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Press Release: DeSales University Awarded $30,000 NCAA CHOICES Grant for Alcohol Education
Date: 9/27/2006

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DeSales University Awarded $30,000 NCAA CHOICES Grant for Alcohol Education

DeSales University has been awarded a three-year, $30,000 CHOICES program grant from the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) for the period from September 2006 through June 30, 2009. The funded programs are designed to work toward the elimination of high-risk consumption of alcohol on college campuses by promoting low-risk choices. DeSales is one of 15 NCAA institutions nationwide to receive a grant. Fifty-eight institutions submitted proposals.

Established in 1991, the CHOICES program encourages NCAA institutions and conferences to implement and evaluate effective alcohol-prevention programs. Collaboration between the athletics department and other campus organizations involved is vital to CHOICES. Student-athletes and athletic events are key components of delivering the educational program to the entire campus.

According to the NCAA, the title, "CHOICES," was selected because it represents the multiple choices students have on a daily basis. The DeSales grant is titled, "Healthier CHOICES for a Winning Future."

The goal of the DeSales program is to utilize and increase the visibility of student leaders in the athletic department to educate the campus community on alcohol laws and normative behavior. This will involve a series of training sessions on recognition, identification, and intervention techniques, primarily run for the athletic staff and student athletes, and open to a group of student leaders who will be selected to participate in the program.

The CHOICES programs at DeSales will be directed by Fred Richter, director of student-athlete services, Gracia Perilli, assistant director of athletics, and Rev. Joseph DiMauro, OSFS, associate dean for residence life.

"This is the first NCAA CHOICES grant DeSales has received and we feel very fortunate," said Richter. "We believe deeply in the importance of alcohol education for our students and the funded programs will provide them with the opportunity to become more well informed and able to make responsible decisions."

The programs involve trainings for coaches and student-athletes, as well as campus wide events like alcohol free celebrations after DeSales sporting events. Educational programs will be administered to student-athletics via media and peer presentations.

Various departments and groups will be involved in the implementation of the DeSales programs. They include: Student Life, Athletics, Counseling Center, Judicial Affairs, Health Services, Sport Management, selected trained CHOICES student athletes, members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and members of PACE (Peers Advising Counseling Educating).

DeSales has 16 intercollegiate varsity sport teams which are members of the NCAA Division III, Middle Atlantic States Conferences, the Freedom Conference, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference. There are 300 student athletes at DeSales for the 2006 - 2007 academic year. This represents about 20 percent of the student body. The philosophy of the DeSales' athletic program mirrors that of the University, which emphasizes academic excellence, individual attention, a community experience, mutual concern and enabling students to become fully human in a Christian way.

A key component of the program will be a campus wide, overall awareness campaign that will utilize appropriate media outlets. Staff members in the office of student life will educate students regarding the repercussions of alcohol use and abuse. Also, a series of substance free social events will be held throughout the three-year period of the grant, in conjunction with major national sports events and university intercollegiate games.

The three-year, $30,000 grant is awarded as follows: $15,000 the first year, $10,000 the second year and $5,000 third year.

In addition to DeSales, the following higher education institutions received NCAA CHOICES program grants for this academic year: Alabama University at Birmingham, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, California State University, Coker College, Ferris State University, Georgia College & State University, Illinois College, University of Kansas, Linfield College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Ohio University, University of Tulsa, and College of William and Mary.

The grants, totaling approximately $450,000, bring to 168 the number of grants awarded since the CHOICES program began in 1991. About $3.85 million has been awarded to NCAA institutions since then. The NCAA awards CHOICES grants with support from an original gift from Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc

For more information on the DeSales NCAA CHOICES programs, please contact Fred Richter, director of student-athlete services and women's basketball coach at DeSales University, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1609, or at fred.richter@desales.edu.

Press Release: DeSales University Awarded $30,000 NCAA CHOICES Grant for Alcohol Education | Posted on: 9/27/2006

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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