BU gets NCAA grant to provide alcohol education

BLOOMSBURG—Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania was awarded an NCAA CHOICES grant to educate students about the risks of misusing alcohol. Through the support of the NCAA Foundation and Anheuser-Busch Company Inc., Bloomsburg University is one of 13 schools nationwide to receive the three year, $30,000 grant. The NCAA CHOICES program provides funding for NCAA member institutions and conferences to integrate athletics departments into campus-wide efforts to reduce alcohol abuse. 

The grant submission was led by BU and focused health and wellness work, “Healthy Husky,” a key part of BU’s commitment to Healthy Campus 2020 objectives for student health and wellness. The effort and the implementation will be a partnership of the departments of DAWN, BU’s existing Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program, Athletics, and Healthy Husky. 

“This is an exciting opportunity to advance the ‘Healthy Husky’ initiative,” according to Kristi Hammaker, BU’s Health and Wellness Educator,  “We look forward to working with student-athletes to promote healthy behaviors that lead to success in the classroom and athletic competition. These student leaders can then help to guide a shift in campus culture.”

The focus of this new grant will be to reduce the prevalence of underage drinking; reduce the academic consequences of alcohol use; reduce experiences of sexual misconduct, harassment or violence due to alcohol use and to establish accurate perceptions regarding alcohol use across the campus. BU will augment its historically successful programming and develop new, engaging and peer-driven programs including:

  • Student engagement activities that seek to involve students in a more relevant and interactive style of learning;
  • Student driven/peer-led programming that capitalizes on the relevancy of current student needs and perceptions; and
  • Opportunities to create shifts in campus culture that challenge and correct misperceptions of the effects of alcohol use on student academic, athletic, social and emotional performance and students’ future success.

“The support of the NCAA and the awarding of the CHOICES grant allows us to collaborate campus-wide on initiatives and programming with the goal of reducing risky behaviors for our student-athletes and our student population as a whole,” Director of Athletics Dr. Michael McFarland said.  “We aim to reduce excessive alcohol usage by introducing a new peer-based education platform.” Programs are scheduled to begin in the Fall 2017 semester.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,600 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.