Chapel Hill and its surrounding community have taken on high risk drinking with the formation of a new coalition housed in the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership. The Campus and Community Coalition to Reduce the Negative Impacts of High Risk Drinking (the Coalition) is taking a comprehensive approach to addressing alcohol consumption that causes harm, not only to individuals, but can also have negative impacts on the community. To lead the Coalition, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership has hired Elinor Landess who will serve as Campus and Community Coalition Director.
The Coalition represents the real investment of its members in reducing the negative impacts of high risk drinking in the Chapel Hill community. The Coalition is a collaboration funded jointly by the Town of Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Orange County Health Department, and the Orange County ABC Board. Coalition membership is comprised of representatives from these groups, as well as university students, community members, and downtown bar and restaurant owners.
The history of the Coalition goes back to 2013 when stakeholders from UNC, the Town of Chapel Hill, and Orange County formed the Town/Gown Collaborative to address this type of drinking behavior that results in a wide variety of community-related harms. The collaborative met throughout the 2013-2014 academic year to explore the complex public health issue of high risk drinking. After reviewing data, conducting many stakeholder listening sessions, and reviewing best practices, the Town/Gown Collaborative developed a comprehensive set of 22 recommendations.
The recommendations apply to three areas: The university, neighborhoods and community, and downtown Chapel Hill. Included in the recommendations are provisions such as educational initiatives and updates and additions to policies related to high risk drinking.
The Coalition’s director, Elinor Landess, joins the Downtown Partnership from Duke University where she worked in the Division of Student Affairs. Elinor holds a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Michigan State University, and brings experience in higher and K-12 education, non-profits, and community building.
“The Coalition’s strength lies in how comprehensive our recommendations are—by tackling the problem from many different angles, we are much better equipped to make a difference in the broader community,” says Coalition director, Elinor Landess.
The full findings and recommendations of the Town/Gown Collaborative can be found at www.downtownchapelhill.com/coalition.
Contact Elinor Landess at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-928-5735.