Thanks to an influx of federal and state funding, UCSB’s Alcohol & Drug Program will be expanding and refining its services over the next two years.
The U.S. Dept. of Education recently deemed the UCSB College Alcohol & Substance Education Program one of two effective model alcohol programs at universities, thus netting the campus a juicy $207,000 award. Additionally, the program is the recipient of a $9,000 Safer California Universities grant – distributed to all UCs and CSUs this year – to implement Life of the Party, a student-run group that encourages students to enjoy the local social scene responsibly.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young said he was thrilled UCSB was selected for the grant, adding that the C.A.S.E. program does an extraordinary job creating a safer campus environment.
“We have an opportunity to enhance our ability to help students,” Young said. “Our programs are based on science and research. They are very flexible. We have folks creatively trying to develop programs that really work.”
Ian Kaminsky, the director of the Alcohol & Drug Program, said a portion of the money will be put toward program evaluation and dissemination to share UCSB’s findings with other campuses.
The funding will also be used to hire a new counselor and create different curriculum for students with high risk problems. According to Kaminsky, the group’s goal is to refine its intake process to create classes that will cater more effectively to student needs.
“A lot of C.A.S.E. students are pretty new to the party scene and just need some primary education,” Kaminsky said. “This program will have the same flavor of C.A.S.E., but the topics will be more detailed and in depth. C.A.S.E. was one size fits all, but now we are realizing that students have different backgrounds, histories and abilities to tolerate alcohol, for example.”
With the new grant, officials hope to minimize the experience of students such as Jake Wallwork. Wallwork, a third-year business economics major, said he has heard little from the program since taking the alcohol education test during his first year.
“I’m not sure how they could get more involved,” Wallwork said. “We’re not required to go to any lectures, but it’s great that they’re encouraging people to check out the program’s Web site.”
Michelle Kitson, Outreach Coordinator for the Alcohol & Drug Program, said the Life of the Party Web site, lifeoftheparty.sa.ucsb.edu, has been instrumental in informing students how to be sensible partiers while avoiding arrests and citations. To advertise, student interns have been riding a “Life of the Party Tricycle” around campus and have created a Facebook page that provides updates of the I.V. Foot Patrol’s activities.
“The Web site has been a big part of the program’s development,” Kitson said. “We tried to address needs of students, first through fourth years. The students wrote the Web site information and the brochure we’ve been passing out on campus. They worked with the Alcohol & Drug Program to make sure all the information was correct and collaborated with Isla Vista Foot Patrol to get the Web site’s legal information.