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UNH eyes crackdown on drinking games

DURHAM, N.H. -- University of New Hampshire officials are considering a plan to minimize abuse of alcohol by students that could include asking them to quit popular outdoor drinking games.

The plan also may establish training for faculty and staff to recognize symptoms of alcohol or drug abuse.

Mark Rubinstein, the school's vice president of academic and student affairs, said the university isn't trying to create an atmosphere of abstinence, but wants an alcohol plan that serves students as well as the community.

The move was prompted by disturbances following several sporting events.

In October about 2,500 people rushed the streets after the Red Sox lost a key playoff game. Seven people, including six students, were arrested. A similar student gathering in the spring of 2003 led to 87 arrests.

In response, UNH president Ann Weaver Hart formed the Alcohol Planning Group in May to craft a strategy to respond to such high-risk alcohol use on campus.

Rubinstein said the new plan is being formulated, but said the group has found that the university lacks a wide-ranging plan for dealing with high-risk alcohol and drug use. It also found that the school has been inconsistent in dispensing punishment, help, or a consistent message to students.

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