Sunday, March 27, 2011

California Gets Grant to Crack Down on College Drinking

Alcohol Beverage Control cracks down on universities

By Leonard Valerio


To combat underage drinking around college campuses, the California Alcoholic Beverage Control was awarded $356,400 by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention program.
Photo illustration by Matt Weir/The Collegian
The grant provides funding to authorize enforcement at or near college events where underage drinking may be suspected. In a press release, representatives from ABC stated areas of underage drinking may include: fraternity/sorority pledge weeks, sporting events and fraternity/sorority parties.

ABC will use the funding to conduct undercover operations such as minor decoy, shoulder tap decoy operations and party patrols.

ABC Chief Deputy Director Tim Gorsuch said the funding will curb underage drinking and will save lives.

“We need to do everything in our power to protect the futures of the youth,” Gorsuch said.

Greek life advisor Eddie Dominguez said all fraternities and sororities at Fresno State do not condone underage drinking at parties or any other activities.

“It’s always a challenge to prevent underage drinking near any college campus, and there are programs in place here to help student organizations prevent that,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said 17 student organizations have participated in a training intervention procedures class offered by the university. The Training for Intervention Procedures is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to prevent intoxication, drunk driving and underage drinking.

Sigma Phi Epsilon President Chris Wyant said that he welcomes the increase of activities by Alcohol Beverage Control and said most fraternities take precautions to avoid underage drinking.

“We don’t have community alcohol, we check IDs at the door and provide wristbands to those over the age of 21,” Wyant said. “If someone is drinking and they don’t have a wristband, we check their ID and if they are not of age, they get kicked out.”

Daniel Avina, president of the Theta Chi fraternity said that while the fraternities may not work hand in hand with ABC, the University Police Department does cooperate with fraternities to prevent underage drinking.

“The university police set up a workshop at our house in which all the fraternities attended, and the police answered all of our questions,” Avina said.

Dominguez said the university police has provided those services to student organizations without hassle and has always offered to educate the students.

With all the measures in place Wyant said he doesn’t mind the increase of ABC activity.

“They can step up their enforcement, and we don’t mind that because we’re not serving alcohol to underage people,” Wyant said.