CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
Release: Oct 26, 1999
UI and Stepping Up Project honored for encouraging
IOWA CITY, Iowa The University of Iowa and
the Stepping Up Project, a community/campus coalition to reduce the harmful
effects of excessive alcohol consumption, have been honored for supporting
character development among college students. The UI and Stepping Up are profiled
in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development, a guidebook
released nationwide Oct. 22.
The guidebook is the work of the John Templeton Foundation,
headquartered in Radnor, Pa. Established in 1987, the foundation supports
programs serving three chief purposes: to encourage character development
in schools and colleges; to encourage an appreciation for the benefits of
freedom; and to stimulate scientific research on the relationship between
spirituality and health.
The Stepping Up Program is among 405 programs
profiled in the guidebook. In addition to honoring substance abuse prevention
programs such as Stepping Up, the guidebook also profiles programs addressing
academic honesty, volunteer service, student leadership, faculty and curriculum,
spiritual growth, civic education, and character and sexuality.
In citing the UI and Stepping Up, the guidebook noted
several initiatives aimed at changing a culture of high-risk drinking:
-- "Absolute Reality," an advertising campaign
sponsored by Health Iowa, the educational arm of UI Student Health Service.
The ads seek to dispel misperceptions about drinking by citing surveys demonstrating
that excessive drinking is not as widespread among college students as students
think it is.
-- Efforts by UI fraternities to eliminate alcohol
from social events at their houses. The guidebook notes that UI Greeks "took
this initiative on their own, realizing that it was time for these organizations
to return to their mission of community service, academic excellence, and
-- Alcohol-free tailgating. The UI has designated
one parking lot at football games as "alcohol free." A number of
student and community organizations have contributed to that effort.
-- Community outreach. Realizing that excessive drinking
is also a problem in high schools, Stepping Up has forged a partnership with
United Action for Youth through which students from Iowa Citys three
high schools meet on a weekly basis to plan alcohol-free activities.
"The University of Iowas strong commitment
to character development and the strength of its Stepping Up Program make
it a model for colleges and universities nationwide," said Arthur J.
Schwartz, Ed.D, director of Character Development Programs at the Templeton
Foundation. Intended for high school students, parents, guidance counselors,
college administrators, trustees, faculty, and alumni, The Templeton
Guide recognizes programs that represent the best practices in the field of
character development during the college years. The programs were chosen through
a process that considered the clarity of vision and statement of purpose;
institutional resources; involvement of institutional leaders; impact on students,
faculty, campus and community; integration into the core curriculum or academic
study; longevity; external awards and recognition; and assessment.
The Stepping Up Project is part of a national program
called "A Matter of Degree: The National Effort to Reduce High-Risk Drinking
Among College Students." The program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation of Princeton, N.J., and is administered by the American Medical
Association Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. Other universities involved
in the Matter of Degree program are Colorado (Boulder), Delaware, Florida
State, Georgia Tech, Lehigh (Bethlehem, Pa.), Louisiana State, Nebraska (Lincoln),
Vermont, and Wisconsin (Madison).