Q: Does the Campus - Community Coalition only address university student problems?
A: No. The CCC addresses issues of underage and high-risk drinking among all youth throughout Kittitas County, and addresses high-risk drinking among both minors and adults in the county.
Q: Why does Kittitas County need a Campus - Community Coalition?
A: County and university data continue to support the need to prevent high-risk drinking. When the CCC was started in 2004, data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (2003) showed that Kittitas County had nearly three times more adults (aged 18 and older) arrested for alcohol-related crimes than the statewide average, and nearly 12 per 100 deaths in the county were alcohol or drug-related.
The County found that children were starting to drink at a younger age and drinking patterns were becoming more extreme. In 2011, the second annual release of the County Health Rankings placed Kittitas County at the very bottom of Washington State for excessive drinking among adults, indicating that this county has the highest rate of drinking in the state.
In Kittitas County, there are 1.5 times more alcohol licenses per 1,000 people than statewide; the density of alcohol outlets is an indicator of higher risk.
CWU data for 2011 show that 44% of students reported drinking 5 or more alcoholic beverages in the past two weeks. The Ellensburg Police Department affirms that most of the domestic violence, simple assault, and property damage/malicious mischief reports are alcohol-related; and a large portion of calls for service are related to underage and high-risk drinking.
According to the Center for Disease Control, alcohol use by persons under age 21 years is a major public health problem throughout the United States. Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the US, more than tobacco and illicit drugs.
Q: Who is on the Campus - Community Coalition?
The Coalition is comprised of a broad spectrum of university and community stakeholders who are concerned about the impacts of alcohol abuse. Members include representatives from city and county government, law enforcement, probation services, the courts, prevention and treatment agencies, public school employees, local property owners, bar/tavern/retail store owners, county health department, liquor control board, concerned citizens, CWU students and faculty, and university staff from campus police and safety, student affairs, campus-life, student housing, and counseling, health and wellness. A detailed list of members is available on the CCC website, at Coalition Partners
Q: How can I get involved in the Campus-Community Coalition?
Contact CCC Coordinator, Lynne Harrison, at 509-963-3240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Some say that 'kids are going to drink anyway; isn't it better to let them drink at my house where they are safe?
A: No. Underage drinking is illegal; binge or high-risk drinking is dangerous and can result in a myriad of negative consequences, such as assaults, injury to self or others, property damage, and alcohol poisoning. When we say, we know that everybody does it and we know they will anyway, we are implicitly giving kids permission to drink. That is the wrong message. Studies show that parents continue to have the most influence on whether or not their children will drink. By changing their messages, parents can maximize their positive influence.