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The Impact of Alcohol on Campus Life

DeJong, William
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In David R. Karp and Thom Allena, eds., Restorative Justice on the College Campus: promoting student growth and responsibility, and reawakening the spirit of campus community. Springfield, Ill. : C.C. Thomas. Pp. 101-119.

In the words of William DeJong, the misuse of alcohol is the principal social problem confronting American higher education today. Indeed, many other problems affecting colleges and universities – such as upholding academic standards, building a strong and vibrant community, and providing a safe environment – are aggravated by student use of alcohol. School administrators relied in the past on awareness programs to educate students about the dangers of alcohol abuse, but those programs proved of limited effectiveness in reducing alcohol problems on campus. A major shift has occurred in the last decade as administrators are turning to programs that provide not only educational awareness but also seek to change the environmental or cultural conditions and values on campus and in the community to prevent abuse of alcohol. This based at least in part on a prevention philosophy called environmental management. In this vein, DeJong discusses the increasing exploration of restorative justice programs in colleges and universities to deal with students found guilty of alcohol-related misconduct.


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