Reducing College Student Alcohol Drinking Abuse: A Conference

How can college student alcohol abuse be reduced? College administrators, staff and students from Amherst College, Hampshire College. Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst recently gathered to explore effective ways to achieve this goal.

Organized by fourth-year Hampshire College student Alex Torpey with the assistance of a Five-College Student Coordinating Board, the conference featured a keynote address by former Time magazine editor Barrett Seaman. Author of Binge: Campus Life in an Age of Disconnection and Excess, Mr. Seaman is a board member of Choose Responsibility, a group of college presidents and provosts who have called for a national debate on the current minimum legal drinking age of 21 experiment. He was introduced by Hampshire College president Dr. Ralph Hexter, who is a signator of the Amethyst Initiative to stimulate such discussions.

Other speakers examined legalities of the current drinking age, medical amnesty policies to protect health and life, motivational interviewing to reduce alcohol abuse, and innovative ways to promote healthful behaviors and reduce risky behaviors.

Mr. Torpey served as moderator of the "Beyond Amethyst" conference, which was supported by the Five-Colleges Consortium and held on the Campus of Hampshire College.

Hampshire College is a highly selective non-traditional liberal arts college for students who design their own interdisciplinary programs of study.