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Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 1

Rebecca Gramatico, Kyra Villalon, Nathan Williams, Mary Yousif

Dr. Timothy Moran

PS 1010

25 April 2018

Alcohol Addiction and Its Influence on College Campuses

Alcohol has always existed; it has been around since biblical times, the roaring 20s and

unsurprisingly has made it to present day 2018. People love alcohol because it is known to

enhance social abilities and liven gatherings. However, many people also hate it because of its

destructive and addictive properties. There is a constant battle concerning the regulation of the

toxic substance. One can see that this issue will not disappear anytime soon, so, rather than

fighting it and protesting for its illegality, one must instead compromise with the issue and work

around it so that there are stricter policies put into place that will discourage its use. In order to

instigate action to combat the alcohol abuse issue, it is important to use Professor

Deegan-Krause’s method of identifying the problem, analyzing solutions that have worked and

can work, and selecting the champion plan to adhere to.

Many individuals are plagued with diseases or disorders beyond their immediate control,

such as cancer, anemia, heart conditions, or diabetes. They struggle with physiological and

psychological symptoms that, unfortunately, alter their ability to manage the activities of daily

living. There are, however, conditions that people may develop as a direct consequence of

lifestyle choices. Substance abuse is a decision that can lead to addiction. While it is true that this

condition can be avoided from manifesting with more cautious decision-making, the dependency

that develops within individuals cannot be reversed as quickly as its emergence. Despite the
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belief that addiction is a self-inflicted and self-treatable illness, it is a severe and detrimental

disorder that affects approximately forty-million individuals ages 12 and older1. When an

individual develops a dependence on specifically alcohol, the diagnosis is “alcohol use disorder.”

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 15.1 million adults ages 18 and

older and 623,000 adolescents ages 12-17 were diagnosed with alcohol use disorder2. This

disorder indicates that an individual’s drinking habits cause distress and harm to one’s body

systems and to others. Alcoholism is a serious issue that has already impacted the lives of many

and is sure to affect the lives of many more to come.

Alcohol abuse is a nationwide concern due to the continuously growing prevalence of

alcohol-related activities among America’s youth. Beyond the scope of age, alcohol addiction

spans over a variety of factors, such as gender, race and social class. Though there a multiple

factors that play into the development of alcoholism, it is crucial to focus on the exposure of

alcohol to individuals that are in their most formative years: college students. College is a time of

exploration and experimentation. However, it is also a time where stress, peer pressure, and the

availability of illegal substances is at its highest level. Alcohol would not be a concern if its

consumption did not come with serious consequences. The article “Alcohol Expectancy,

Drinking Behavior, and Sexual Victimization Among Female and Male College Students”

reports that, “Drinking among college students represents a daunting societal issue: 32% of

college females and 43% of college males reported binge drinking in the past 30 days”3. As more

supportive evidence of the seriousness of underage drinking, Dr. Cynthia Arfken of Wayne

1
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
2
​National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
3
​Adams, Schmitz, and Tyler
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 3

State’s School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences emphasizes

that the human brain is not fully developed until the individual reaches 25 years of age, or even

later in some cases. Alcohol consumption prior to the full development of the brain involves

changes in brain function and motor abilities. The formation of disruptions in regions of the brain

that are responsible for motivation, learning, judgment and memory may result in the

underdeveloped brains of underage alcohol consumers4. Even more alarming are studies which

reveal that most addictive substances cause the brain to release chemicals similar to the ones

naturally released in response to the basic needs of individuals, such as hunger and thirst. Over

an extended period of time, the continued release of these chemicals can lead to substantial

alterations in the brain. When these alterations occur, individuals feel the need for the addictive

substance in order to feel normal and even function properly. The addict will eventually prefer

the drug to alternative healthy pleasures and may lose interest in normal daily activities5. Chronic

addiction is characterized as a long-lasting disease that can be controlled but not cured. When

alcohol addiction becomes chronic, the addict will, most likely, always be at the risk of relapse

as triggered by physical and environmental cues associated with alcohol6.

Underage drinking comes with internal and external consequences. The act of drinking

not only negatively impacts bodily systems and function, but it also leads to possibilities of

drinking-and-driving accidents, property damage, aggressive behavior linked to sexual assault,

and even death in extreme cases. The article “Alcohol Facts and Statistics” reports that

researchers estimate that each year, “1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die

4
“Alcohol And The Brain.”
5
Nestler, Eric J.
6
​The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
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from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes” and “696,000

students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking”7.

There are also academic consequences that result from drinking, such as missing class, poor

performance on exams and assignments, and receiving lower grades overall. Also, due to the

addict’s preoccupation with the addictive substance, damage to important relationships may even

result8. It is essential for students to understand that their reckless decisions, particularly under

the influence of an addictive substance, can negatively impact many. The partaking in, or the

abstinence from, alcohol-related activities can be the decision between life or death.

Throughout the years, there have been a variety of attempts made to solve the

international issue of substance abuse. Many medicines and behavioral therapies have been

introduced. For instance, the medication ​Disulfiram attempts to effectively prevent positive

association with alcohol by creating unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and

headaches, when a person consumes alcohol. ​Naltrexone and ​Acamprosate are other types of

alcohol-targeting medications that interact with the brain in order to reduce cravings and block

receptors that make one feel pleasure after consumption. In the therapeutic field, behavioral

therapies apply a holistic approach to the problem. Various types of therapies include

interventions, marital and family counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and

motivational-enhancement therapy. “While some focus on helping individuals identify feelings

and situations that could have led to the problem, others help to build and strengthen the

motivation to change one’s drinking habits while simultaneously teaching coping skills”9. In

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​NIAAA
8
Nestler, Eric J.
9
​Grammatico, Memo 1
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regards to the civic sphere, there are varying levels of support groups and treatment centers that

seek to treat the issue directly. For instance, non-profit organizations may establish alcoholic

support groups, such as the renowned Alcoholics Anonymous. However, it may be a local

church that provides support to individuals in need. In terms of the government sphere, the most

influential effort it can make regarding the American substance abuse issue is the institution of

policies that can help incite positive change toward a safer and superior society.

Due to the concentration of alcohol abuse in college students, an ideal approach to

addressing the issue would be to provide increased awareness of the dangers and health effects of

the addictive substance at the university legislation level. In order to obtain more information on

the subject, a group reached out to a member of the campus organization ​Warriors in Recovery​,

which is essentially an Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous for Wayne State Students.

The president of the organization, Brent Steinacker, confessed his struggle with opioid addiction

throughout his high school years. However, when he suffered the loss of a close friend due to a

heroin overdose, he became aware of the harsh realities of substance abuse and realized that he

needed to make an effective change. Thereafter, he began to direct his efforts to helping those in

recovery by forming the group ​Warriors in Recovery​, which allows those who struggle with

substance abuse to safely talk and gain support for their addiction. As the organization recently

began holding meetings in September of 2017, Brent is hopeful that his regular group of six

individuals will continue to grow10.

It seemed to be most logical and effective to target alcoholism in the university level by

focusing policies on Greek Life. In fact, the article “Drinking and Drug Abuse in Greek Life”

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Steinacker, Brent
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states, “While the Greek system provides social and professional benefits to college students, its

members are also much more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs than their non-Greek affiliated

peers”11. The article cites a Harvard University study that reports, “4 out of 5 fraternity and

sorority members are binge drinkers. In comparison, other research suggests 2 out of 5

non-Greek Life affiliated college students overall are regular binge drinkers”12. Upon reflection

of these statistics, possible reasons that the involvement in fraternities or sororities correlates to a

higher probability that students are more likely to drink are group living, hazing/initiation rituals,

lack of supervision, and social pressure. While Greek Life and the presence of fraternity houses

are not domineering factors on Wayne State’s Campus, it still provides an opportunity for

students to drink through the supply of alcohol. The interview with Steinacker involved

questions specific to the contribution of Greek Life to the development of addictive tendencies in

college students. He stressed that the topic was interesting due to the wide spectrum of beliefs

and values that sororities and fraternities hold when it comes to drinking. Brent states, “I think

that Greek Life is impactful to addictive tendencies in that it shapes our campus culture and can

often normalize addictive behavior. ‘You can’t be an alcoholic until you graduate’ is a common

belief amongst many students, making them more prone to normalizing dangerous behavior.

When students see large fraternities or sororities where everyone is exhibiting the same signs of

problem drinking, it seems much more normal than if they were doing it alone”13. Ultimately,

Steinacker’s responses in the interview stresses that Greek Life does not deserve to be

condemned for the entire issue of substance abuse. In fact, there are many groups on campus,

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AddictionCenter
12
​AddictionCenter
13
​Steinacker; Interview
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such as the Delta Zeta sorority, that promote healthy behaviors and assist students with substance

abuse problems. On the topic of “what works,” Delta Zeta hosts many alcohol awareness events

throughout the month of October. One of the events is called “Free for the Weekend.” This

unique event challenges students to go a weekend without drinking in order to get them thinking

about their alcohol use and extent. If they are unable to complete the challenge, they are then

asked to consider the prospect of sobriety. In addition, the Dean of Students Office, along with

the CAPS program, holds stress relief seminars as a way to reduce the issues that can often lead

people to abuse alcohol. Overall, what works is raising awareness of the consequences of alcohol

abuse and offering support to those who need it. While Greek Life is recognized as an outlet for

the provision of alcohol to underage students, it should not be condemned or discontinued.

The problem is clear; alcohol is an addictive substance that negatively impacts

individuals all over the world. Based on research and effective decision-making, it was decided

that a policy should be generated that is geared towards impacting students at the collegiate level.

However, before beginning to attempt tackling the problem, it is important to recognize that

alcohol has always been a hot topic. It is a problem that has been relevant for ages and there have

been many attempts to try and tackle it. It would be beneficial and tactical to study the elements

of previously successful policies, and to use those lessons from those successes as a model to

procure results with current attempts.

A lot of American policies targeting alcohol were enforced due to the efforts of an

organization known as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). The group started as a local

movement to end drunk driving. The organization’s leader, Candy Lightner, worked passionately

towards the organization’s success since its purpose was extremely personal to her. Lightner was
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extremely hurt and enraged when her own daughter, Cari, was killed in a drunk driving accident.

The drunk driver failed to even stop after hitting Cari, and further investigation of the accident

revealed that her daughter’s murderer already had a history of drunk driving accidents14.

Lightner’s rally against drunk driving slowly, but surely, gained momentum as a result of the

pathos that the mother-based organization utilized. MADD found success first in Lightner’s

hometown, but then kept expanding outwards until it reached a national level. MADD went on to

bring many alcohol-related problems to the front lines of the public’s knowledge and inspired

many changes throughout the country.

One of the many actions that MADD passed was the National Minimum Drinking Age

Act of 1984. ​This act, if enforced, would require states to raise their minimum drinking age to 21

years old. Any state that didn’t comply with the conditions of the act risked losing up to ten

percent of their highway funds (Carpenter).​The act was introduced to Congress as Bill H.R. 4616

on July 17th, 1984, by New Jersey Senator, Frank R. Lautenberg, which was largely gaining

support as a result of the efforts of MADD. At one point in their endeavors, MADD had reached

a population of nearly three hundred thousand supporters. Included in this body of supporters

were state representatives from all over the country15. The step was a huge one, so many little

victories had to be made in order to make it happen.

Lautenberg used the media to his advantage in order to get H.R. 4616 approved.

Lautenberg and MADD used obscured statistics in order to invoke emotions among the masses

and spark demands for the bill to be passed. As recorded by the Senate Record Vote Analysis, he

stated that,

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Russell, Anne
15
​Koroknay-Palicz
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“​Young drivers are involved in 1 of every 5 fatal auto accidents. Almost 60 percent

of fatally injured teenagers were found to have alcohol in their blood; 43 percent of

those were legally intoxicated. Five thousand of those killed on our highways each

year are teenagers – one fifth of all auto fatalities – although teenagers account for

only 10 percent of all drivers and travel only 9 percent of all miles driven.”

-Senate Record Vote Analysis16

The data that was used as evidence accounted for intoxicated youth that were involved in

automobile accidents, not just the drivers. Regardless, even though the data above was fairly

inaccurate, the data invoked the emotions of the families that were listening. The ads that utilized

the data sparked about emotion and outrage in the caring family members who viewed them.

MADD supporters flooded post offices, demanding their representatives and senators to pass the

bill. After a long and arduous fight, Bill H.R. 4616 was passed and became the National

Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (NMDAA). By the year 1990, every state had successfully

raised its minimum drinking age. The effects were apparent as drunk driving incidents involving

youth dropped from 43% accidents to 21%, halving the percentage17.

Even after the NMDAA of 1984 came into effect, however, many young adults still

continued to abuse alcohol since they were accustomed to having the liberty to drink. As a result,

many states passed other laws and regulations to limit the youth alcohol problem. The

zero-tolerance policies that were developed included limiting driving privileges and others, such

as the Use-Lose laws upon being charged with Minor In Possession or Possession of False

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​Koroknay-Palicz
17
​Carpenter
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Identification. Use/lose laws ​addressed the suspension or revocation of driving privileges as a

punishment for underage youth who purchased, possessed, or consumed any alcoholic beverages,

but the severity of these laws had varying conditions and punishments between different states.

In 2015, Oklahoma amended its use/lose law so that it not only punished any minor that

purchased alcohol, but businesses that sold to minors as well. The effect of use/lose laws can be

seen in drunk driving fatalities by state.

“The use/lose policy is very successful for the states that have enacted it because

it takes away the one thing that today’s youth appear to admire most; driving,

which to them is their source of independence and freedom.”

-Yousif18

Michigan doesn’t have a use/lose law. Instead it chose to develop a zero-tolerance policy.

Similar to a use/lose laws, zero-tolerance policies affect driving minors who have been caught

with any BAC (blood alcohol content) above zero. Violators can have their licenses revoked

after receiving a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge. Since zero tolerance policies have

gone into effect, alcohol related fatalities have dropped between 4% to 24%19.

A common way minors attempt to get access to alcohol is through the usage of fake

identification. If minors are caught using fake identification, they can be punished with multiple

charges, such as identity theft, and they are required to pay the according fines. For example, the

modification of identification cards can cause the owner to receive charges up to $500 in some

states or even prison time in others.

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Yousif
19
​Chang
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Punishments for minors involved with alcohol, Use-Lose laws, and Zero-Tolerance

Policies in combination with the National Minimum Drinking Age Act have worked significantly

to drop the number of fatal crashes due to drinking and driving. Nationally, policies that punish

minors for involvement with alcohol have procured significant results in the decrease of

alcohol-related incidents. However, the United States is not the only country to struggle with its

underage population and alcohol consumption. ​In Europe, there were concerns that the lower

legal drinking age lead to irresponsible drinking habits in youth20. In order to decide what course

of action to take within American borders to battle underage drinking, it is important to evaluate

the results of the policies that have been employed in other countries. Looking at the

consumption statistics in European youth, one will notice that Iceland has a drastically lower rate

of consumption among its young people as compared to other European countries21. ​Iceland had

an amazing transformation in regards to their former drug and crime problem. Prior to their

current policies, Iceland had a drug abuse and violent crime problem among the youth. One of

the most abused substances was alcohol.

“In 1988, 36% of college students and 35% of high school seniors reported to have

participated in episodic drinking at least once over an average of two weeks.”

-Villalon

The policies concerning alcohol in Iceland differed from others because they were

focused on teen lifestyle enrichment rather than restriction. The new and unique approach to

alcohol abuse was created by Harvey Milkman, an American psychologist that worked in the

University of Reykjavik. His studies claimed that people abuse substances as a result of

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​ arpenter, Christopher, and Carlos Dobkin
C
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Villalon, “Virgin Iceland, On the Rocks”
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 12

transferring addictive behavior from one system of habit to another. The extensive surveying and

research performed based on Milkman’s study made him an agent in the formation of the current

Icelandic alcohol policies today.

Policy makers decided to embrace Milkman’s research by choosing to direct policies at

diverting the attention of students towards productive activities instead of punishing the citizens.

The federal sphere formed a coalition with Icelandic educational structures in order to apply a

policy that provided constructive, skillful activities that would occupy children after school

hours, as funded by the government. Icelandic government gave Milkman’s research team a 1.2

million dollar grant to help solve the rampant drug and alcohol problem among the nation’s

youth. Harvey and his team linked the outrageous amounts of violence to the drug abuse,

therefore if they could solve the substance abuse, they figured the obstruction of crimes would

soon follow. The after-school program that was developed offered students the choice to learn

any activity they desired within reason. Students took up baseball, football, art, fencing, martial

arts, anything that would keep them safe and away from drugs. These lucrative activities not only

aimed to curve youthful drug tendencies, but it also worked to teach students valuable life

lessons. Inspired by the government’s efforts to tackle a problem that has been plaguing youth

for ages, parents also contributed to the policy’s attempts. ​Groups of parents and adults

throughout Iceland formed neighborhood watches. These watches would scan the streets

searching for youth that were out past curfew in order to escort the violating youth back to their

homes. The results were astounding.


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“​Marijuana use dropped from 17% to 7%, nicotine use dropped from 23% to 3%,

and alcohol consumption dropped from 42% to 5% in Iceland teens over the

course of 18 years.”

-Villalon22

Iceland’s policies significantly lowered the amount of drug abuse and violent crimes

committed by Iceland’s youth. They were extremely successful with fulfilling their intended

goals. C​omparing Iceland to European statistics relevant to the issue of alcohol, Iceland

showcases the phenomenal results of its policies. The amount of abstainers differed across

European countries, ranging from 78.2% in Iceland to 14.0% in Estonia. The lowest prevalence

rates for lifetime use was found in Iceland (21.6%), and Bosnia & Herzegovina (30.9%). Spain

shows the highest percentage of grade repeaters across the sample with 33.9 % of pupils having

either repeated a grade once or more than once, compared to Iceland with the lowest percentage

of pupils being repeaters (0.3%)23. Good habits were developed by teens not only in the sense

that they steered away from using addictive substances, but they also improved their academic

habits. Analyzing the success of Iceland’s policy, there are a couple takeaways. Adolescents do

not need to be chained down with restrictions and regulations in order to prevent them from

starting addictive substances like alcohol. Every person has a tendency to apply addictive

behavior towards anything that makes them feel pleasure. The best way to prevent the transfer of

addictive behavior to alcohol is to divert teen efforts elsewhere.

As Professor Deegan-Krause has mentioned, there are many different approaches or

methods to solve an issue. The United States found success in punishing minors for alcohol

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Villalon, “Action Memo”.
23
Villalon
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 14

involvement while Iceland found success in curbing the addictive behavior of its youth to more

lucrative activities. Much was learned from the successes of the employed policies. However, an

individual must choose one that is appropriate based off of the available resources, such as time,

money, etc. Two approaches were developed to approach the alcohol abuse issue at the local

level. A direct service approach and an advocacy proposal approach will be analyzed in order to

determine which course of action to take. While both may create an attempt to solve the issue,

one proposal is created to lead to the next. To continue on, the site that would be focused on for

both proposals is Wayne State’s campus, specifically the student body.

The first approach that could be taken is the direct service proposal, which starts at

Wayne State, through the Dean of Student’s Office (DOSO). Alcohol abuse is a known issue,

however; not many people address it or are willing to identify themselves as victims of it. While

Wayne State has many organizations, like Warriors in Recovery, which helped those who

suffered from addiction abuse, surprisingly there is no Students Against Destructive Decisions

(SADD) chapter. This idea of forming a local organization stemmed from Candy Lightner’s

organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The organization MADD began as a

neighborhood organization that eventually reached hundreds of chapters nationwide24. Through

the direct service proposal, the SADD organization is meant to take a similar approach.

However, as stated by the name, students would be the ones advocating the cause as opposed to

mothers. Even though the foundation of the organization is based on preventing destructive

decisions rather than addiction, the issues addressed will be narrowed, for example alcohol

addiction in college students or drunk driving. After an interview with Michael Valenti, a

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​America - The Owner’s Manual
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 15

graduate assistant at Wayne State’s Counseling and Psychological Services, he suggested that the

best way to eliminate the problem, especially the topic of alcohol addiction, was to raise

awareness and break the stigmas that are already present. There is almost no debate on the image

of the average alcoholic to society. They are frowned upon for being dependent on a destructive

substance. It is crucial to develop a structure that serves those who suffer from alcoholism.

Originally, the idea for the direct service proposal was not to solely raise awareness, however,

through the SADD organization, students have the opportunity to have a voice on issues that they

find important, similar to Brent Steinacker’s approach. He was affected by a friend’s death and

therefore formed Warriors in Recovery. However, with SADD, the goal is to gather multiple

students with different stories and share their experiences. From those experiences the

organization can form events that will teach students to think about their actions and the effects

they have not on just themselves but also others.

The initial step is to create the organization itself, using the group members from this

course, an application would be sent to the Dean of Student’s Office. Before hosting any type of

event, the group will need to reach out to the campus community to spread interest of this club.

This would be achieved through flyers posted all around campus, State Hall, Student Center,

Manoogian, residence halls, etc. An even further consideration would be using the Honors

College resources, such as Drew at the Honors College office in the undergraduate library. Drew

would be able to send emails to all the students enrolled within the Honors College, thus

expanding the number of individuals reached. Afterwards, once communication has been

completed and a substantial number of members have joined, at least 20-30 members, then the

organization will open up any leadership spots or positions for new members to pursue. Of
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course, during this time the organization members will discuss which issues they want to focus

on, there could be a list showing which issues are priorities, and should be considered first, and

ones that are less impactful and considered second. The overarching theme through this entire

process is to inform the public of social welfare and this is where awareness comes into play.

Often times, college students who struggle with alcohol have the “every man for himself”

mentality. Unfortunately, people are busy and get caught up with life, and individuals who

struggle with alcohol addiction believe that their problems will only add to someone else’s and

therefore, just leave the burden all to themselves and sometimes leads to more alcohol abuse.

The SADD organization is made by the students, for the students. As cliché as it might

sound, if students do not want to listen to their parents, especially advice about alcohol, then

what better person to talk to than someone else of the some age, and perhaps the same university.

That’s SADD’s purpose or motive on Wayne State’s campus, to address the seriousness of

alcohol addiction, it is something that everyone is going to come across, but spreading awareness

about it through campus will prevent some students from even starting it. To raise effective

awareness about the issue, SADD will plan to host events throughout the fall and winter

semesters, to educate students about alcohol addiction and the resources available to them if they

are struggling with the issue. Through an interview conducted with Brent Steinacker, president

of the Warriors in Recovery organization, he states that his organization has teamed up with

sororities on Wayne State’s campus, like Delta Zeta, to promote a sober free weekend, where

students were challenged to go an entire weekend without drinking. Hopefully in the future,

Brent and his organization could team up with SADD to host a rather larger event to promote

alcohol addiction awareness. Due to the fact that his organization has been established longer, he
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would have a potential list of contacts in which SADD could reach out to. The organization

could take advantage of the issue by spreading awareness through the designated awareness

month, April, where impact would be the greatest, most beneficial and listened by many people

throughout the community. It would be during this time where the organization would reach out

to other contacts to help out with the event or even sponsor, for example, a local Alcohol

Anonymous, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or Dawn Farm, a residential

treatment center recommended by Michael Valenti. However, when hosting events SADD must

consider how it will get members of the campus to participate, therefore, they must think of a

way to incentivize students to come. Possible ideas could be collaborating with professors about

offering extra credit if attending an event, or offering community service projects with recovery

centers as a part of the service learning requirement for the Honors College. There is an endless

amount of ways in which students can be drawn out to the issue, but it is all about finding the

right medium that will provide interest.

As of right now, there would be no cost for the organization, unless events are large, such

as a 5K run, where a venue will be needed, refreshments, etc. The goal is to “get the ball rolling,”

as long as the organization has been created, everything else will come. However, large events

like the 5K would be something that is not impossible, but unlikely to achieve during two

semesters, a lot of planning and people would be necessary to host an event of such scale. If

funding is necessary, SADD will host fundraising events such as a bake sale and may even

contact the Dean of Student’s Office to see if any grants are provided to student organizations.

By using the method of forming a student organization on Wayne State’s campus, there

are many advantages, such as using the nearby area, meaning that the organization knows the site
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very well and has a general idea of how to communicate with the student body online and

in-person on campus. By doing this, the organization can recruit people they know, like friends,

faculty, etc. Any type of person with alcohol addiction experience will aid in the process in the

long run25. Furthermore, recruiting members with a past history of alcohol addiction also allow

an emotional appeal to be used, similar to the MADD organization, where they used mother in

the title as a noncoercive power to draw individuals to the group, a similar perspective could be

used with the SADD organization on campus. However, while there may be advantages, there

are also disadvantages, and as one would assume, time is one of the factors. As usual, it takes

time to create a student-run club and gather members, this is where most time would be needed

when planned out, of course, communication would be very helpful in reducing the amount of

time spent, however, that varies on whether or not the different methods are available. In

addition to time, recruiting members will be another problem, the issue of alcohol addiction is an

interesting topic, there are some that find this topic to be sensitive and others that do not take it

seriously. So, it is a matter of communicating to the right group of people that are willing to join.

Overall an effective timeline to complete the direct service proposal includes starting the

organization (through DOSO), recruiting members, taking action on campus (raising awareness)

and eventually hosting large events (like a 5K). This proposed timeline would strive to be

completed within the course of two semesters and longer, if it succeeds. Afterwards, once the

organization has expanded and gained interest, like PERIOD, the group would strive to create an

advocacy policy addressing the influence of Greek life on alcohol addiction on college

campuses.

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​Altschuler
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 19

The advocacy proposal that was formulated as a potential solution to the alcohol abuse

problem on campus focuses on the regulation of consumption in Greek Life. On average, the

population of students attending college is in their middle years. This is the best time for young

adults to develop routines of behavior for their adult-lives26. While volunteering at the Karmanos

Cancer Institute, a researcher of this group encountered a patient that was undergoing treatment

for liver cancer. The patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated, “The habits that you form

now determine the type of lifestyle that you’ll be leading later. Don’t follow that party-lifestyle

that everyone wants. Do you want a future like this for yourself?” It seems that Greek Life on

campus would be the most wise target for a consumption-controlling policy as they are the

“party-booze outlets” of college campuses. College students are tempted to integrate themselves

into Greek Life because of the enticing social perks. Being a part of Greek Life means belonging

to a community, which comes with social enhancements. However, they are pricey, exclusive,

could involve hazing, and usually normalize the consumption of alcohol. Following the support

of recovering alcoholics and battling alcoholism stigmas on campus, advocating for a policy that

helps prevent the development of alcohol addiction is the next step. In order to be successful, one

must know to propel the policy upstream to the state government through campus support, local

support, strong evidence, and what agents to contact in order to implement the policy into the

collegiate education structure.

As solid as the policy may seem, the development of such an idea would be useless

without a method to propel it upstream. The first step would be to rally support at the local level.

MADD used pathos in order to gain popularity and attention. The foundation of the organization

26
Zielinski, Brandon A.
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 20

was composed of mothers, so they used their family appeal to gain support locally27. It is

intended to start gaining momentum for the policy through the campus organization. An existing

campus organization that we intend to reach out to is Warriors In Recovery (WIR). WIR works

to help and support recovering alcoholics. Quitting is not as easy as avoiding the pub forever.

Alcoholics should feel comfortable seeking help for themselves. After helping suffering

alcoholics on campus, we intend to help prevent others from making more rash decisions through

the establishment of SADD. At Heritage High School in Saginaw, a mother who lost her

daughter to a distracted driver as she was walking to school. For two years, she stood in front of

the school every morning with a sign that said “Drive carefully.” Touched by her efforts,

students erected another chapter of SADD to remind others of the terrible consequences of poor

decision-making. At every pep rally, they would also appeal to the student body as MADD did

by reading stories of families who had lost their children to the destructive decisions of others.

By vocalizing the potential outcomes of poor decision making here at Wayne State, a difference

in overall campus safety can also be made. The raised awareness of alcoholism stigmas and the

success of campus organizations that discourage alcohol consumption will be used to propel the

issue of collegiate-developed alcoholism upstream. Once the issue has gained movement within

the campus, it would gain more access to higher powers, such as the state government.

It is obvious that for a policy to gain any real strength, they must be able to transcend

higher levels of government to gain implementation. It is crucial to identify reachable key

members in the upper level of structures that the policy is trying to reach. In the State of

Michigan’s government, it seems to be most beneficial to relay the policy to Samuel Christensen,

27
​Russell, Anne
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 21

the analyst for the budget area of the Department of Education. The policy that has been

developed is largely dependent on the state government’s allocation of funds to its own

universities. With his support and insight, the areas of the State Government that can be targeted

can be learned in order to determine how to influence fund distribution. Every year, the state

government provides funding to schools based on a number of criteria. One that can be added to

the list is Greek Life participation in extracurricular activities. Universities only need to enforce

the policy in order to get their full share of state-provided monetary resources, or else lose 10%

of it. This deduction model is based on the federal deduction of highway funds that were

enforced as a result of the efforts of MADD28. Universities would be incentivized to take

legitimate action on the tarnishing behavior of Greek Life with state funding and the preservation

of campus reputation. The state government would be incentivized with legitimate results from

alcoholic intervention on Greek Life by the Universities themselves. The policy simply

establishes a mutualistic relationship between the efforts of both the State and the University

over an issue that has been proven to be hard to control.

Beyond the scope of the State Government, this policy can also be relayed on a structure

that influences Greek Life nationally: the North-American Interfraternity Council (NIC). The

NIC has the power to shut down any houses that are perceived as dangerous to its University’s

student body. For example, in 2017 all Greek Life activity at the University of Michigan was

shut down by the interfraternity council as a result of hospitalizations from alcohol abuse and

sexual misconduct allegations. In 2016, Pennsylvania State halted all Greek Life parties

involving alcohol following the death of a pledge. In the same year, Louisiana State suspended

28
​Russell, Anne,
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 22

all Greek Life activity for a week for the same reason. The Interfraternity Council recognizes the

element of danger that alcohol introduces to its members and punishes them accordingly. After

so many alcohol-related incidents, there is a strong belief that the generated advocacy policy

would incentivize them with the protection of its members and the preservation of the

international Greek Life reputation. The introduction of an extracurricular intervention to

sororities and fraternities would not only help impede the alcohol abuse that occurs in many

houses, but it also promotes a sense of community between them. The most efficient way to

propel the policy into the hands of NIC directors would be to contact Mike Michael Mayer, a

graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School. As director in the Interfraternity

Council, he would be the most likely to listen to the suggestions of Michigan students and

understand the direction and the possible impact of the developed policy. His high-ranking

position in the NIC could potentially grant the policy a gateway to implementation on a national

scale. Greek houses that do not comply with the regulations of the NIC are suspended or

punished as the NIC sees fit. This nationally-impacting structure is a golden outlet for change in

the normalized alcohol-practices of Greek Life.

The policy being advocated for requires the participation of Greek Life in extracurricular

activities. Addictive behaviors are simply transferred from one system of behavior to another,

and is built into human nature. Restricting access to alcohol will not eradicate the alcoholism

issue either. In fact, the Prohibition is a shining example of what will result from taking a liberty

away. As proven earlier by the policies enforced in Iceland, the smartest way to approach this

issue is to divert the transfer of addictive behavior to more lucrative activities. Putting Greek Life

Members through a class that educates them on the dangers of alcohol will probably not do
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 23

much. For college campuses, the activity that would seem to interest and benefit students most is

sports participation. By establishing a competitive division specifically for Greek Life

Competition, healthy competition between the houses would formulate, addictive behavior can

be diverted, students will learn to balance their time more wisely, and the battle with the

“Freshman 15 Epidemic” can be supported.

There is an issue that is arising alongside the development of college alcoholism:

collegiate weight gain. Whether the average Greek Life member wishes to blame meal plans for

the endless supply of food, blame the stress from the long hours of studying, or blame alcohol

consumption, participation in a sports team that enhances social engagement would help tackle

the weight problem no matter where pounds are coming from. When presenting this proposal to

the Greek Life Members that will be affected, it is important not to stress that they are one of the

prime contributors to the rising alcoholism issue. This proposal does much more for them than

just the divert their attention from alcohol. They will learn to balance their time more wisely

between their social life, academics, and sports. The diversion from alcohol is just a side-effect,

since students will find that they have less time to juggle drinking into their schedules. Greek

houses will find an opportunity to engage in healthy competition with their rivaling houses.

However, it is expected that the role of sports against collegiate weight gain will rouse the most

interest and support. According to June I. Matthews, 29 presenting the benefits that the Greek Life

members will receive as opposed to pointing fingers at them as the root of a problem will do

more to gain acceptance and support for the establishment of the proposal.

29
June I. Matthews
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 24

Overall an effective timeline to complete the advocacy proposal includes starting the

SADD organization, recruiting members, taking action on campus and eventually hosting large

events, and gaining the momentum and acquiring strong enough research to contact and present

the policy to key members of influential structures. If these events turn out to be a success, then

the policy needs to pass through the state government office. This would involve consideration

of the policy by budget committees of the legislature. Following hypothetical approval, then the

support of the State Government will be needed to get an order to state offices to enact the

change. This proposed timeline would strive to be completed within the course of about two to

three years. Considering that the success direct proposal plan is the basis of the advocacy policy

plan, the direct proposal plan is the action that should be taken right now. The establishment of

SADD requires coordination through DOSO, no funding for establishment, and the gumption to

recruit members and create events. Once momentum is gained at a local level, then the advocacy

proposal plan can be set in motion.

Ultimately, through extensive research throughout the duration of the semester, it has

been concluded that there are innumerable ways to solve the problem of alcohol addiction, yet

the issue is finding a suitable mean that will satisfy all, while simultaneously providing the

proper punishment. In terms of university legislation, it is the responsibility of both the campus

government and civil authorities to keep students safe. Therefore, it is clear, without a doubt, that

universities should address underlying environmental, psychological, and physical factors that

lead to increased demonstrations of risk behaviors so that it will be possible to transform the

issue of alcohol dependence in underage individuals into one that is practical and achievable.

Once a potential solution is established, advocates must conduct research to recognize the
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 25

possible impact that the decision makers might have on the issue. For instance, identification of

the decision makers’ prior positions or votes on similar issues, previous bills introduced, or

relevant press releases should be performed. Also, it is beneficial for advocates, especially young

ones, to adopt a basic understanding of internal politics as a way to navigate the complexities of

legislative action. Above all, the proposed policy effort must be met with constant assessment in

order to judge the success and failure rates of varying methods. It is essential to recognize that

we, as American Citizens, can work diligently to enact public policy change, even in areas that

seem exceptionally difficult, that will ensure a safer society and future for all.
Grammatico, Villalon, Williams, Yousif 26

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