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UTAH AND SUU TOSSED LIFELINE TO U.S. SAFE-CAMPUS EVENT

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A national event that was almost canceled because of funding problems has been rescued, partly through efforts of staff and students from Southern Utah University and the Utah State Division of Substance Abuse.

The just-completed 10th annual National Meeting on Alcohol, Other Drugs and Violence Prevention in Higher Education was moved from Washington, D.C., for the first time ever when the state of Utah offered to co-host the meeting and provide the financial and logistical support. The offer came after federal government support failed to materialize.Barman Bonniksen, director of SUU's alcohol and drug education and prevention program, was serving as a co-chairwoman of the planning committee when the threat to the national meeting was discovered. She suggested contacting Leon Povey of the Utah State Division of Substance Abuse, resulting in the funding assistance. Students and higher education professionals from all over the country participated in the four-day conference held at Park City.

"We had an extremely successful conference, and solidified the concept of moving meetings away from a permanent Washington, D.C., site," Bonniksen said. "Our overall organizational objectives include making our campuses a safer learning environment for our students, campuses that are safe from physical and mental harm. We want our students to be protected from negative influences that entice them into using substances that put them at risk."