Campus Community Coalition Past Projects
In 2004 Prevention and Wellness Services at Western Washington University was awarded a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to support the work of the Campus Community Coalition (the Coalition). Between 2004 and 2008, the Coalition used this funding to plan, implement and evaluate a comprehensive set of strategies to reduce student alcohol misuse, decrease loud and disruptive parties off-campus, and increase positive interactions between students and long-term neighbors.
These efforts focused on the York, Sehome, and Happy Valley neighborhoods, as these neighborhoods have the most student residents and the highest number of 911 calls reporting loud parties (based on data gathered by the Bellingham Police Department, fall 2004 and fall 2005).
NEST: Neighborhoods Engaging with Students
The goal of the Neighborhoods Engaging with Students (NEST) Project was to increase student integration in and accountability to the neighborhoods in which they live. Working with students, neighborhood associations, the Coalition work groups, and community partners, the Coalition facilitated the development and implementation of numerous activities, including the Off-Campus WWU educational website, Let’s Talk forums, the Neighborhood Service Alternative, Neighborhood Mediation Program, and Neighborhood Service Learning Projects.
- Off-Campus WWU: A Road Map to Neighborhood Living is a comprehensive and interactive website that educates WWU students about off-campus living to enhance their experience in Bellingham ‘s neighborhoods and reduce the problems sometimes associated with living independently for the first time – both for students and their neighbors. Click to view site: http://www.OffCampusWWU.com/
- Let’s Talk forums titled “Living Together in Bellingham : Student Parties, Enforcement Practices, and Neighborly Relations” brought together students, community members, and law enforcement personnel. A small-group format, with facilitation by students from WWU Communications courses, engaged participants in open dialogue about the issues facing students and long-term residents living together in Bellingham ‘s neighborhoods.
- The Neighborhood Service Alternative was a partnership with the Bellingham City Attorney’s Office and neighborhood associations. The Neighborhood Service Alternative pilot project tested the feasibility and efficacy of the Municipal Court requiring a neighborhood community service component. WWU students that are charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) were required to complete at least two hours of service with their neighborhood association as part of the required 16 hours of community service.
- The Neighborhood Service Learning project sought to increase WWU student involvement in neighborhoods through WWU courses, neighborhood association projects, and other campus and community activities. Partnerships with faculty integrated neighborhood projects into coursework, and a neighborhood-engagement focus was introduced to campus wide service projects such as the annual Earth Day event.
- For the Neighborhood Mediation Program, the Coalition collaborated with the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center to train WWU students and long-term neighbors in conflict resolution, and engage them to help prevent and resolve neighborhood conflicts. More than 100 WWU students and long-term community members completed conflict resolution training, but a developing a sustainable structure for using these volunteers proved difficult.
The goal of the Campus Community Coalition’s enforcement efforts was to increase the enforcement of underage drinking laws and education regarding enforcement in Bellingham . The Coalition provided financial support to the Bellingham Police Department, WWU Police Department, and the Washington State Liquor Control Board to increase alcohol-related enforcement.
In addition, the Coalition’s Enforcement Work Group brought together the Bellingham Police Department, WWU Police Department , Washington State Liquor Control Board, Bellingham City Attorney’s Office, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, and WWU’s Office of Student Affairs to ensure coordination of enforcement efforts.
The Coalition also increased education for WWU students about community norms and expectations regarding underage drinking and loud parties and how to use alcohol safely and legally. Each fall more than two thousand Think Locally – Act Neighborly educational doorknockers were distributed in neighborhoods near campus. In addition weekly ads were placed in the campus newspaper during fall quarter, and the campus and community media ran articles about underage drinking and loud party enforcement.
The LateNight@WWU initiative was spearheaded by the Coalition to increase alcohol-free options on campus during hours when students typically leave campus or engage in high-risk drinking. The goal of LateNight@WWU is to increase the availability of and student participation in late-night activities on campus in an effort to:
- Increase student perception of the WWU as a social community
- Decrease the number of students participating in off?campus parties
- Decrease alcohol misuse
A WWU interdepartmental committee involving the Viking Union, Associated Students, Wade King Student Recreation Center , Residence Life, New Student Services, Prevention and Wellness Services, and Dining Services worked to design a sustainable structure for increasing late night activities at Western.
This collaboration resulted in the institutionalization of an annual series of late-night activities during the first several weeks of fall quarter. Events such as Late Night at the Rec Center , Viking Union Late Night, residence hall programming and outdoor movies.