October 23, 2001
To the Campus Community:
During October 21-28, UCSB will join over 3,000 other universities and colleges around the country in recognition of National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. As we begin a new academic year, and particularly during this week of national awareness, I would encourage you to take some time to reflect on the role alcohol may play in your life. I am writing now to encourage you to prevent alcohol abuse from overtaking, and perhaps even ending, your hopes and dreams for the future.
Our goal at UCSB is to create a safe and secure environment in which all members of our community can learn, live, and work. Each of you has worked hard to be admitted to UCSB and each of you (as well as your families) is making significant investments of money, time, and energy in your education. Alcohol abuse directly undercuts the return on that educational investment. It erodes your ability to take full advantage of opportunities for the intellectual and emotional growth that should characterize the college experience.
What’s more, alcohol abuse, particularly the high-risk drinking that occurs throughout our community, can have even more dire consequences, causing irreparable harm not only to those who indulge in this behavior, but to friends, family, and often, innocent bystanders. Every year, we hear the tales of young lives ended too soon as a direct result of excessive drinking.
College has always been a time of experimentation and a time of establishing a personal code of action and values. We hope it will be a time when you make informed and responsible decisions about drinking. The consequences of the choices you make about your consumption of alcohol may be ones you will have to live with the rest of your life.
The S.T.A.R. (Students Teaching Alcohol and other drug Responsibility) Peers from Student Health Service sponsor a number of activities throughout the year and during National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week to promote moderation, responsibility, or non-drinking. I encourage you to become involved in their activities. In addition, counselors are available (free of charge) at Student Health Service to provide information, support, or access to treatment programs.
I invite you to take advantage of the many opportunities our campus offers to enjoy yourself, without abusing alcohol, both during this week of awareness and throughout the year. Act responsibly, be informed, and most importantly, take care with yourself and those around you.
Henry T. Yang