Public forum on alcohol issues set for March 25 in State College

March 17, 2008

University Park, Pa. -- Steady increases in the number of citations for public drunkenness, driving under the influence, and liquor law violations point to a persistent problem of alcohol abuse in the State College and University Park communities. The problem mirrors national trends and occurs against a backdrop of an increase in alcohol-related businesses selling more alcohol in the State College area in recent years.

To help develop solutions, community members are invited to engage in a public dialogue titled "Alcohol: Making the Difficult Decisions." The event will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25, at the State College Borough Building, 243 S. Allen St.

The Public Issues Forum of Centre County is hosting the gathering, in cooperation with the State College Area School and The Partnership: Campus and Community United Against Dangerous Drinking. The local forum is part of the larger Public Issues Forums, a non-partisan, nationwide network of forums addressing questions of public policy.

The event's format will follow that of other National Issues Forums, concentrating on several predetermined approaches and offering small groups the opportunity to discuss the pros, cons, consequences, costs, and trade-offs of each.

The approaches chosen for the evening are:
-- Strengthen and Enforce the Law. By increasing police funding and cracking down on offenders, town and campus will be better places to live.

-- Treat the Public Health Epidemic. To address the problems leading to alcohol addiction, more programs are needed for prevention, early detection, counseling, and treatment.

-- Educate for Societal Change. Undertake educational efforts to increase awareness about alcohol and develop societal norms and public policies for responsible behavior.

According to The Partnership's co-chairs, State College Mayor Bill Welch and Penn State Vice President for University Relations Bill Mahon, police issued 2,502 citations in State College and University Park in 2006 for alcohol-related violations, nearly double the number for 2003.

There is no charge to attend. Participants are encouraged to register by sending an e-mail to , although pre-registration is not required. Free pizza and refreshments will be provided.

To learn more about "Alcohol: Making the Difficult Decisions," visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009