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Aug. 31, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

PLCB awards SRU $17,500 grant

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's Student Health Services program has received a maximum $17,500 grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to aid in funding programs designed to help reduce underage and dangerous drinking.

Slippery Rock Borough received an addition $14,000 for similar programming.

"The objective of our program is to provide a campuswide social norm campaign," said Renee Bateman, health promotions coordinator at the McLachlan Student Health Center. "The campaign will be designed by undergraduate students and implemented by the HOPE - Healthy Outreach through Peer Education - peer educators."

"A survey will be conducted to assess the outcomes and HOPE peer educators will conduct a post-survey at all alcohol prevention programming to measure student learning outcomes," she said.

"We believe it is important to address this issue early on. Our students have new-found freedoms and often encounter the opportunity to drink alcohol as part of being in college. We believe it is our job to make sure they make informed decisions, which can have lifelong effects. This grant will allow us to provide our students with accurate information they can use to make those decisions," Bateman said.

SRU's successful funding was part of more than $1 million awarded in the statewide grants program. Only 66 applicants, from the 124 received, were approved in the competitive process. Applicants requested nearly $2 million in funding. The maximum grant allowed this year was $17,500. Next year's grants program will move to a two-year cycle, offering a maximum of $20,000 per year.

"The PLCB understands the many issues communities face as a result of underage drinking and irresponsible consumption," said Joseph Brion, PLCB chairman. "These grant awards allow us to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of Pennsylvania families and their communities."

"While drinking rates among our youth have gone down over the past decade according to national surveys, alcohol is still a significant public health issue and more work must be done," said Robert Marcus, a board member and SRU trustee. "We believe the increased financial award and the two-year grant period will allow participants the additional time and resources needed to make an even greater impact."

"Over the years, our grantees have used different approaches to decrease underage drinking and promote responsible consumption for those over 21," said Patrick Stapleton III, a PLCB board member. "The strategies are varied and unique to each community and we applaud their efforts."

In addition to SRU, 18 other college and university grants will help schools develop strategies to reduce underage and dangerous alcohol use including enforcement efforts and related topics.

Grants also went to community law-enforcement efforts; social norms campaigns, such as making sure teens know that most teens don't drink, implementing environmental management strategies such as increasing enforcement efforts and providing training for law enforcement officers; and to three school districts to help fund AlcoholEDU, an online alcohol assessment tool used to gather information on student behaviors while educating them at the same time, the Safe Proms program and a program to include alcohol education in different classroom settings; and

The PLCB grants help fund prevention programs focused on underage and college-age alcohol consumption and support related law-enforcement activities. Since 1999, the agency has awarded more than $8 million in competitive grants to hundreds of community groups.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.