On March 5, Senator Joseph R. Biden (D-DE) proposed a resolution of the U.S. Senate aimed at changing the campus drinking culture to support healthier student choices about alcohol. The "Collegiate Initiative to Reduce Binge Drinking" (S. Res. 192) calls on all institutions of higher education to adopt a code of principles designed to create a campus environment that de-emphasizes the role of heavy drinking in student life (follows). (A similar initiative, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as Resolution 321 by Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, was recently accepted by that body as an amendment to the Higher Education Act). S. Res. 192 notes that: many college presidents rank alcohol abuse as the number one problem on campus; alcohol is a factor in the three leading causes of death for 15-24 year olds; alcohol is involved in a large percentage of campus rapes, violent crimes, student suicides, and fraternity "hazing" injuries; almost half (44%) of all students qualify as binge drinkers; and heavy drinking causes problems for students who drink and has "second hand" effects on many others.
We anticipate that Senator Biden will introduce S. Res. 192 as an amendment to the Higher Education bill when it gets to the Senate floor in June. Although it would not create a legally binding requirement for college campuses, S. Res. 192, if supported by a majority of senators, would express the sense of the Senate that it is time for the culture of drinking on college campuses to change. Federal leadership will provide needed impetus for that change to begin.Please contact your Senators and ask them to support
Senate Resolution 192, "The Collegiate Initiative to Reduce Binge Drinking." Remember that telephone calls are usually fielded by a staff member, not the Senator. Ask to speak with the aide who handles alcohol or higher education issues. After identifying yourself and the Resolution, briefly state the reasons for your support and ask your Senator to support the Resolution either by signing on as a co-sponsor or by voting in favor when it is introduced as an amendment to the Higher Education Act. Ask your Senator's office to contact Matthew Baumgart at Sen. Biden's office (224-5042).
Senate Resolution 192
"The Collegiate Initiative to Reduce Binge Drinking"
SEC. 2. SENSE OF THE SENATE.
It is the sense of the Senate that, in an effort to change the culture of alcohol consumption on college campuses, all institutions of higher education should carry out the following:
May 27, 1998