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U.Va. Student Groups Join Alcohol Education Initiative

Birthday Cards Encouraging ‘Responsible Celebration’ To Be Sent To U.Va. Students Turning 21

November 29, 2000 -- As part of a continuing effort to combat high-risk drinking, the University of Virginia’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT), a student peer-education group, will begin mailing birthday cards to all students as they turn 21.

The purpose of the project is to reduce the incidence of alcohol poisoning and mortality associated with high-risk drinking on students’ 21st birthdays, according to Susie Bruce, director of U.Va.'s Center for Alcohol and Substance Education. The program is modeled after similar initiatives at Michigan State University and California State University at Pomona.

The cards will include a Happy Birthday message from University President John T. Casteen III along with a safety message endorsed by student groups including the Asian Student Union, Black Student Alliance, Fourth-Year Trustees, Fourth Years Ending Stupid Traditions (FEST), Inter-Fraternity Council, Black Fraternal Council, Inter-Sorority Council, Peer Health Educators, First-Year Council, and Sexual Assault Facts & Education (SAFE). With the greeting card students will also receive a wallet-size insert with gender-specific blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) information, effects of different BAC levels, responsible drinking tips, alcohol poisoning information, and emergency resource numbers.

The birthday cards feature a cover photo of fireworks over the Rotunda and were recently tested with U.Va. students. Over 93 percent of those who responded said they would "somewhat" to "very much" appreciate receiving the card, and over 75 percent indicated that they would save the informational insert. This spring, students receiving the cards will be directed to an on-line survey about their reactions to the card and behaviors on their birthday. Responses will be tabulated to determine student satisfaction with the program and any reduction in alcohol use.

Contact: Susie Bruce, (804) 924-5276

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 29-Nov-2000 11:37:43 EST
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