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2011-2013 AOD Prevention Program Biennial Report

1. Description of AOD program elements:

In the NIAAA's 2002 report, "A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges" three strategies were identified in their Tier 1: Evidence of Effectiveness among College Students category.  This includes:

Strategy: Combining cognitive-behavioral skills with norms clarification and motivational enhancement interventions. Cognitive-behavioral skills training strives to change an individual's dysfunctional beliefs and thinking about the use of alcohol through activities such as altering expectancies about alcohol's effects, documenting daily alcohol consumption, and learning to manage stress. Motivational enhancement is designed to stimulate students' intrinsic desire or motivation to change their behavior. Motivational enhancement strategies are based on the theory that individuals alone are responsible for changing their drinking behavior and complying with that decision (Miller et al., 1992). In motivational enhancement interventions, interviewers assess student alcohol consumption using a formal screening instrument. Results are scored and students receive nonjudgmental feedback on their personal drinking behavior in comparison with that of others and its negative consequences. Students also receive suggestions to support their decisions to change.

Strategy: Offering brief motivational enhancement interventions. Students who receive brief, personalized motivational enhancement sessions, whether delivered individually or in small groups, reduce alcohol consumption. This strategy can also reduce negative consequences such as excessive drinking, driving after drinking, riding with an intoxicated driver, citations for traffic violations, and injuries (D'Amico and Fromme, 2000; Larimer and Cronce, 2002; Marlatt et al., 1998; Monti et al., 1999). An effective brief intervention has been developed at the University of Washington. This brief intervention for high-risk drinkers is based on the ASTP program and is known as the BASICS program: Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (Dimeff et al., 1999). BASICS is administered in the form of two individual sessions in which students are provided feedback about their drinking behavior and given the opportunity to negotiate a plan for change based on the principles of motivational interviewing. High-risk drinkers who participated in the BASICS program significantly reduced both drinking problems and alcohol consumption rates, compared to control group participants, at both the 2-year follow-up (Marlatt et al., 1998) and 4-year outcome assessment periods (Baer et al., 2001). BASICS has also been found to be clinically significant in an analysis of individual student drinking changes over time (Roberts et al., 2000).

Strategy: Challenging alcohol expectancies. This strategy works by using a combination of information and experiential learning to alter students' expectations about the effects of alcohol so they understand that drinking does not necessarily produce many of the effects they anticipate such as sociability and sexual attractiveness (Darkes and Goldman, 1993, 1998; Jones et al., 1995). The research conducted to date indicates that the positive effects of this strategy last for up to 6 weeks in men, but additional research is under way to verify and extend this approach to women and for longer time periods. These three Tier I strategies have been the basis for developing much of the AOD program elements at Whitman College, including all of our work with BASICS, social norms marketing and our opening week/orientation programs.  In addition to the Tier I strategies, Whitman prioritizes our campus 'ethic of care' in our AOD programs, utilizing our supportive, responsive community to work with anyone who demonstrates an issue with AOD issues.  

2. Statement of AOD Program goals and discussion of goal achievement.

Whitman College's AOD program focuses on five primary goals, with multiple and diverse strategies used to meet these goals.  These include:

1. Document AOD issues and campus violations:

  • Tracking of students with AOD issues via Advocate
  • One-on-one student meeting with the Dean of Students if ambulance transport to hospital

2. Intervene and refer those who have use/abuse issues with AODs:

  • Intervention by appropriate staff when alcohol is found in a public space on campus
  • Referral to BASICS if concern regarding AOD issues
  • Health Center referral to emergency room or counseling center as appropriate
  • Referral to Serenity Point for professional assessment when warranted for AOD issues

3. Provide on-going support for those who struggle with issues of sobriety:

  • All counselors trained in BASICS and motivational techniques 
  • Counseling Center intake form asks questions regarding use and/or abuse of AOD on forms with follow-up by counselors
  • Work with programs like Montana Academy, facilitating support, counseling and referral if needed to help with continued sobriety
  • Referral to Serenity Point for professional assessment when warranted for AOD issues

4. Educate on AOD issues:

  • Review of AOD policies with new student by residence life staff
  • Required AOD presentation during orientation with small group follow-up discussion
  • Social norms posters in residence halls, interest houses, health center, counseling center and campus center
  • Intensive AOD training for all new residents assistants each January
  • Required annual alcohol education program for all fraternities and sororities
  • GreekLifeEdu offered by sorority chapters and required completion by all new members
  • Review of college's alcohol policy and discussion of AOD use on athletic performance by all varsity sports teams
  • Completion of a Lifestyle Choices survey every 3 years

5. Support safer, less risky drinking:

  • 21st b-day cards with gift certificates sent to students during the academic semesters
  • 21st b-day cards sent home to parents during the academic semesters
  • Banquet permits for events serving alcohol, with service by TIPS trained staff

Goal Achievement Summary:
In the goal areas of education on AOD issues and supporting safer, less risky drinking, we have been providing consistent efforts for many years and continue to accomplish our mission.  In the other three goal areas, we have several strategies we have been employing successfully for many years, as well as several new initiatives.  For example, in our goal area of tracking AOD violations, we have recently implanted a new database called Advocate.  While we are pleased with our early efforts, we understand that there are still aspects of the system that we are underutilizing and can continue to make improvements.  Also, while we have been offering BASICS for many years, a recent change in the Associate Dean of Students: Health and Wellness position has increased the number of counseling center and health center staff trained in BASICS and motivational interviewing.  While having more staff trained in these techniques is excellent, the staff needs more experience in utilizing these new skills.  

3. Summary of AOD strengths and weaknesses.

Whitman College focuses the majority of our AOD resources on supporting and educating our students.  We work with an incredibly bright group of students who respond well to information based on documented research so our interventions, speakers, programs and posters focus on this type of information.  The Whitman campus culture is community oriented and an ethic of care is deeply engrained.  We do not hesitate to support each other or seek out assistance for others when needed.  We have also increased the training to the counseling and health center staffs in terms of motivational interviewing and BASICS.  

While we do successfully focus on support and education, we could do a better job of tying our efforts into the Tier I effective strategies, to make sure we are maximizing our efforts.  We also need to do more work outside the counseling center with motivational interviewing and the change theory model, to make sure our intervention efforts across the campus are consistent in terms of message and delivery.

4. Procedure for distributing the annual AOD notification to students and employees.

The annual AOD notification is maintained on a Whitman College Web site that is available to students and employees at all times.  An e-mail is sent to current students and employees prior to February 1st that reminds students and employees of the notification's availability and the exact address (URL) of the Web site at which the report is posted (http://www.whitman.edu /annual_notification).

5. Copies of the policies distributed to students and employees.


Alcohol use continues to be an issue of concern on college campuses all across the country. Its abuse by Whitman students is strongly discouraged because such behavior is counterproductive to the goals and mission of the college. Whether or not students choose to drink alcoholic beverages is their personal decision; however, individuals are held personally accountable for their actions at all times. The primary objectives of the college's policy and procedures on alcoholic beverages are (a) to promote responsible behavior and attitudes among all members of the college community, (b) to educate students concerning the use and effects of alcoholic beverages in order to promote responsible decision-making, and (c) to help individual students experiencing difficulties associated with the use of alcohol. Regulations Concerning Alcohol

  1. 1. There shall be no drinking of alcoholic beverages and no open containers of alcoholic beverages in public places on the college campus or public areas in campus buildings. Exceptions may be made on an event-by-event basis under the following conditions: 
    • The use of alcoholic beverages will be in full compliance with the Washington State Law. 
    • The event is sponsored by a college-affiliated organization or an organization that has reserved the facility according to college procedures.
    • A college faculty or staff member assumes responsibility for the event and agrees to be present for its duration.
    • The department, division, office, or administrator responsible for the facility being requested agrees to the terms of the use of alcoholic beverages and the facility. 
  2. No ASWC fees or residence hall fees may be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  3. Students and student groups must avoid the direct or indirect sale of alcoholic beverages.
  4. Students will be held directly responsible for the destruction of personal or public property, the violation of the safety or rights of other persons, or the violation of any other campus regulations which may occur while they are under the influence of alcohol. Excessive consumption and/or purchasing large quantities of alcoholic beverages are considered a violation of the alcohol policy. 
  5. Students should be familiar with the Washington State law that governs the use and purchase of alcohol (see below).

Washington State Law
Students should know that the Alcoholic Beverage Laws of the State of Washington and the City of Walla Walla specify the following: It is unlawful for people under the age of 21 years to acquire or have in their possession or consume any liquor except that given to them by their parents or guardian or administered by their physician or dentist for medicinal purposes. It is a violation of the State Liquor Act punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 or imprisonment, or both, for any person under the age of 21 years to purchase alcoholic liquors or to enter or remain on the premises of any establishment licensed to sell liquors at retail. The sale of alcoholic liquor to minors is a gross misdemeanor and the giving or supplying of alcoholic liquor to people under the age of 21, either for their own use or for the use of any other person for consumption on the premises or anywhere else, is a gross misdemeanor. The misrepresentation of age and the use of false or forged documents to obtain alcoholic beverages are gross misdemeanors punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000.

The possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs or other controlled substances is a violation of the law. The college has chosen to take a strong stand against the use of controlled substances because of the significant risks that students assume when deciding to use them. Many of these substances are physically or psychologically addicting; the composition of "street'' drugs can never be determined by the user and is often dangerous; strictly enforced laws and policies can lead to serious consequences for even the experimenter or occasional user. For example, jail sentences may be imposed, fines may be levied, and one's status with the college as well as future employment opportunities may be jeopardized. The negative personal consequences that can happen to a student far outweigh any brief exhilaration or escape. The college strongly believes that any use of controlled substances is antithetical to the growth and development of students and contrary to the mission of Whitman College. Some drugs and substances, although not illegal, may also cause harm and are dangerous to use. The college may apply disciplinary procedures to students who abuse these substances. The college recognizes that substance use and abuse can cause serious problems for students, and wishes to provide information or personal assistance to anyone who seeks it. Current information regarding abuse is available from the Health Center. Personal counseling and referral to community resources are available in the Counseling Center and the Health Center.

Regulations Concerning Drugs
It is a violation of college policy to use, possess or distribute any illegal drug or controlled substance, except as expressly permitted by law. Any student choosing to violate this policy, or the laws of the State of Washington, should be prepared to accept the consequences of his/her decision. The college reserves the right to pursue legal and/or its own judicial action should students violate the law or this policy.


There shall be no drinking of alcoholic beverages and no open containers in public places on the College campus, except at College sponsored events. A College sponsored event is one that uses College funds and/or that is on College property. College houses rented by faculty and staff are exempt. Alcoholic beverages may be served on an event by event basis under the following conditions. 

1. A college faculty or staff member assumes responsibility for the event and agrees to be present for its duration.
2. The faculty or staff member responsible for the event obtains the appropriate liquor permits: 

  • Special Occasion License - required for any event where alcohol is to be sold except as noted below. Bon Appetit must be used to serve the alcohol. Appropriate foods must be served by Bon Appetit. Allow 30 days for the application process. Application is made at a State Liquor Store. 
  • Banquet Permits - required for events with 50 or more people and where alcohol is served but not sold. Tickets may be used to limit the number of drinks served each individual. Application is made at a State Liquor Store. Employees coordinating the function should complete the application as a representative of Whitman College. Food must be served. 
  • Private Functions- no permits are required at private functions, which are individually hosted College social events of less than 50 guests. Food must be served. No one under the age of 21 may be served alcohol. 

3. Faculty and staff may host private functions at their homes to which students are invited. The College strongly encourages such events to be alcohol free. If alcohol is served, it is recommended that it be done so on a BYOB basis. No one under 21 should be served. Faculty and staff present should be role models for responsible drinking. 
4. Functions which are held at restaurants or other business establishments licensed to serve alcohol do not require special permits. 
5. The use of alcoholic beverages will be in full compliance with the Washington State Law.

Washington State Law 
It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one to acquire or have in his possession or consume any liquor except that given to him by his parents or guardian or administered by his physician or dentist for medical purposes. It is a violation of the State Liquor Act punishable by a minimum fine of $250 or imprisonment, or both, for any person under the age of twenty-one to purchase alcoholic liquors or to enter or remain on the premises of any establishment licensed to sell liquors at retail. The sale of alcoholic liquor to a minor is a felony and the giving or supplying of alcoholic liquor to any person under the age of twenty-one, either for his own use or for the use of any other person for consumption on the premises or anywhere else, is a misdemeanor. The misrepresentation of age and the use of false or forged documents to obtain alcoholic beverages are punishable by a minimum fine of $2,500. 

It is the policy of Whitman College that the workplace is to be free from illegal use, possession or distribution of controlled substances. This will enable each faculty and staff member to perform his or her work in a safe, conscientious and effective manner and that they will be free from the effects of drugs. To insure this: 

  1. Any faculty or staff member is strictly prohibited from the manufacture, sale, possession or use in the workplace of a controlled substance or drug not medically authorized. 
  2. A faculty or staff member will be required to report his/her criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace to his/her immediate supervisor within five (5) days after such conviction. The supervisor must immediately notify the College Officer responsible for the particular work area, who in turn will notify the Director of Administrative Services.

Violations of the Drug Abuse Policy May Result in Termination
Whitman College takes its commitment to provide a drug-free working environment seriously. Any faculty or staff members who suspect they might have a drug (or substance) abuse problem are encouraged to seek assistance through their own efforts before the problem affects their status with the College. To comply with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the College's Human Resources Office maintains a list of agencies which provide rehabilitative and counseling services. Any contact will be held in strictest confidence.


6. Recommendations for revising AOD programs. 

In the future, we would like to expand out AOD programs by adding three new features.  This includes:

  • Better use our Advocate program to allow anyone on campus to submit a care report.  This would provide students/employees the ability to anonymously submit a report on someone they were concerned about in terms of AOD usage allowing an appropriate intervention.
  • Implement E-chug and design an effective way of using it.  For example, several of the Whitman College sororities have access to GreekLifeEdu, and do require all of their new members to complete the program prior to initiation.  For the sororities and fraternities that do not have access to this program, we could offer them access to E-chug.  We could also offer it to residence life sections, varsity and club sports teams, student clubs, etc. as an educational program.
  • We have seen a slight increase in the number of students who admit to using marijuana in our Lifestyle Choices survey (administered every 3 years).  In order to educate and raise awareness, we would also like to consider adopting E-toke, which could be used in ways similar to E-chug, with a variety of student groups. 

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