A Matter of Degree Advocacy Initiative: The National Effort to Reduce High Risk Drinking Among College Students
On one in three college campuses in the United States, more than half the students engage in "binge drinking," or the consumption of four to five (or more) drinks in a row. More than 33 percent of these students live a "party lifestyle," characterized by frequent, deliberate intoxication. A Matter of Degree: The National Effort to Reduce High-Risk Drinking Among College Students (AMOD), began in 1996 as a seven-year, $8.6-million program to foster collaboration among ten universities and their surrounding communities.
AMOD seeks to address high-risk drinking and its consequences for college students and the surrounding community; as well as to develop strategies for improving the quality of life regarding this issue for all community residents. The ten coalitions look at how each environment (on-campus and off) affects student drinking habits, and they work to identify and implement science-based approaches to improve those environments and promote healthier, safer conditions for all. This publication presents the case histories of four campus-community coalitions in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Vermont from 2000-2002. Through media advocacy, strategic planning and community organizing, these coalitions helped change policies and the community environments that affect student high-risk drinking. While the ability to generalize these case studies is limited, they provide meaningful lessons that could help other communities interested in tackling the problem.