University of Pittsburgh
June 26, 2015

Pitt Receives Grant From Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh has been awarded $34,412 by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to fund a program to encourage responsible alcohol use. Pitt’s grant is one of 24 grants the agency issued to Pennsylvania colleges and universities.

The grant will fund “Panther Bridge: Campus and Community Connections to Address Dangerous and Underage Drinking,” a three-pronged program that emphasizes engagement, education, and enforcement to reduce dangerous and underage drinking among undergraduate students.

“This grant will allow Pitt’s Office of Community and Governmental Relations to collaborate with the University’s Student Health Service, Pitt Police, Office of Residence Life, and community partners to enhance programming to reach new audiences, develop data-based training materials, make available proprietary technology shown to decrease binge drinking, and implement proven programs across multiple platforms,” said Paul Supowitz, Pitt’s vice chancellor for community and governmental relations. “We’re all dedicated to fostering a safe and positive environment for our students and the community.”

Panther Bridge will introduce and expand evidence-informed programming that has proven to be effective in reducing dangerous and underage drinking on and off college campuses. The programming includes:

  • Administering the Core Alcohol and Drug Survey, developed with U.S. Department of Education funding, to the undergraduate student population to determine current usage and perceptions of alcohol and drugs;
  • Strengthening education with new training modules for resident assistants that will be informed by the results of the Core survey and developed by Pitt’s Student Health Service, Office of Community and Governmental Relations, and Pitt Police;
  • Expanding the usage and availability of PantherTRAC, a text-message-based technology proven to reduce binge drinking, which was developed at Pitt’s School of Medicine;
  • Expanding the University’s Be a Good Neighbor Block Parties to additional locations and including alcohol education at the parties by peer health educators;
  • Increasing proactive and educational Pitt Police Impact Details during times when parties are known to occur. During Impact Details, police proactively look for parties setting up, underway, or out of hand to address potential issues before they escalate. The officers follow up at houses they visit the following day for an educational “knock and talk” with the occupants; and
  • Introducing Buzzkill: Serve Under 21 and the Party’s Over, a national campaign developed by the nonprofit agency Drug Free Action Alliance, which helps students understand the consequences of hosting parties with alcohol and underage guests.

“We are very pleased to be able to provide this financial support to law enforcement and community- and school-based programs that combat underage and dangerous drinking. We know these grants will make a difference in people’s lives,” said Tim Holden, chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The board’s 2015-17 Alcohol Education Grant Program awarded $2.3 million in grants to 65 municipalities, community groups, schools, colleges and universities, and law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth, including Pitt’s grant.