A Matter of Degree (AMOD)
In 1996, Lehigh became one of ten universities nationwide selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to receive a five-year A Matter of Degree grant (AMOD) to address the problems of abusive drinking and its secondhand effects on other students and the community. In September 2001, due in large part to its success in phase one, Lehigh received a four-year grant renewal. The grant was administered by the American Medical Association and evaluated by the Harvard School of Public Health.
Through the environmental change approach, Lehigh built a campus-community coalition made up of students, staff and members of the South Side Bethlehem community to integrate programs, policy and other prevention efforts in an effort to change environmental factors that contribute to the abuse of alcohol.
High risk drinking and its secondhand effects have widespread consequences on our campus and community, including those who choose not to drink.
The Harvard College Alcohol Study consistently showed that a high level of the Lehigh student population was negatively affected by the drinking of other students.
These secondhand effects included:
- Experienced an unwanted sexual advance
- "Babysitting" drunk friends
- Being insulted or humiliated
- Being pushed, hit or assaulted
- Having studying/sleeping interrupted
The same survey also documented problems among the students who chose to drink excessively. They included:
- Missing classes
- Doing something they regret
- Forgetting where they were and what they did
- Having unplanned and unprotected sex
- Getting behind in school work
At Lehigh, the AMOD program focused its environmental approach on changes in university policy; stronger and more consistent collaboration between Lehigh University's Police Department and Bethlehem Police; reducing alcohol advertising and promotion; offering Responsible Alcohol Management Programs (RAMP), which offers server and manager training for responsible beverage service; curbs on selling alcohol to students without proof of age; and alcohol-free activities and residence halls.
By helping to reduce the negative secondhand effects of high risk drinking, the AMOD program hoped that it could help more students reach their full potential and enhance the educational experience for everyone.