Underage drinking-Mom and Dad’s business too?

Several schools all over the nation are reviewing their policy and notifying parents about their kid’s underage drinking offenses.

Schools such as Virginia Tech have started to notify parents when their child received an underage drinking ticket. Alcohol always has been part of the college experience, but is it really the parents business if their kids are involved in such illegal activity?

Thomas Grimes, a sophomore at Western Carolina University said “I don’t think it’s fair for faculty to tell parents on the first offense. I believe it is the student’s responsibility to tell the parents. I could understand if it was a recurring problem where the student had received a couple of tickets, but not on the first offense.”

Western Carolina’s policy already reflects the growing trend that is occurring over the nation.

According to Miles Komuves, the coordinator of alcohol and drug education at WCU, “Western Carolina is responsible for notifying parents for even the first offense that a student commits, rather if it is alcohol or drug related.”

“However,” Komuves continued, “we are not allowed to go into further detail when notifying the parents about their student’s ticket; we just simply make sure they know what their teenager is being charged for.”

Other schools such as North Carolina University at Wilmington do not enforce notification letters to parents. They rely on the student to tell their parents about a minor alcohol offense. Though UNCW’s policy differs from Western’s, according to Komuves, it is safer to notify parents about their kids.

“We feel that it is important to tell the parents because of the closer relationship between the student and parent. Parents can reach the student at a more personal level than WCU officials can, explained Komuves. “Student safety is always our number one concern when it comes to situations like these”.

In a growing student population where the numbers of students are rising each semester, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If alcohol is going to be a part of a student’s college experiences, it may be a good idea to have respect for the law and authorities.

If students do not want their parents to find out about their behavior, it’s a good rule of thumb to remember our policy here at Western Carolina University.