The Campus-Community Coalition was inaugurated in May 2004 under the leadership of Central Washington University President Jerilyn McIntyre and Ellensburg City Mayor Ed Barry, to reduce high-risk and underage drinking at the university, in Ellensburg, and throughout Kittitas County. President McIntyre, a member of the U.S. Department of Education's Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Presidents Leadership Group, had made a commitment to reducing alcohol abuse on her campus. Mayor Barry affirmed that reducing alcohol abuse was a priority for the city as well.
Prior to creating the Campus-Community Coalition, efforts at the campus and community levels to reduce the impacts of high-risk drinking had been in place for many years, but the collaboration that occurred between the city and the university provided the impetus needed to develop a comprehensive program of environmental management strategies to change the culture of alcohol use.
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, 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, diversity education, student empowerment, and counseling, health and wellness.
The Coalition is committed to changing practices, policies and expectations within the community to reduce underage and high-risk drinking, using a collaborative approach that is supported by research. Research has shown that traditional approaches to reduce high-risk drinking, such as education and alcohol awareness activities, are necessary but insufficient when used alone. Working together, the Coalition is developing community solutions to community problems.