The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced that three local colleges: Penn State Berks, Albright College and Kutztown University; as well as Kutztown Borough and the Wyomissing Police Department will share a grant for a combined $150,000 to help minors avoid the temptation of underage drinking and alcohol abuse.
Sen. Judy Schwank announced the grant at a news conference at Kutztown Borough Hall on Sept. 3. “Television commercials and Internet ads make it look like drinking is a cool thing to do, but when alcohol is consumed irresponsibly and illegally, the results are costly, tragic and sometimes deadly,” Schwank said.
Penn State Berks plans to put the funding to good use in support of the Penn State Berks Underage Alcohol Enforcement Campaign. The goal is to educate all Penn State Berks students on the social norms of alcohol consumption and offer information on the consequences of underage drinking, including citations and University sanctions for any alcohol violations.
"This grant provides us with the opportunity to educate students about the dangers and ramifications of alcohol consumption with innovative educational programs,” explained Penn State Berks Police Chief Kevin Rudy.
The program will include mandatory first-year seminars, increased police patrols on campus and for off-campus student housing with neighboring jurisdictions on historically higher drinking nights. In addition, a mock DUI crash will be held in the fall of 2014. CORE surveys will be used to develop statistical data to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs offered. The anticipated result is to reduce the number of alcohol-related violations for Penn State Berks.
Penn State Berks Police Officer Joel Avram, who participate in writing the grant proposal for the college, added, "The PLCB has continued to show that they are a valued partner with Penn State Berks and the other colleges, universities and law enforcement agencies in support of alcohol education and enforcement."
Penn State Berks is receiving $20,065; the PLCB’s Bureau of Alcohol Education will pay the grants over a two-year period. One-hundred-and-fifteen organizations applied for a share of the PLCB’s $2.1 million program.
"It's great to think about the impact that this grant funding will have on thousands of students at Kutztown, Albright and Penn State Berks," stated Penn State Berks Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk. "Young people need that support and need that direction."