Sep 142004
 
Authors: Christiana Nelson

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

university.”

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

staff.

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

university.”

Milligan believes Norton’s participation is indicative of the

high level of commitment the university has toward the alcohol task

force.

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’

administration.

“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.”

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