Emory Report
November 10, 2008
Volume 61, Number 11



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November 10
, 2008
Healthy approach to responsible alcohol use


Creating a “community of care” around the use — and abuse — of alcohol in the Emory community, from underage binge drinking on campus to the struggles faculty and staff may face, was the topic of an energetic panel discussion Oct. 30 moderated by President Jim Wagner.

The panel, which included Provost Earl Lewis, Paul Early, a nationally recognized addictionologist, and representatives from student government, Campus Life, Employee Council and Student Health Services, focused on the progress and the challenges in establishing a healthy campus approach to alcohol use.

Since the 2005 Presidential Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drugs, more programming and resources are now in place but the general consensus of the discussion was that reducing the stigma in seeking help and accessing resources remains one of the biggest obstacles in establishing a community of care. Changing the culture where excessive drinking is an expected rite of passage as a student also remains a challenge.

“A healthy campus has to be a place where people care about themselves and they care about each other, where you can reach out…without being afraid of the stigma or the rebuke,” said Michael Huey, executive director of student health and counseling services.

“Emory has that unique distinction of being a place of care…Emory should be the model of the healthy campus. Are we there? We’re getting closer, but we’re not there yet.”

The panel was the final event in a series commemorating National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, which included a forum on the Amethyst Initiative that drew a large crowd for a discussion about the legal drinking age and responsible alcohol use.