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UW-Eau Claire to Be Pilot Site for Alcohol Use Surveys

RELEASED: April 15, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will be the pilot site for a series of surveys designed by the Minnesota Institute of Public Health to assess the culture of drinking at universities around the country.

In the next two weeks, "Positive Response" surveys will be sent out to UW-Eau Claire faculty, students, area liquor outlets and community members.

The surveys will look at the perceptions and the norms of alcohol use and abuse by university students. Faculty and students will be surveyed online while liquor outlets and the community will receive surveys in the mail.

In addition to the surveys, MIPH will assess the policies the university currently has in place regarding alcohol use on campus and will look at the data of violations on and off campus for crimes and policy violations related to alcohol use and abuse.

"It is wonderful to be asked to serve as the test site for this comprehensive assessment tool," said Jennifer Lee, CASE project director. "It would normally cost a considerable amount of money to have this kind of consulting work done. We get to participate for free. I hope everyone will realize what a benefit this is to the campus. The information we receive from these surveys can help us help students to make wise choices regarding alcohol. I encourage everyone involved to complete the surveys."

Lee said the outstanding relationship already in place between the campus and community is one of the reasons UW-Eau Claire was chosen to serve as the pilot site. She noted police, bar owners, community representatives and city council members have already met with campus administrations to help tailor the surveys to reveal the information that will be most helpful to our campus and community.

"There is a real spirit of cooperation here," said Lee. "We are making their job easy."

The surveys, data review and student focus groups will be completed by summer and results are expected to be ready by the end of the summer.

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KH

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