About the Campus-Community Task Force to Reduce High-Risk Drinking
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has experienced an increase in students admitted to The Bridge with BACs (Blood Alcohol Content) exceeding .20 and placed in protective custody for up to 24 hours. In 2016, 31 students were transported to local hospitals for acute alcohol intoxication – an increase of 45% over the previous year.
Neighborhoods adjacent to the campus report an increase in wild parties that disrupt their quality of life and leave their properties littered with trash and/or vandalized. Many of these problems make their way back to campus creating challenges for University Housing staff, Greek house directors and campus law enforcement. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of these problems are associated with social events hosted by members of Nebraska’s Greek community.
In response to the growing alcohol problem, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs commissioned a Campus-Community Task Force in Spring 2017 charged with addressing negative behaviors associated with high-risk alcohol consumption. During the summer of 2017, the task force presented a comprehensive strategic response to senior administrators.
Task Force Participants
The task force comprised of faculty, staff, students, law enforcement, and a local vendor, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has experienced an increase in students admitted to The Bridge with BACs (Blood Alcohol Content) exceeding .20 and placed in protective custody for up to 24 hours. In 2016, 31 students were transported to local hospitals for acute alcohol intoxication – an increase of 45% over the previous year.
The task force members met weekly to gain in-depth understanding of the current conditions and environment. At meetings briefing reports were distributed and presentations added anecdotal evidence to the summaries. Presenters included the Lincoln Police Department, the Office of Student Conduct, a local bar owner, student leaders and testimonial from a North Bottoms neighborhood resident.
After the briefing was complete, a world café exercise helped develop a summary for workgroup guidance. Five workgroups thoroughly researched the respective topic to suggest goals and measures. Workgroup topics included:
- Individual student expectations, accountability and consequences
- Student group expectations, accountability and consequences
- Student and student group alcohol education and awareness
- Campus, municipal and state laws and policies
- Game day and social mixers with and without alcohol
The following documents were reviewed and distributed at initial task force meetings or developed as a result of conversations and participation at meetings.
Briefing Report #1
Introduction, overview, changes in drinking patterns, first-year drinking patterns, extreme drinking, alcohol-related violations, summary
Briefing Report #2
Introduction, overview, evidence-based strategies, summary and next steps
Briefing Report #3: Student Focus Group Summary Report
Greek and non-Greek member response summaries
Force Field Analysis - World Cafe Exercise Summary
Unacceptable conditions, desired situation, factors supporting change and factors/pressures that resist change