After recent negative publicity surrounding alcohol use by
students, CSU President Larry Penley took action on Tuesday to
addressing student alcohol use.
During his annual Fall Address, Penley announced the appointment
of Lt. Gov. Jane Norton as the chair of a newly formed university
alcohol task force.
“In creating this task force and in involving a leader like Jane
Norton, who truly cares about the university and the young people
of Colorado, we are seeking real solutions that will work in our
community and provide a path nationally for others to follow,”
Penley said during his address.
The task force was named following riots on Aug. 21 and 22 and
the death of sophomore student Samantha Spady at a fraternity house
the first weekend in September. Police say alcohol may have been
involved in Spady’s death.
“We are starting it this semester because our view is that
rather than wait for something else to happen we are going to take
a proactive stance,” said Tom Milligan, assistant vice president
for university relations.
The task force will investigate issues surrounding alcohol use,
including underage drinking, binge drinking, alcohol consumption in
Greek Life and the university’s overall culture. Penley announced
at his annual Fall Address that he expects a findings report from
the task force by Feb. 1.
“There are clearly no easy answers,” Milligan said. “We are
going to look at who around the country is having success and what
they are doing and how to build the right kind of programs at our
Milligan added that the task force will look at expanding
existing programs on campus that have been successful in combating
alcohol consumption, including DAY IV, a university program to help
students manage substance abuse.
Other members announced as a part of the task force include
Linda Kuk, vice president for student affairs and dean of
admissions, and community member Cheryl Olson, who has a history of
working with substance abuse and health issues.
Olson and Kuk will serve as working chairs for the committee.
The remainder of the task force’s members will be finalized later
this week and will include four CSU students and several community
members, medical and police officials and university faculty and
Milligan said while many people have inquired about joining the
university’s new task force since Penley announced its formation in
a letter to the community on Sept. 7, individual applications will
be thoroughly scrutinized.
“We’ve literally been inundated with people wanting to help,”
Milligan said. “We want to get a representative sample from the
Milligan believes Norton’s participation is indicative of the
high level of commitment the university has toward the alcohol task
Norton graduated from CSU in 1976 and went on to get a master’s
degree from Regis University and worked in the House of
Representatives and for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W.
Bush as the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Sciences prior to joining Gov. Bill Owens’
“We fully intend to look at what we do now and look at what are
the best practices anywhere in the country, so we at Colorado State
can be a model of how to deal with a difficult issue,” Milligan
said. “This is an issue that’s going to be ongoing.”