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Student Leadership Principles

Principles of Student Leadership in Campus-Based Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention
A Joint Statement of the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and The BACCHUS Network™

May 2, 2000

Basic Premises

  1. All students have a right to live, work, and play in a safe campus environment.
  2. The vast majority of students either abstain from alcohol or use it responsibly and abstain from other drugs.
  3. Students' alcohol and other drug (AOD) use is influenced by the campus and community environment. This environment includes
    • the beliefs and behaviors of other students, including perceptions of norms and what constitutes acceptable behavior policies and programs to reduce alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems
    • Students are an essential resource to prevention efforts:
      • They bring an essential perspective to the debate on policies and programs to reduce alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems on campus.
      • Their involvement in the design and implementation of AOD programs is critical and can help tailor those programs to the individual campus.
      • Their participation in AOD prevention efforts helps create wider campus support for new policies and programs.
      • Their support of AOD prevention efforts serves to reinforce positive campus norms concerning alcohol and other drugs.
    • A wide diversity of students should be seen as student leaders, not just those serving in traditional leadership roles.

Obligations of Administrators

  1. Student leaders should be invited to serve as fully participating members of any campus task force or committee focused on alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems.
  2. University officials should solicit and respectfully respond to the independent voices of a variety of student leaders.
  3. University officials should sponsor events where students can discuss their views on AOD prevention, generate constructive ideas to tackle the problem, and offer feedback on proposed initiatives.
  4. University officials should remain open to unique and innovative prevention approaches proposed by student leaders.
  5. Campus officials should provide training, guidance, and support to student leaders that will help them meet their AOD prevention goals.

 

Obligations of Student Leaders

  1. Student leaders must serve as a positive example to other students.
  2. Student leaders should represent the values and concerns of the majority of responsible students.
  3. Student leaders should develop relationships with diverse members of the student body to
    gain a sense of where different students stand on the issue of alcohol and other drugs
    hear various students' preferences for AOD policy and program changes on campus
    accurately report concerns and preferences of diverse student groups to campus AOD task forces
  4. Student leaders committed to AOD prevention should work to explore common ground shared by administrators, staff, and students regarding prevention goals, objectives, and activities.
  5. Student leaders should speak out when campus administrators, faculty, students, or community representatives misrepresent the responsible attitudes and behaviors of the student majority.
  6. Student leaders must speak from the facts and research-based knowledge about alcohol and other drug problems, not on the basis of personal opinion or anecdotal impressions.
  7. Student leaders should responsibly report to their peers regarding progress, outcomes, and new initiatives proposed by campus AOD task forces.
  8. Student leaders' presence at peak "social hours" can have a positive influence on health and safety behaviors within a group.