plagued with alcohol’s involvement with so many areas of concern, including violence, property damage, academic non-performance, and more (please see the College Alcohol Survey results at www.caph.gmu.edu).   Of great concern is that this level of involvement hasn’t changed much over decades of campus efforts. 

I believe that many people know what needs to be done; however, all too often they don’t speak up.   On the individual level, it’s important to say something when a behavior of concern is noticed.  Group members need to speak up and get the group to take action.   Campus and community leaders must initiate new programs, policies, services or other strategies that help make the campus and surrounding areas healthier and safer.

Alcohol Awareness Week is really all about Action – within the context of an organized, planned effort, involving a wide variety of individuals and groups. Only with our collective action can we turn the tide on high risk and binge drinking.   And I do believe that, together, we can make the desired change happen.

David S. Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor of Education and Human Development
George Mason University
danderso@gmu.edu