National college security group honors URI president for alcohol abuse prevention initiatives

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KINGSTON, R.I. – August 31, 2007 – University of Rhode Island President Robert L. Carothers has been selected the 2007 recipient of the Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award for his efforts to reduce student alcohol abuse.

Presented by Connie and Howard Clery, co-founders of Security On Campus, Inc., the award honors those who have taken extraordinary actions to make students safe. It is awarded in memory of the Clery’s daughter, who was murdered on the campus of Lehigh University in 1986.

“We are honoring Dr. Carothers because he has demonstrated how taking proper action can improve the campus culture and reduce alcohol and other drug abuse by students,” said Connie Clery. “Dr. Carothers has been a vocal advocate for college alcohol and other drug prevention efforts not only on his own campus but also in the state of Rhode Island and on a national level. We appreciate Dr. Carothers for leading the way by taking extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of the URI campus community.”

For more than a decade, Carothers has been vocal, visible, and visionary in his efforts to curb alcohol use at URI, in the state, and in the nation. He tackled the issue soon after he arrived at the University, at a time when URI’s party school image was fodder for national media. The Princeton Review ranked URI its top party school from 1993 to 1995.

“I am honored to have been selected to receive an award from an organization which has worked so hard to protect college students,” Carothers said. “All of our efforts at reducing the abuse of alcohol and drugs on campus have been aimed at making this a safe environment in which our students can learn. While we are proud of the progress we have made, every year a new class of freshmen arrives on campus, reminding me that there is still so much to be done.”

Under Carothers’ leadership, URI has adopted comprehensive approaches to substance abuse, including a prohibition of alcohol at social events on campus; parental notification after the second alcohol or drug violation; alcohol awareness information for freshmen through a required class designed to acclimate them to campus life; and establishment of the URI-Narragansett Community Coalition to address alcohol problems in concert with the local community.

Carothers serves on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s College Drinking Task Force’s Panel on Prevention and Treatment, and was instrumental in the creation of the groundbreaking NIAAA report, A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges. In 2004, he was recognized for his leadership in alcohol abuse prevention when he received the Presidents Leadership Group Award from the Center for College Health and Safety, a division of the Education Development Center in Newton, Mass.

Security On Campus, Inc. is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to prevent violence, substance abuse and other crimes in college and university communities across the United States, and to compassionately assist the victims of these crimes. The group advocated for passage of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, a federal statute enacted in 1990 that requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.