UND, City Of Grand Forks And Altru Encourage Important Conversations At A First-of-its-kind Town Hall Meeting On Alcohol And Other Drug Abuse Tonight, Oct. 22

The University of North Dakota, the City of Grand Forks and Altru Health System are encouraging all community members to attend an important Town Hall meeting to raise awareness of the negative impacts of high risk alcohol and other drug use/abuse on the quality of life for all in Grand Forks.

The first-of-its-kind Town Hall meeting, titled “Understanding Your Influence,” is set for 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., TONIGHT, in Building One of Altru Health System, 860 S. Columbia Rd., in Grand Forks. It seeks to help people understand that regardless of age, gender or occupation anyone can have an influence on reducing the negative consequences associated with high-risk behaviors through individual choices, relationships and community involvement.

“We are sincerely interested in open and direct conversation about how to reduce negative impacts of high-risk alcohol and other drug use on our campus and in our community,” said UND President Robert Kelley. “We believe this Town Hall-style forum is a positive first-step toward promoting and influencing responsible behaviors among our citizens for a safer UND and community.”

The forum will facilitate an exchange of ideas on concrete actions that could be taken to make a difference in the Grand Forks, and how citizens can help make it happen through support of policy and environmental changes.

The Town Hall meeting is sponsored by the UND Alcohol and Other Drug Committee, Grand Forks Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and Altru Health System Trauma Services.

The Town Hall meeting is meant to be the first of a number of UND campus and community conversations on alcohol and other drug use.

Moving forward, additional goals of the “Understanding Your Influence” initiative are to expand the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, tap into national expertise to explore workable strategies for Grand Forks, and to develop an “action plan’ with specific policy and environmental initiatives supported by the community.

In support of the Oct. 22 Town Hall meeting, a short YouTube video clip was produced about the “Understanding Your Influence” effort, featuring local leaders and community members, such as UND President Robert Kelley and First Lady Marcia Kelley, UND hockey player Rocco Grimaldi, Grand Forks Public Health Director Don Schields, and Col. Bush, commander of the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Bill Vasicek