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Monday, September 27, 2021

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SDSU Receives RADD College Spirit Award

DUI simulator event tomorrow one of many programs educating students about alcohol
By Gina Speciale

San Diego State University has received the College Spirit Award for outstanding public service to reduce drunk driving from RADD, the entertainment industry's voice for road safety.  The RADD California Coalition (RCC), of which SDSU is a founding partner, is a statewide initiative funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety to promote effective use of non-drinking designated drivers by Californians age 21–34.

SDSU’s Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Initiatives program received the award for being a leader in developing and implementing RCC programs and AOD education presentations, policy and program coordination, community outreach, resource development and research. 

Housed within Student Health Service’s health promotion department, AOD Initiatives also targets Pacific Beach, a well-known hotspot for student drinking and drunk driving problems, coordinating awareness events and programs.

“Drunk driving knows no campus boundaries, so prevention of this particularly harmful behavior requires university action that reaches into the community,” said James Lange, Coordinator of AOD Initiatives.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, each year it is estimated that over 1,700 college students die from alcohol related causes; 78% of these come from traffic incidents, Lange said.  

As part of the continuing effort to educate students on the dangers of drunk driving, AOD will host a DUI simulation event on campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 25. 

Other sponsors of the event include Associated Student/Cultural Arts & Special Events, SDSU Athletics, Counseling & Psychological Services, Residential Education, and the Residential Housing Association. 

SDSU initiates several programs throughout the year to help reduce alcohol and other drug use and abuse by students. Aztec Nights, an alcohol-free activities program for residential students provides alternative activities for students to participate in, rather than going to a party to drink alcohol. 

In addition, Operation: Campus Sweep limits the amount of unsolicited advertising promoting drinking venues that encourage excessive drinking. A team of student volunteers scour the campus looking for advertisements that do not conform to posting policies and remove them. 

Other alcohol abuse prevention programs at SDSU include: peer education programs; the online e-CHUG personal alcohol assessment survey; and the
ASPIRE counseling program, a sanction imposed program for students with alcohol violations. 

Offered through SDSU Counseling and Psychological Services, ASPIRE counselors meet regularly with students throughout the semester following their violation to discuss lifestyle and choices.  Participating students receive personalized feedback about alcohol use and family risk factors.

"I went in because I got written up for alcohol in my dorm and I was expecting to get preached to and shown horrific pictures of the negative effects of drinking,” one ASPIRE student said.“Instead, I learned something about my patterns of behavior that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. I’m glad I went.”

The university also works closely with city and county alcohol abuse prevention and counseling services.