Provost Jim Dean brought up the issue of binge drinking on UNC’s campus in a Faculty Executive Committee meeting on Oct. 20, saying he hoped to cut instances of binge drinking in half in the next two years.
“This level of binge drinking wasn’t created overnight, so we’re not going to be able to solve it overnight,” Dean said. “I don’t believe that binge drinking is any worse here than on any other campus, but I really do worry about our students. It can be very dangerous.”
Dean, along with Winston Crisp, vice chancellor for student affairs, hopes to assemble a group to look at studies of what has been done to curb binge drinking on other campuses and to see whether the same ideas could be implemented at UNC.
Based on recommendations from the Faculty Council, Dean and Crisp will invite faculty from the psychology department and the schools of social work and public health to be a part of the group.
The goal for the group, Dean said, is to develop a list of recommended actions by the end of the semester. He said he’s hoping to put these recommendations in place during the fall 2015 semester.
Dean said at the October Faculty Executive Committee meeting that at least 30 percent of undergraduates self-reported that they had engaged in binge drinking within the past month.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as the consumption of four to five drinks within two hours.
The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement has been developing and strengthening alcohol policies over the past several years in order to encourage responsible drinking at fraternity and sorority parties.