College Awarded Funds to Fight Underage, High-Risk Alcohol Use

Published 12.04.2009


The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has awarded a $9,765 grant to Pennsylvania College of Technology for continued efforts to prevent students' underage and dangerous alcohol consumption.

The PLCB grant is part of $729,907 in funds awarded to 73 organizations statewide 24 of them colleges and universities for a variety of outreach programs.

"We remain committed to developing and/or maintaining strategies that show proven efficacy with regard to reducing underage, excessive or otherwise dangerous drinking by the students we serve and the harmful consequences that can occur as a result," said Mort Neely, student affairs specialist and director of PLCB grant activities at Penn College. "The central theme of these strategies continues to relate to what are called "˜social norms.' That means we'll continue to utilize strategies intended to educate students regarding common misperceptions associated with alcohol consumption within college communities."

Research obtained as recently as the 2007-08 academic year reflects that Penn College students grossly overestimate the degree to which their peers consume alcohol, he said.

"Additionally this year, our goal is to enhance student education regarding the longer-term negative consequences associated with the consumption of alcohol," Neely said. "Almost every student understands the physical risks associated with excessive consumption and related activities such as driving while intoxicated. Many students, however, underestimate the negative impact that legal involvement can have on their future employability and earning potential."

While most students understand that a charge of DUI is significant, he explained, many do not view charges such as public drunkenness, underage consumption or underage possession the same way.

"Like more significant charges, these seemingly less-significant charges remain on a student's record and, as such, can have an impact on future employability and earning potential. Therefore, one of our goals this year is to place greater emphasis on legal involvement as a form of self-harm associated with student consumption of alcohol," Neely said. "Our hope is that encouraging students to demonstrate greater responsibility with regard to alcohol will correlate to a reduction in harmful consequences on a variety of levels, many of which transcend an individual student's legal involvement."

Since 1999, the PLCB program has awarded more than $4 million in grants to more than 240 entities.

For more information about Penn College, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

For more information about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact the Grants and Contracts Office at ext. 7562 or through its Web portal.