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College Alcohol Culture-Building Parental Awareness
Challenges parents face in addressing campus drinking issues:
§ Even if the high school years were completed without alcohol being a problem, what freshman encounter on many campuses is much different that the in your community
§ Often, the campus alcohol culture is much more pervasive and more difficult to avoid
§ A freshman now without his or her accustomed peer and adult support groups may find him or herself with three choices:
· Go home on weekends assuming home is sufficiently close to make this practical (many find that their friends of similar views who do live close to campus are absent on weekends),
· Become a social shut-in and avoid those activities which involve alcohol, or
· Join in with the drinkers.
2. Understanding why so many colleges do on aggressively address campus alcohol issues:
§ Legal environment which is generally not favorable in holding colleges and universities responsible for student safety
§ Ineffective enforcement of a well-written federal law addressing campus drinking practices
§ Pressure from students
§ Pressure from alumni who may hold back donations if administrators too aggressively enforce standards of conduct
§ Culture so engrained that:
§ Upper classmen pass on developed practices to freshmen, although seemingly with increasing excesses
§ Many view as drinking as a right of passage, but the percent of students participating is constantly increasing
3. Making the college selection process more effective
§ At open houses, ask pointed question regarding campus alcohol policies and enforcement.
§ Make inquires as to recent tragedies involving alcohol on campus. Internet searches facilitate these efforts.
§ Determine nature and popularity of weekend campus activities which do not involve alcohol.
§ Question present students who are not necessarily in a role where they are selling the campus.
§ Once your child has narrowed his or her choices, ask for a copy of the biennial review.
4. Preparing your college student for the challenges
5. Continuing parent awareness and communication while they are away
§ Read the campus newspaper.
§ Inquire whether statistics are available for the number of students referred to medical treatment for alcohol poisoning. Privacy issues make such facts difficult to obtain, but the very question increases awareness and elicits interesting responses
§ Continuously talk to your child regarding alcohol issues.
ACT NOW-Before Events Leave You With No Choice
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Concerned about the drinking culture on campuses?
This site provides information as to the seriousness of the problem.
In loving Memory of Kristine Guest