CAHRD Terms of Reference

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Rationale and History of CAHRD

The members of the Coalition on High Risk Drinking (CAHRD) at the University of Alberta believe that high risk drinking among students is a health and wellness issue with numerous related potential negative effects, including:

  • Increased injuries and incidents of disorderly conduct, damage to property and sexual misconduct
  • Decreased academic success, up to requirements to withdraw from university study
  • Damage to the reputation of the University

For these reasons, the members of the Coalition believe that a strong, and, where possible, coordinated response to high risk drinking among students is appropriate and desirable.

Results of a survey of 1,870 randomly selected University of Alberta students in the 2009‐2010 academic year 72% reported binge drinking at least occasionally. In addition, 40% meet the criteria for classification as high risk drinkers; this translates into about 14,000 U of A students who drink in a way that puts them at risk for experiencing harmful consequences. Of those students surveyed, 16.3% reported experiencing harm to their work, education, or employment opportunities, as a result of their drinking.

A group of concerned members of the University of Alberta community formed informally in 2008 to identify what was currently being done to address alcohol‐related issues on campus, to identify gaps and needs, and to work together to address issues identified. As a result of initial meetings and discussion, members of CAHRD pooled resources to help deliver the Check Yourself campaign to U of A students during the 2009‐2010 academic year. This campaign consisted of a variety of advertising and communication efforts designed to drive interested students to an evidence‐based self‐help tool aimed at reducing drinking among high risk drinkers.


The mandate of CAHRD (“the Coalition”) is to serve as a coordinated resource to support the University of Alberta’s response to issues related to high risk drinking among students.


  1. Information sharing and collaboration. CAHRD provides an opportunity for members to share information about ongoing activities, new initiatives and issues. CAHRD helps units link together to formulate more effective programs.
  2. Consultation and advice. Drawing on their expertise and experience, CAHRD members provide consultation and advice to University administration, units and external partners working to address issues related to student high risk drinking. This may include observation and analysis on the effects of University policy and programs related to alcohol use.
  3. Monitoring of trends in alcohol use, misuse, and alcohol‐related incidents on campus. On behalf of their units, CAHRD members provide the committee with data on alcohol‐related incidents and effects at the University.


Representatives of the following University of Alberta unit and external organizations are currently members of CAHRD:

  • Office of the Dean of Students
  • School of Public Health, Addictions and Mental Health Research Lab
  • Office of Student Judicial Affairs
  • University of Alberta Residence Services, including Faculté St. Jean and Augustana Residence Services
  • Students’ Union
  • University Health Centre Health and Wellness Team
  • Student OmbudService
  • Sexual Assault Centre
  • Alcohol Policy Review Committee
  • Risk Management Services, including University of Alberta Protective Services, Emergency Management, and Insurance & Risk Assessment
  • Responsible Hospitality Edmonton
  • Alberta Health Services: Addiction and Mental Health

Terms of Membership

Members participate in CAHRD within the scope of their official roles at the University of Alberta or other employer organization (“home unit”). Membership in CAHRD is provided upon request to any member of the University of Alberta community with an interest in the mandate of CAHRD. Membership will be provided to organizations external to the University of Alberta that intend to provide support for the mandate and goals of the coalition.

Individuals are asked to commit to participation for a minimum of 12 months and attend two regular meetings during this period. In addition, members may be invited to voluntarily participate in smaller sub‐committees or task groups based on the relevance to the member’s home unit. Individuals who must miss a meeting or intend to terminate their membership are asked to seek out a potential replacement from the unit or organization that they represent.


The group will meet at least once in the Fall semester and once in the Winter semester in order to provide updates to the group. In addition, meetings of either all members or selected members will be called as needed in response to requests or emerging issues.


A public report summarizing this data will be drafted by a designated member. This report will be circulated to CAHRD at the Fall semester meeting and will be made available on the CAHRD website and circulated as needed to interested parties.