Lincoln’s and UNL’s efforts to curb underage binge drinking is increasingly seen as a model for college towns around the country. In recent months, there’s been a noticeable momentum in the number of news articles and mentions regarding Linda Major’s and NU Directions‘ efforts. The latest round of media interest in UNL’s anti-binge-drinking programming reaches back to last Dec. 21, when Major was interviewed on National Public Radio’s This American Life.
As is often the case with a national story, this set off a few tectonic reactions. A few months later, the Lawrence Journal-World published a series of articles about the city’s and the university’s efforts to curb underage and binge drinking. The series, called “Lessons From Lincoln,” was spurred by the alcohol-related deaths last year of two KU students.
The LJW’s series, in turn, caught the eye of Jenna Johnson, a UNL alumna and former Daily Nebraskan editor who now covers campus life for The Washington Post. Jenna has a festive blog about student life at the Post called Campus Overload, where she mentioned the Journal-World series and linked to it.
In the last month or so, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest in UNL’s efforts, along with questions about how they can be applied in other locales — most recently from our neighbors at the University of Iowa. At a recent gathering in Iowa City, Major was quoted extensively by the Iowa City Press-Citizen and the Des Moines Register, plus several broadcast outlets in eastern Iowa, about how large portions of our community ramped up to combat such a deeply entrenched college phenomenon.
These are the kinds of stories that we’re proud UNL is part of. Thanks to the work of folks like Linda Major — and her willingness to discuss that work with media from around the region and the country — our university is seen as a national leader.