It’s disheartening to hear students’ negative comments regarding efforts to reduce high-risk drinking. Nancy Reynolds, program director for the Center for Health Promotion, is a prevention specialist who was hired specifically to address alcohol and other drug issues on campus. She is a recognized expert in her field and has successfully collaborated with students, faculty and staff who share concerns about health and safety.
Ithaca College has never taken a “hands-off” approach to high-risk drinking, nor is it an option during Cortaca weekend or at any other time. The college has a duty to enforce the law and to maintain a safe environment on campus. It also has the right to set expectations about behavior and to hold students accountable through the judicial system.
Students do have a choice of how to behave and, as adults, we know that behavior has consequences. A review of the Public Safety Log for Cortaca weekend shows 45 reports, most associated with high-risk use of alcohol. These reports include hospital transports, vandalism, disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing and DWI.
The college has employed many evidence-based prevention strategies over the years to deal with this complex issue. I welcome students, staff and faculty to join me and the Center for Health Promotion in educating our campus community about the dangers of high-risk drinking and to avoid serious consequences.
Brian McAree, Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life