May 22, 2001

Contact: Sarah Ray



Posted: May 22, 2001

The problems that arise when teens
drink alcohol won't go away. In response to this persistent dilemma, Middlebury
College is sponsoring a symposium on June 10-11 titled "From High School
to College: Alcohol, Athletics and Hazing." Symposium organizers have
invited teams of representatives from secondary schools comprising a national
sample of schools from which the College draws its students. The teams
will include the principal or headmaster, dean of students or the equivalent,
director of athletics, and health educators. A number of Middlebury staff
and athletic coaches will attend as well.

June 1999, the College held a similar symposium on the transition from
high school to college and the problem of student binge drinking. Speakers
and participants examined the phenomenon of binge drinking and explored
ways in which high schools and colleges can work together to address destructive
student drinking behaviors.

Schoenfeld, Middlebury College dean of enrollment planning, said, "Two
years ago, our symposium on binge drinking helped us identify some major
issues related to teen drinking. We wanted to continue this dialogue with
high schools about the critical topic of alcohol abuse-a national problem
that affects students and learning at high schools and colleges alike."

from 11 schools across the country, including two in Vermont- Vergennes
Union High School and Champlain Valley Union High School-have confirmed
that they will attend "

research indicates that the majority of students who indulge in heavy
drinking at college begin drinking while in high school. The goal of the
symposium is to explore the connection alcohol seems to have with athletics
and student hazing, and to discuss ways in which colleges and high schools
can work together to address the problem," said Schoenfeld.

event will begin on Sunday, June 10 with a pre-conference session reviewing
the highlights of the 1999 alcohol symposium. Yonna McShane, director
of health and wellness education at Middlebury College, will lead the
session, "Informed Choices: Transitioning to College with the Advent of
Binge Drinking."

College President John M. McCardell, Jr. will then welcome the participants
and officially launch the symposium. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Joel
Fish, director of the Center for Sport Psychology in Philadelphia, Penn.,
who will give a talk titled "Alcohol and Group Dynamics/Hazing." He has
worked extensively with athletes of all ages and skills levels, from youth
sport through the Olympic and professional ranks. Fish has served as a
sport psychology consultant for the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers, and Eagles,
as well as the United States Women's National Soccer Team. He has been
quoted frequently in the local Philadelphia and national media, and appeared
on numerous television shows, including NBC's "Today" and HBO's "Real

symposium events on Sunday include a panel discussion by professionals
from the Middlebury College staff and high school representative Jeff
Desjarles, health and life skills program director and assistant dean
of students at Concord Academy in Concord, Mass.

Monday, June 11, Robin Harris, director of health enhancement at the University
of Massachusetts in Amherst, will give a talk titled "Accessing Athletic
Departments For Prevention-An Interdisciplinary Approach." A Middlebury
College graduate, she has been working in the field of substance abuse
for more than 15 years, focusing specifically on student-athletes for
10 years. Harris has served as a consultant for the National College Athletic
Association, and provided substance abuse prevention workshops for Division
I, II and III athletic programs at colleges and universities around the

two-day event will conclude with discussions of possible outcomes from
the symposium. "We hope that this symposium continues an ongoing dialogue
and stimulates new conversations between administrators at Middlebury
and representatives from the participating high schools on the topic of
athletics and drinking," said Schoenfeld. "We want to share information
and hear suggestions."

from the following 11 schools have confirmed that they will attend:

Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, Vt.

Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, N.J.

Concord Academy, Concord, Mass.

Columbus School for Girls, Columbus, Ohio

Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.

Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.

Suffield Academy, Suffield, Conn.

Holderness School, Plymouth, N.H.

Taft School, Watertown, Conn.

Lakeside School, Seattle, Wash.

Vergennes Union High School, Vergennes, Vt.