In an effort to reduce alcohol-related issues among students, Saint Louis University has formed the Midtown Coalition, a group of key community partners, including the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the City Excise Commission (liquor control).
The new initiative is a result of SLU’s participation in the Missouri Partners in Prevention program, which has 20 member institutions, both public and private.
“This Midtown Coalition strengthens our commitment to fostering a campus culture that embraces the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse,” said Kent Porterfield, Ed.D., vice president for student development.
To that end, University officials recently held a meeting with local bar owners, urging them to card/I.D. their patrons effectively, to engage in responsible serving practices and to eliminate drink specials that encourage excessive alcohol consumption.
“SLU has numerous programs in place to address this issue, but we need the surrounding bars to step up in helping us reduce underage and high-risk drinking,” Porterfield said.
SLU also recently hosted a training session led by the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control that focused on responsible practices. A number of bartenders and servers from nearby establishments participated.
The University also is partnering with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to intensify alcohol enforcement during the first few weeks of classes.
Beginning this weekend, on Friday and Saturday nights, city police officers will work with the Department of Public Safety and Security Services. Students found in violation of laws related to underage and public drinking may be issued a city summons. These enhanced enforcement efforts will continue on a periodic basis throughout the school year.
The University will continue to actively oppose liquor licenses for nearby bars that allow them to serve alcohol until 3 a.m. National studies provide evidence that longer serving periods contribute to higher-risk behaviors and greater harm, especially among college-age drinkers.
Below is a summary of just a few of Saint Louis University’s alcohol-related support and education programs:
- Through the SHAPE program, “Student Health Advocates/Peer Educators” make presentations to student groups and in classrooms about alcohol and drug prevention. The peer educators also host "OkSoberfest" in October, as well as "Safer Spring Break" events.
- The interactive course, Saint Louis University Harm and Alcohol Reduction Program (SHARP), teaches students about the negative effects of poor decision-making.
- Students also can enjoy numerous late-night, alcohol-free activities through the Billikens After Dark program.
For more information about these programs and many other resources, visit the Division of Student Development website.