Greek Leaders Address Problem of High-risk Drinking

Fraternity and sorority leaders from William Woods University and Westminster College came together recently to address the problem of high-risk drinking.

The program, called Alcohol Summit, is sponsored by the North-American Interfraternity Conference. It is a campus leadership institute designed to foster improved relationships among campus leaders through an intensive, interactive and educational program.

“The curriculum emphasizes community building, leadership development, values-based decision making and creating positive change for the common good,” Chandra Daffer, director of Greek life and student involvement at William Woods University, said.

“Participants leave the program with new skills, increased motivation and a plan of action to create change within their community.”

The entire Alcohol Summit is a three-step process consisting of a pre-summit assessment, the summit and a post-assessment and follow-up.

During a pre-summit assessment, which was held Nov. 7–8, representatives of both institutions determined their readiness to address the issue of high-risk drinking within the fraternity and sorority community. They collected information regarding the problems associated with high-risk drinking and gathered data on the number of alcohol-related incidents and judicial hearings.

“This information will later be used comparatively to determine effectiveness and success in lessening high risk behaviors related to alcohol,” Venita Mitchell, WWU dean of student life, said.

During the Jan. 27-28 Alcohol Summit, 49 fraternity and sorority leaders developed an agenda for changing the campus community, with a view towards a 3-6 month implementation.

“Program planners hope to not only accomplish this agenda for change, but to change attitudes, knowledge and skills of participants,” Mitchell said.

A Post-Assessment and Follow-up is scheduled for April 10. To achieve the desired outcomes, follow-up and assessment are crucial to the overall success of the program.

Campus advisors will continue to meet with summit participants upon the conclusion of the program to continue to confront the challenge of reducing students’ high risk behaviors.