UC Irvine-led Designated Drivers Project Receives Fifth Consecutive Grant
The California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, awarded UC Irvine’s Health Education Center a grant of $673,000 to support the center’s program focused on safe driving and responsible alcohol consumption for the fifth year in a row.
For the past four years, UCI has partnered with RADD, “The Entertainment Industry’s Voice for Road Safety,” formerly recognized as Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving, to form a California College DUI Awareness Project consortium of 19 different universities in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco’s South Bay area. This grant will supplement current operations of the program, and permit the incorporation of two new regions, the Central Coast and Central Valley, and 11 additional campuses.
Grants Coordinator at the Health Education Center Rosezetta Henderson, said that according to UC Irvine data, most students already make responsible choices in regards to their safety after consuming alcohol.
The program encourages bars and restaurants to provide free nonalcoholic drinks, appetizers and other incentives for designated drivers carrying a RADD card. The businesses that participate in the program are promoted on regional websites and are given a RADD rewards card.
“This project continues to grow because of the powerful partnerships that are created,” Doug Everhart, the director of the Health Education Center and principal investigator on the project, said. “The participating establishments understand and value their responsibility to recognize and reward sober designated drivers.”
UC President Napolitano Holds Google Hangout with Students
University of California President Janet Napolitano held a public Google hangout, the first of a series she intends to host, last Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m.
The hangout was attended by Napolitano, UC Student Regent Cinthia Flores of UC Irvine, UC Student Association (UCSA) Secretary and Finance Officer Lewis Luartz of UC Riverside, President of the Student Veterans Association at UC Santa Barbara Paul Malone, Board Chair of UCSA and UC Berkeley Student Representative Safina Mecklai and News Editor of the Daily Bruin at UC Los Angeles Kristen Taketa. The hangout was moderated by Sarah Fidelobus of the UCOP.
According to Napolitano, the idea came to her when she heard repeated requests by students for more communication between her and the student body. She said, “One of the originators of this Google chat was the fact that so many students said, ‘Is there a way that we can stay in touch with you?’”
The issues discussed included reforming and streamlining the transfer student process to UC campuses, keeping retention rates high and keeping diversity high. Luarrtz also asked Napolitano about several graduate student issues, causing Napolitano to acknowledge that she is looking to private sector corporations to advise graduate students on employment in the private sector.
In response to Mecklai asking about possible ways to lower tuition, Napolitano confirmed that she was pressuring the state government in the traditional ways, but also trying to reach out to California voters to build support. She added, “We’ve got a huge task in front of us that the investment in this university matches the expectation.”