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Colleges Are So Narcing to Your Parents If You're Caught Drinking
Filed under: In The News
Colleges are, like, so cracking down on booze. Dude, it's in the Washington Post.
The Post reports you used to have to end up in a squad car or emergency room before your parents were called. Now, a growing number of colleges and universities are busting kids under 21 every time one of them gets caught with a drink.
Officials at Virginia Tech tightened their policy this semester, following a similar action last year at George Washington University after the alcohol-related death of a student.
College officials are worried about the injuries, deaths, alcoholism and [yes] lawsuits that might result from turning a blind eye to even small cases of underage drinking.
Edward Spencer, the vice president of student affairs at Virginia Tech, tells the Post research shows parents can be scarier than cops for college kids.
"Students are more concerned about their parents being notified than they are of the legal consequences," he tells the newspaper.
Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report alcohol problems among college kids increased between 1998 and 2005 [the latest period for which statistics are available].
Binge drinking increased, more students drove drunk and the number of alcohol-related deaths increased more than 25 percent [from 1,440 to 1,825], according to the institute.
"The problem is not getting better, but I think it can be turned around," Ralph Hingson, the director of epidemiology and prevention research at the institute, tells the Post. "Interventions at multiple levels make a difference."
Time was when college officials couldn't contact your parents about much more than tuition bills. But more than 10 years ago, they got the legal right to call parents if underage students were caught drinking.
Many colleges reserve that right for serious incidents, but the Post reports that's changing.
George Washington University student Kevin Williams found that out the hard way. He tells the Post he didn't know university officials called parents until he was caught providing booze at a Halloween party in his dorm room when he was a freshman in 2008.
He not only received a $50 fine and had to go before a school judicial hearing, but he also got a call from his mom.
"It was not good," Williams tells the Post. "She said: 'You're in college. I know you are going to be drinking. But are you going to be dumb and get caught?' "
Related: Binge Drinking: Can Students be Trained to Avoid It?
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