A safe start

Student Wellness, local police promote safe decision-making

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2:15 p.m., Aug. 26, 2013--This fall, Student Wellness and Health Promotion, the University of Delaware Police Department (UDPD) and the Newark Police Department (NPD) are working cooperatively to promote safe decision-making and curb the dangers of drinking. 

For the second consecutive year, UD has developed a strategic plan to increase police enforcement and reduce risky behavior associated with dangerous alcohol consumption. The initiative is funded by the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG) — a grant provided by the federal government to the state of Delaware. 

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Last year, the safety initiative committee used the grant funding to launch a campaign aimed at keeping students safe during the influential first few weeks of the semester. This year, the campaign will additionally focus on other times of the year associated with the dangers of high-risk drinking, including Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day. 

“By applying strategies that have been successful in other college communities, we are simply just trying to keep our students as safe as possible. Increasing police presence lets our UD students know that we care about their safety,” said Nancy Chase, director of Student Wellness and Health Promotion. 

Additionally, the collaboration between UDPD and NPD encourages a harmonious existence between the UD community and the residents of Newark — an important task considering the intertwined campus and city. 

While police departments are teaming up to provide enforcement, Student Wellness and Health Promotion continues to educate students about the dangers of excessive drinking, the signs of alcohol poisoning and where to turn for help.

Additionally, Student Wellness and Health Promotion — and several registered student organizations (RSOs) associated with the office — host and promote alternative events throughout the semester, including the Class of 2017 Student Welcome Tailgate for incoming freshmen. 

“We want our students to know that help is close by and emphasize students’ role in helping to keep our community safe,” said Chase. “They can do this by making safe and responsible choices about their own behavior, holding their peers to a higher expectation of respectable behavior and by speaking up or stepping in when they notice risky or dangerous situations occurring.”

To get updates on the initiative, follow the hashtag #Safehens on social media and look for updates on the Student Wellness and Health Promotion Facebook page

In a continued effort to curb excessive and dangerous drinking, UDPD and NPD have also partnered in another campaign, called the Joint Agency Alcohol Initiative

About Student Wellness and Health Promotion

Student Wellness and Health Promotion works to encourage students and community members to build a safer and healthier campus environment in which to live and learn. Through prevention, intervention and education, Student Wellness and Health Promotion gives students the tools to make healthy choices and succeed academically. 

The Student Wellness and Health Promotion office is located on 231 South College Ave. For more information or questions, contact studentwellness@udel.edu or call the office at 302-831-3457. 

About the grant

The Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant supports community efforts to prevent substance abuse. Funding for this project has been provided by the Delaware Department for Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The SPF is a five-step process assisting states in developing prevention plans and providing funding to communities to execute the plans.

Article by Kelley Bregenzer

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