Northern Illinois University officials respond to NBC 5 Investigates questions regarding its school policie regarding alcohol.
NBC 5 Investigates: What is your reaction to Dave Bogenberger's death and response to their lawsuit against University?
NIU: The death of a member of the NIU community is a loss which affects us all and one which we continue to mourn. Given that the Bogenberger family has filed a claim against the university in the Illinois Court of Claims, it would be inappropriate for the university to comment on the lawsuit.
NBC 5 Investigates: The family says the school does not enforce its school policy regarding alcohol and social gatherings? What is your response?
NIU: As the Bogenberger family has filed a claim against the university in the Illinois Court of Claims, the assertions and allegations set forth here are a matter of pending litigation and it would not be proper for the university to comment before the case is resolved.
NBC 5 Investigates: What is the school doing to stop alcohol abuse amongst the student population?
NIU: NIU has a wide range of programs and services aimed at providing education and alcohol abuse prevention information for students to help them maintain positive alcohol behaviors, if they choose to drink, and to assist students who are struggling with substance abuse issues. Some of these services include the following:
- NIU takes a proactive approach to providing education and training for students related to alcohol. Many students, including fraternity and sorority students, have participated in an extensive Bystander Intervention Education initiative consisting of educational workshops and a campus-wide social marketing campaign designed to empower students to report problematic behaviors and situations. Messages are shared through trainings, campus print and electronic media, and various outreach sites and presentations.
- Other education and outreach and presentations and initiatives include the following: "Do you know your drink size?" presentations; TIPS training with DeKalb PD to Greek leaders representing 11 chapters; presentations on residence hall floors and in UNIV 101/201 classes; and a social norms marketing campaign focused on correcting students misperceptions of healthier alcohol use norms.
- At the beginning of every year, before school starts, Student Involvement & Leadership Development, along with the University Police, and Health Enhancement provide training to members of the fraternity and sorority community. The training addresses the social policy, party monitoring tips, how to register a social event, how to manage risk, and general alcohol education information. The majority of chapter members are required to attend this training if they plan to have any social events that include alcohol.
- NIU provides alcohol education specifically to members of the Greek community, and to students participating in Club Sports, through the GET HINTS (Gaining Effective Techniques and Having Information Necessary To help Student peers) program. This program includes information on drink size, blood alcohol content, alcohol's effect on the body, sobering up, alcohol poisoning, responsible drinking, hosting a party with alcohol, at-risk behaviors, signs of intoxication, how to help a friend, bystander intervention, NIU policies, and Illinois laws including underage drinking.
- For students who exhibit alcohol abuse behaviors, on-campus substance use assessments are available at the Counseling & Student Development Center to help students determine whether or not they could benefit from additional assistance. Counselors work with students to assess their substance use and provide individualized recommendations and referrals.
- NIU offers the BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) program which has as a goal for students to reduce risky behaviors and harmful consequences of alcohol misuse.
NBC 5 Investigates: Our investigation found 133 ambulance runs to NIU to fraternities, sororities, and dorms from 2011 to Nov 2013 for intoxicated students who required immediate medical care. What is your reaction to that figure?
NIU: The university lacks sufficient knowledge and information about the amount and circumstances of the ambulance calls received by DeKalb each year. Therefore, it is not in a position to provide an informed response to this inquiry.