Project Title:Boosting Student Responsibility through a Tavern Owners AgreementInstitution Name:State University of New York at New Paltz
Innovation Category:Campus Safety/Student Health & Wellness
Project Director:Robin Cohen-La Valle, Dean of StudentsContact Information:(845) 257-3261,
Project Description:The Tavern Owners Agreement, originally
established in 1999, was facilitated by the College and strongly supported by town
and village officials. In addition to providing guidelines for self-monitoring their
business practices, efforts increased to educate students about responsible and
lawful consumption of alcohol and appropriate civic customer behavior as it
relates to their safety and academic success. The Agreement is complemented by
the innovative collaboration to promote a “Good Neighbor” initiative and “OneLess”
alcohol prevention campaign.
unique and important collaborations reinforce the College’s commitment to the
safety of its students and community members as well as its continued efforts
to help students be good neighbors and decrease alcohol- and noise-related
incidents. They also encourage
students to make good low-risk choices and offer practical strategies to
promote risk reduction and to decrease high-risk drinking.
- Students who display disruptive or illegal
behavior in town now receive a letter from the College indicating its awareness
of such behavior and a reminder that such incidents may be subject to the
campus judicial process.
- Tavern owners have made changes in their
advertisements to comply with this voluntary agreement.
- Communication between tavern owners and the
College has been greatly increased.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:The perception that colleges want what’s best for the campus
rather than what’s best for local business is part and parcel of town/gown
relations. Bar owners were understandably concerned by increased competition
from off campus ‘house parties’ and the belief that giving up inexpensive drink
specials would negatively impact
their profits. They found the opposite to be true—they had better profits,
fewer alcohol-fueled altercations and fewer arrests in their establishments. For
its part, the College instituted mandatory “Risk Management Guidelines for
Fraternities and Sororities,” which address problematic house parties. Such
guidelines exist to this day.
Evaluation Approach:The Tavern Owners Association meets regularly to review each
other’s advertising and practices, addressing concerns as they arise. In
addition, during new student orientation, presentations are made by the dean of
students, university police and town police regarding off-campus behavior,
civility in local neighborhoods and adjudication through the campus judicial process.
Learning outcomes data related to these presentations is collected to ensure
students have retained the information.
Potential for Replication:Because the
safety and well-being of students and the community in which
they live are top priorities for many higher-education institutions, the potential for replication
is high. SUNY New Paltz modeled its program on a similar program at the
University at Albany.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Donald P. Christian
, Presidentpresident@newpaltz.eduDate Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014