Students must approach the University’s decision to notify parents about all alcohol offenses maturely, instead of instantly labeling GW a tattletale. Yes, college students have reached the age where parental control is no longer necessary and even unheard of, but they are not absolved from being held accountable for their actions.
If a student is not mature enough to talk to their parents about their choices regarding alcohol and other substances, they should not be drinking. It’s that simple. Ask the majority of those who will undoubtedly whine about GW’s new policy who is paying their college bills, and they will answer their parents. It is time to realize who owes who an explanation.
Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education officials point out that parents are already notified in more severe cases, like alcohol hospitalization and illegal substance charges. Parents in these situations have asked if the University was given any signs that their student may have been involved in these kinds of activities in the past. Had they been notified that they were, parents may have been able to intervene before their student’s alcohol use became a problem.
Students who have received repeat violations in the past have also reported that parent intervention may have deterred them from further breaking the Code of Conduct, officials said.
But the new system should not simply be a new way to get students in trouble at home – the University already sends grades to mom and dad. Especially since a student can be found in violation of the University alcohol policy by being in a room where alcohol is present, GW needs to be very clear in the letter they send home.
CADE should either provide an exact description of what the student was charged for, whether it be drinking at a keg party or hanging out in a room where a friend had a bottle of liquor in the cabinet, or detail the alcohol policy in the message. This way, students will not be forced to convince parents of their innocence if they were in fact not drinking. It will also provide those students who may need guidance from their parents with no way to talk their way out of the violation.
Student Judicial Services must also be sure to review alcohol charges carefully, because the consequences for students found in violation are now more severe. A letter home should be a cry for help, not crying wolf.