Richmond Times-Dispatch on Alcohol Notification Policies

On Monday, Karin Kapsidelis explored the issue of parental notification for alcohol violations at Virginia colleges for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She noted that Virginia Tech recently made a change to its policy, which now mandates that parents be informed of all on-campus alcohol violations. Edward Spencer, Virginia Tech’s Vice President for Student Affairs, said the policy is designed to prevent the problems associated with toxic alcohol consumption:

“It’s a problem he links to the ‘alcohol culture’ created on campus after the legal drinking age was increased to 21 by Congress in 1984 in a law that tied highway funding to compliance. Virginia, which had been gradually raising the drinking age, complied by 1987.

Spencer recalls his own undergraduate days in the 1960s when his fraternity at the University of Rochester would have wine socials with deans and vice presidents. ‘We had a great time together, and nobody got drunk,’ he said.

But getting drunk is the point of drinking on college campuses now, Spencer said. Each Monday, he gets a report of weekend incidents on campus that usually includes two to five cases of students passed out drunk in residence-hall bathrooms — which would be a major offense.”

Kapsidelis pointed out that many colleges have had to adjust their parental notification policies as a result of the disconnect between Legal Age 21 and the age of majority: “At issue for the universities is whether to view students as full-fledged adults who are accountable for their actions, or recognize they’re in a somewhat awkward, in-between age with many gray areas about their status.”

What’s your take on these policies? Let us know in the comments.

3 Responses to “Richmond Times-Dispatch on Alcohol Notification Policies”

  1. Edwin Says:

    The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with education and licensing. I condemn policies in which universities are required to phone parents of students who’ve drunken alcohol in university. Virginia Tech and every university in the United States must repeal their policies which requires them to contact students parents for drinking alcohol because university students are either young women or young men. The ageist drinking is the cause of this oppression and is the cause for binge drinking in universities.

  2. Ajax the Great Says:

    Any parental notification policy for legal adults 18 and over is an abomination in a free society since it makes a mockery of the age of majority. I recommend that they jettison it now.

  3. Liliana McTernan Says:

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