University of Vermont

QVM

University of Vermont Honored for Leadership in Alcohol Abuse Prevention

UVM one of five schools nationally to receive distinction from higher education technology leader EVERFI

EVERFI, a leading education technology company, presented UVM with a prestigious Prevention Excellence Award at an on-campus ceremony October 10. Pictured are (from left) Rob Buelow, EVERFI vice president of prevention education, Tom Sullivan, UVM president, Kimberley Timpf, senior director of prevention education at EVERFI, Annie Stevens, vice provost for student affairs, and Jon Porter, director UVM’s Center for Health and Wellbeing. (Photo: Sally McCay)

Officials from EVERFI, a leading education technology innovator, presented the University of Vermont with the group’s prestigious Prevention Excellence Award at a special ceremony held on the UVM campus Tuesday. The award recognizes UVM’s commitment to adopting the highest standards in alcohol abuse prevention.

Colleges and universities that have joined the Campus Prevention Network are eligible for consideration to receive the award through completing either the Sexual Assault Diagnostic Inventory (SADI) or the Alcohol Diagnostic Inventory (ADI) – comprehensive research-based assessments of a school’s prevention programs and practices grounded in a decade of peer-reviewed literature on best practices in prevention.

UVM, a member of the Campus Prevention Network, received the award based on its ADI score,  Campus Prevention Network staff interviews with campus professionals at UVM and a careful review of the university’s effort.

“It’s a great honor to receive this important award from such a respected national group,” said Tom Sullivan, president of the University of Vermont. “While there is more work to do, the clear progress we’ve made in reducing high risk drinking at UVM, an issue that challenges all of higher education, is cause for celebration. I want to thank our staff, faculty and students for their hard work in bringing this important and prestigious award to our campus.”

“With so much recent emphasis on the shortcomings in campus prevention and response efforts, EVERFI aims to shift the narrative by highlighting campuses doing exemplary work,” said Rob Buelow, EVERFI vice president of prevention education, who presented the award to UVM with Kimberley Timpf, the group's senior director of prevention education. 

“The Prevention Excellence Awards give us the opportunity to share and celebrate the tremendous commitment these institutions are making and continue to make in comprehensive, data-driven, evidence-based, and researched informed prevention efforts to build communities that encourage students to thrive," he said. 

The University of Vermont  seeks to create a safe, respectful and healthy campus for all students through a systems-oriented public health model and a commitment to measuring both successes and setbacks. UVM administrators credit their success to the collaboration and hard work of both campus and community colleagues and partners, most notably, the willingness of senior leadership to name the issue as a risk to the health and successful engagement of students.

UVM’s notable recent accomplishment include the following: 

  • Binge drinking rates, defined as five drinks for males or four drinks for females within a two-hour period, declined by approximately a third over the last five years.
  • The number of students requiring medical attention as a result of excessive drinking declined by over fifty percent during the same period.
  • Calls for service for issues including noise, intoxication and disorderly conduct by the Burlington Police Department to traditionally student neighborhoods declined by one third over the last three years.

“We’ve seen that a combination of factors – including transparency in naming the impact of high risk drinking on the safety, health and successful engagement of our students; determination; and using interventions grounded in science – can result in real progress on this issue,” said Dr. Jon Porter, director of UVM’s Center for Health and Wellbeing.

“While it’s gratifying to see this progress, we’re also clear about the importance of continued focus and hard work over the long term,” Porter said.

Of the eighty-nine colleges and universities that have completed the SADI and the eighty-five that have completed the ADI, fewer than ten percent earned the distinction of being a Prevention Excellence Award honoree. Buelow further noted, “The Prevention Excellence Awards are particularly special because we do not ask schools to compete against each other, but rather to commit to doing the best work possible in the core areas of institutionalization, critical processes, policies, and programming, and to measure themselves against the highest standards in the field.”

The Campus Prevention Network, is a nationwide initiative of over 1,700 institutions dedicated to creating safer, healthier campus communities. Any college or university may join CPN free of charge by agreeing to take a pledge to adopt the highest standards of prevention related to critical health and safety challenges, including sexual assault and alcohol abuse, and to assess the progress and impact of their efforts. Through the Campus Prevention Network, colleges and universities will have access to prevention best practices, regulatory compliance expertise, ongoing professional development, and groundbreaking prevention research. Campuses can join the network and take the pledge here.

EVERFI, Inc. is the education technology innovator that empowers K-12, higher education, and adult learners with the skills needed to be successful in life. The company teams with major corporations and foundations to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.  Learn more at everfi.com.