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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 22, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Alcohol policies and awareness at Washington State University

Take it further

Kenny Hummel died after consuming an energy drink mixed with alcohol while attending WSU. [Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times.]

Kenny Hummel died after consuming an energy drink mixed with alcohol while attending WSU. [Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times.]

Washington State University’s new alcohol policies are a step in the right direction. [“Editorial: Campus drinking: ‘Cougs looking out for Cougs,’” Opinion, Aug. 19.]

The concept of training students what to do when a friend is sick is a terrific idea, as a majority of alcohol-poisoning deaths occur when friends let an inebriated student “sleep it off.”

Realize, however, that schools nationwide have adopted countless alcohol-prevention programs and initiatives with little long-term success. One program with documented success is Soteer.

In line with WSU President Elson Floyd’s call of “Cougs taking care of Cougs,” Soteer focuses on “students helping students stay safe,” and takes this idea one step further by training students in bystander intervention, who then attend parties to apply their knowledge and change the trajectory of a student’s night before a problem occurs. Soteer trains its monitors in signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse, intervention techniques, rape awareness and general safety.

This approach may compliment WSU’s wonderful and thoughtful new policies.

Paul Millman, CEO of Soteer, LLC, White Plains, N.Y.

Comments | More in alcohol, Education | Topics: alcohol, education, policy

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