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STANFORD -- Completing a strategic plan, addressing the needs of binge drinkers among the student population, and responding to recommendations of the Commission on Undergraduate Education were among the goals listed by Vice Provost and Dean Mary Edmonds in her third annual "State of Student Affairs" address Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Provost Condoleezza Rice opened the gathering of several hundred Student Affairs staff in Kresge Auditorium by thanking them for their service and noting that Student Affairs was contributing about $1 million to $6 million in university-wide operating budget cuts this year.
Because "you took the bitter pill up front," she said, referring to her three-year budget reduction plan, budget cuts are "probably behind Student Affairs."
In her address, Edmonds said, "It is now time to bounce back, to move beyond to consolidation of the new organization," she said, and "to continue the healing process in areas where staff were laid off."
Edmonds listed the following accomplishments of the past year:
The unit's strategic planning process will continue this year with senior Student Affairs management soliciting input from staff, faculty and students, she said. Any plan that emerges must have the "flexibility to change as situations change."
The division will work "in a collegial mode with the decisions that emanate from the Commission on Undergraduate Education," whose written recommendations are in the process of being distributed on campus.
Edmonds devoted a portion of her talk to her concerns about alcohol abuse as a "rite of passage" on America's college campuses. She cited a national study by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University and said that Stanford's own data on student drinking "are not all that different."
The national survey, Edmonds said, found that 42 percent of U.S. college students report drinking five or more drinks at a time within the past two weeks, compared with 33 percent of their non-college counterparts. One-third of women students in 1993 reported "drinking to get drunk," she said, compared with 10 percent in 1977.
"This year we are going to turn our attention to the binge drinkers in order to assist them in dealing with their problems," she said. Student Affairs staff also will work to develop "a critical mass of those students who choose not to drink so that they may also feel comfortable on campus," she added.
"On a typical campus, per capita student spending for alcohol - $446 per student - far exceeds the per capita budget of the college library."
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