Jan 242005
 
Authors: Daniel Linn

Prospective Colorado students may have higher standards to live up to as a result of recent alcohol-related incidents.

A decision by the University of Colorado-Boulder requires students to write a paper on campus culture and complete an online alcohol-prevention program as a part of their application. The admission requirements are new this semester.

Although there have been several alcohol-related incidents at CSU this semester, there has been no announcement of a pre-enrollment alcohol education program.

Ron Stump, vice chancellor of student affairs at CU, said the precautions are not about the school's image.

"Its about the health and well-being of our students," Stump said.

CU has struggled at times with alcohol-related problems, including the alcohol-related death of student Lynn "Gordie" Bailey, who died of alcohol poisoning in September.

Stump said stronger sanctions were needed to ensure the safety of CU students and stressed the importance of students contributing to the community and taking advantage of academics.

CU has recently enacted stricter enforcement of its "three strikes" policy, where students guilty of alcohol abuse on campus are required to call parents, perform community service and write essays. The final and most severe punishment, expulsion for a semester, is enforced on the third strike.

Linda Kuk, dean of admissions at CSU, said CSU does not have similar admission requirements, but support is readily available for incoming freshmen. Kuk said two helpful tools for incoming freshmen are the Preview and Ram Welcome programs.

Preview focuses on giving parents and students an overview of the campus and campus life and is meant to make both parents and students comfortable with CSU and the safety resources it provides.

"We definitely spend time in that program with parents and students talking about alcohol, drugs and other high-risk behavior," said Kuk, who is also vice president for student affairs.

Ram Welcome, a three-day extension of Preview before fall semester begins, gives students the opportunity to meet each other and discover resources available to them at CSU.

"Our hope is that over time this program will help create a more connected environment," Kuk said.

The admissions programs allow students to have a more in-depth look at any issues surrounding CSU, Kuk said.

"It lets them know where to go if they have issues or problems," Kuk said. "We talk about all these issues more intensely and with more information once they get closer to making the decision to actually come here."

Students and alumni can help ensure the school maintains a good image by avoiding certain behavior, she said.

"As much as students don't like it, one student acting out in riotous behavior or doing things that are illegal taints the reputation for all students," Kuk said.

The CSU administration has been struggling with how to curb the issues of alcohol abuse. Decisions such as the alcohol ban at Greek houses and the suspension of alcohol sales at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium have been some of the more recent concerns of students and administration alike.

"I think the students are being kind of stubborn when it comes to alcohol abuse," said Carolyn Kaklich, a freshman member of Creating Respect Educating Wellness (CREW). "The programs have potential to do a lot for this campus."

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