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Campus Philosophy and Policies on Alcohol

Although colleges and universities will have their own philosophy and policies on alcohol use, students are subject to state and city laws and ordinances. It is the responsibility of the student to know, understand, and comply with existing state and local statutes, codes, and regulations relating to the possession and consumption of alcohol.

Parental Notification

At a number of colleges and universities across the country, parents are notified when their student violates the school's alcohol policy. Based on the federal data privacy law, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), colleges and universities may, but are not required to, report alcohol and some other policy violations to parents.

You might want to find out whether your student's institution has a parental notification policy or practice, and if so, what the policy is. Policies vary widely, from parental notification being used at an official's discretion, to almost universal usage. Institutions' parental notification policies can often be found by searching their website for “parental notification and alcohol.” From the institution's perspective there are advantages and disadvantages to parental notification :

* Pros (in favor of expanding parental notification)

* Cons (opposed to parental notification)


Please consider the following:

Some parents encourage their first-year student to live in an all-freshmen residence hall because they believe they will be less likely to obtain alcohol if everyone in the building is 18 or 19. Other parents prefer that their freshman live in the mixed-classes halls because they feel upperclassmen provide a good example for their freshman. What is your perspective?

Fraternities and Sororities

Drinking Game

Parents often worry about drinking in the fraternities and sororities. The National Panhellenic Conference, the governing body for all sororities, has determined that all sorority chapter houses will be dry (alcohol is not allowed in sorority houses). The use of alcohol in membership recruitment and Bid Day activities is also prohibited. In addition, some national fraternities have determined that their chapter houses will be dry.

Student:  "The common misconception is that the Greek community does a lot of partying and there's a lot of drinking. In reality, we spend a lot of time educating our chapter members and other members of the Greek community on alcohol awareness. Um we do several workshops and other educational events throughout the year. This fall we actually did a Recovery Works program where we had several speakers come in and speak about the signs of alcoholism and also just resources for people to go to for people with drinking problems as well as ways to drink responsibly and make good choices when you're out having a good time. So, we really focus a lot on making sure to educate our chapter members on alcohol related issues and it's a strong focus for us."

Student: "And in terms of risk management, obviously there's a big perception that the fraternities and sororities are all about alcohol, but in reality we have very strict guidelines and policies on alcohol risk management. When we do have big events uh there is always a security guard at all of the fraternities as well as several sober people and others from the inter-fraternity council who will regulate the parties."


Please consider the following:

What advice would you have for your student if he or she complains that a roommate is drinking?

What would your response be if your student mentioned he/she had been at a party where students were playing drinking games?