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Archive for Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In wake of recent deaths, KU adopts new alcohol policy, including parental notification

The recent deaths of two KU students has prompted the university to take action.

May 5, 2009, 10:39 a.m. Updated May 5, 2009, 1:57 p.m.

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Do you think KU should notify the parents of students caught illegally using drugs or alcohol?

Yes because you have a bunch of these students that don’t really understand about what drugs can do if they take too much of them.

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Parents of underage Kansas University students now will be notified if their children are caught using drugs or violating alcohol policies, according to one of several new policies announced Tuesday by the university.

The parent notification system and several other initiatives, including an amnesty policy and mandatory alcohol assessments for incoming students, were employed by the university after the deaths of two freshmen in alcohol-related incidents this semester.

“It’s a very important step for the university and it’s a big change,” said Marlesa Roney, vice provost of student success. “It’s a change we hope will help our students understand that we care very deeply about their safety, about their success.”

Effective immediately, the university said parents and legal guardians will be notified when:

• a student under 21 violates any drug law or university drug policy;

• after the second violation of the university alcohol policy;

• when a student endangers his or her own or someone else’s health or welfare through the use of alcohol;

• when a drug or alcohol violation results in the cancellation of a student’s housing contract; or

• if a student is referred for a second-level alcohol assessment.

“Parents continue to be influential on their sons and daughters,” Roney said. “For students who are having difficulties in substance abuse, this is another way to provide some assistance.”

Two recent deaths

Implementation of the new policies, intended to encourage only legal and responsible drinking, was accelerated by the recent student deaths, Roney said.

Dalton Hawkins, 18, was found dead April 24 after falling off a roof of a scholarship hall. The Shawnee student died from injuries to his head and chest after falling from the roof of the three-story Watkins Scholarship Hall after drinking alcohol, according to a preliminary autopsy report. Hawkins lived in Ellsworth, a different residence hall.

Jason Wren, 19, was found dead March 8 inside Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity after a night of drinking margaritas, 10 or 12 beers and whiskey, said Jay Wren, his father. The Littleton, Colo., student had been kicked out of a university residence hall just before his death and after multiple alcohol violations.

Jay Wren said in a phone interview that he’s grateful for the university’s response and believes that the new policies will save lives.

“I highly commend KU for doing this and I’m sorry it wasn’t done sooner, but at least other kids will benefit,” Wren said. “The students will be better off for it and I know it’ll bring more comfort to the parents that they’ll be able to know that if their student is in trouble, they’ll be notified.”

Scope of new policies

University officials will notify parents by letter or, in elevated and more significant situations, by telephone, Roney said. She said national privacy laws give universities the option to provide information on health and safety to parents without written consent from a student.

The university has authority to become involved only when incidents occur on campus. Roney said a newly formed community alcohol coalition will discuss how to respond to alcohol- and drug-related incidents involving students off campus. She said the university will work with greek houses, which are off campus, and other student housing and apartment complexes near the university to take action when representatives submit referrals.

The coalition includes Roney; Lew Perkins, KU athletic director; Ron Olin, Lawrence police chief; Rob Chestnut, Lawrence mayor; and other representatives from KU, local government, Lawrence public schools, law enforcement, health care and establishments that sell liquor.

Under another significant policy change announced Tuesday, students who seek medical assistance for people experiencing alcohol-related emergencies will be given amnesty from alcohol-related university and student housing policies. The policy is intended to encourage students to take care of one another without fearing repercussions, Roney said.

“We have heard from some students that there’s a little bit of a worry,” she said.

In addition, mandatory online alcohol assessments will be required for incoming students, beginning in the fall. Those deemed to be high-risk will be contacted by the university and be required to participate in a follow-up program.

The university also said it plans to take additional steps to educate students about drinking. More actions will be announced before classes start in the fall, the university said.

Student reaction

Several students said the new policies invade their independence as college students.

“I think it’s bad. People should be living on their own when they’re in college and doing what they want to do,” said 19-year-old David Hughes, St. Louis freshman. “It’s where you learn to be responsible without your parents’ supervision.”

“I’m not sure if it’s the university’s responsibility, it’s basically our own,” said sophomore Kristin O’Halloran, 19, of Overland Park.

Roney said the university wasn’t trying to spoil the college experience, but that it was interested in finding solutions for encouraging responsible, safe and legal alcohol use.

“Fun is something different than death,” Roney said. “It’s really about understanding boundaries, understanding that alcohol can be poison and understanding what’s responsible behavior.”

Comments

MeAndFannieLou 5 years, 7 months ago

Doesn't some of this violate the Buckley Ammendment?

Chris Ogle 5 years, 7 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says…

Doesn't some of this violate the Buckley Ammendment?

I may be wrong, but I thought if the student was still at the age of minority, and parents are paying for health ins.and tuition that Buckley doesn't apply. The minor also needs to be a dependent.

Vinny1 5 years, 7 months ago

Why should the parents need to be notified?

If the 'kid' is a legal adult the parents should not be told w/o consent regardless of who is paying the bills.

If the parents don't trust their kids telling them the truth then the parents should not be paying tuition.

George_Braziller 5 years, 7 months ago

"Parents will be notified when a student under 21 violates any university drug policy or state drug law ..."

Does this mean just KU students or any student on KU property? It isn't clear.

Vinny1 5 years, 7 months ago

• Mandatory online alcohol assessments will be required for incoming students, beginning in the fall. Those deemed to be high risk will be contacted by the university.


That may be the dumbest thing in this whole change.

You just answer that you don't drink often and there is no way that KU knows anything is wrong. A complete waste of money for the university to implement this.

mom_of_three 5 years, 7 months ago

mandatory online assessments - like a teenager is going to tell the truth about how much he drinks....

and LJW is omitting a major word in each of these notifications - which is "KNOWN violation." KU is not going to police these kids, but in situations where KU is involved they are going to alert the parents. KU will not be aware of every circumstance of underage drinking. That is still for the kids and the parents to work out. And again, we know the truth is not always told.

staff04 5 years, 7 months ago

Fannie-

The simplest way around that is to require as term of acceptance to attend that students provide consent for such contact. Probably violates the spirit, but would probably give KU a few years with the policy in place while it undoubtedly is litigated.

morganlefay 5 years, 7 months ago

I gotta agree with Vinny here. Incoming students, or any student for that matter, can easily lie on these "assessments", so what's the point?! It also seems vague as to who this new policy covers. Is it only students who live on KU property? What about students with drug/alcohol issues that are over 21 and live on their own? I think this should have been thought out more before implementing a policy like this.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 7 months ago

So much for 18-20 years old being treated like adults. I wonder if the military does such a thing for 18-20 year olds, calling mommy and daddy when they get in trouble.

Rick Davis 5 years, 7 months ago

KU should not be telling parents anything. These students are adults and their privacy should be respected. I feel for the parents of the ones lost but, it does not give the university the right to infringe upon the rights of these ADULTS that happen to also be students.

The following is taken from the Buckley Amendment: At the university level, FERPA privacy rights vest solely in the student, even if still a minor. The law does not allow parents an automatic right to see the university's records about their children.

These deaths might be a tragedy but, they do not give us the right to infringe upon people's rights. Not to mention what does this really accomplish? Is the adult student going to quit drinking because the school told mommy and daddy. They are still adults and have the ability to make choices for themselves. Additionally, getting an alcohol violation in a dorm does not equal a drinking problem. You can have one beer, maybe the first one you have ever drank, and if you are caught with it you will get a violation. The arguement that these parents need to be notified because the student might be at risk is absurd.

The fact of the matter is that every weekend thousands and thousands of students drink way more than they should. I am sure many of you did when you were in college, too. They party and have a good time. Most weekends everyone lives. In fact the reason this has made big news is because it is so rare. Three students this year out of 30,000 that go to KU and at least half of them drink on a regular basis. This is not a widespread problem. This doesn't mean that education programs shouldn't be implemented but, there is no need to jump to drastic measures and invade the privacy rights of college students.

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 7 months ago

"Vinny1 (Anonymous) says… If the parents don't trust their kids telling them the truth then the parents should not be paying tuition."

I like this one... being a parent myself, I often hear my kids complaining about me controlling them too much. I always tell them, if you don't like me controlling you, then go ahead and earn your way to independence, you don't need me to pay for your tuition, clothings, and even your dates! If you cannot... then shut up and live like a kid.

ksdivakat 5 years, 7 months ago

3 kids is 3 kids to many! In both the recent cases the kids were 18, and although they are biologically an adult, quite obviously they are not. If parents are paying for tuition, and the LEGAL drinking age is 21, then those who are NOT 21 and are caught drinking should fall under those guidelines. Just because the kid is 18 does not mean they can think and function as a reasonable adult. It may not be the best answer, but at least KU is trying to come up with a solution. If your not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. If you dont like the policy, then come up with another.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 7 months ago

The following is taken from the Buckley Amendment: At the university level, FERPA privacy rights vest solely in the student, even if still a minor


Thanks Rick, for setting the record straight on the Buckley thing.... I also think privacy at the college level should be respected. If they (parents) want to learn more about a son or daughter, they should be able to talk to them.... If not, maybe the parents need help, more than the student.

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 7 months ago

"srj (Anonymous) says… So much for 18-20 years old being treated like adults. I wonder if the military does such a thing for 18-20 year olds, calling mommy and daddy when they get in trouble..."

Are you looking at the possibility of conscription for the entire nation? I will definitely support this idea! Sent them on overseas missions, force them to be treated like "dirt" during their "recruit" days.... they'll begin to become more responsible.

fletch 5 years, 7 months ago

"• Mandatory online alcohol assessments will be required for incoming students, beginning in the fall. Those deemed to be high risk will be contacted by the university."

You've got to love it when adults make teenagers take online test. Word to the wise: they're smarter than that.

MyName 5 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if the military does such a thing for 18-20 year olds, calling mommy and daddy when they get in trouble…

The difference is in Basic the DI watches over you more closely than these college kids' parents do (who maybe only come up once a weekend or so). I know it's different when they're out of Basic, but not all that different. Especially since, unless they're on leave, the kids are gonna be up the next day whether they want to or not. It's not like you can skip class or sleep late in the Army.

As far as the Buckley amendment goes, I think letting parents know about something that they could conceivably find out anyway from a police report (at least if the student is under 21) probably doesn't violate the spirit of the thing.

MeAndFannieLou 5 years, 7 months ago

Students have their legal rights regardless of who is paying their tuition!

Vinny1 5 years, 7 months ago

ksdivakat (Anonymous) says…

3 kids is 3 kids to many! In both the recent cases the kids were 18, and although they are biologically an adult, quite obviously they are not. If parents are paying for tuition, and the LEGAL drinking age is 21, then those who are NOT 21 and are caught drinking should fall under those guidelines. Just because the kid is 18 does not mean they can think and function as a reasonable adult. It may not be the best answer, but at least KU is trying to come up with a solution. If your not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. If you dont like the policy, then come up with another.


If not 18 then when? Kids have to grow up sometime. All you doing is prohibiting that.

I feel sorry for any kids you have/are going to have because they will be the most overprotected kids ever. More often than not, these are the kids that have the problem when they get to college.

As for the policy, the one before was just fine. 3 kids died recently. But how many have died since the policy was instituted??? I would be willing to be that the number is minuscule.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 7 months ago

"• A community alcohol coalition has also been formed to provide a communitywide response to the problem of underage alcohol abuse."

Please don't make this like "abstinence" sex ed! Assume they are doing it, and talk about the dangers and protection.

kmat 5 years, 7 months ago

Most of you don't know or understand FERPA. For your info, this is from the law.

To quote: "If an educational agency or institution determines that there is an articulable or significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individual, it may disclose the information to any person, including parents, whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals."

And there are specific regulations about notifying parents when they are abusing substances on campus. (under 99.36).

I used to be a teacher. I know the laws. And they were recently ammended.

KU has now adopted the policy that many other institutions have.

http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2008-4/120908a.pdf

And those that want to compare someone who is 18-20 and in the military to a spoiled JoCo kid, who has mommy and daddy paying thier way so they can party has no clue. The military makes you grow up. Partying at KU doesn't. Most of these kids don't even have a job.

ksdivakat 5 years, 7 months ago

Vinny....first of all, my kids are grown, and they were able to grow up in a fairly "normal" setting, as normal as one can be who attends any lawrence public school. How many kids have to die before you think something needs to be done???

grimpeur 5 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm...I saw no provision for KU taking responsibility--nor for anyone holding KU responsible--for tailgaters who are encouraged and given a place on KU property to drink in their cars.

flux 5 years, 7 months ago

Im sure Ku is not going to strictly inforce this. Its their job to address the situation in some way and look like they made an effort......thats all.

Vinny1 5 years, 7 months ago

ksdivakat -----

I believe 3 kids have died in the last 3 years. Probably longer but that is all I know.

Of the 3 that died. - 1 had a father that took him to the bars the week before he died. 1 was dumb enough to be on a roof at 2 in the morning. 1 was kicked out of his home.

That does not seem like innocent kids who have nothing wrong except for drinking problems.

The fact is that only 1 of those 3 kids would have had parents notified anyway. The kid that fell off the roof was never in trouble before and the kid that died in Naismith was not even a student here.

So you can stop with the 3 deaths would have been prevented, because it would be 1. And there are hundreds of Universities all over the country that have more than that with far more strict rules and regulations regarding drinking.

Again, I ask you to find the number of kids who have died since the old regulations were in place. Compared to the number that went through KU, and invariably drank, I would be the number is >1%.

Rick Davis 5 years, 7 months ago

Kmat --

An alcohol violation is not a "articulable or significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individual". It simply means someone broke the rules. You can get a violation for having one drink on campus. It is not a sign that anyone is in danger of endanger themselves or others. So why you might not think that we understand FERPA, you need to look inwards and realize that you might not understand what this policy is saying. Would you like it if every time you have one drink, someone declares that you are a health risk to yourself and goes around telling everyone that you have a problem. The idea that someone getting caught drinking in a dorm means that they have a substance abuse problem is absurd and the people making this argument are the ones we should notifying their parents of their potential drinking problem because you would have to be drunk to think that policy makes any sense!!!

Vinny1 5 years, 7 months ago

Going with Rick here -

An alcohol violation can have nothing to do with drinking.

My freshman year there were 2 kids that got 'alcohol violations' for having a shot glass in their room from a past trip to Mexico. These kids hardly ever drank.

There was one kid who NEVER DRANK that got an 'alcohol violation' for his roommates beer cans in the garbage. His roommate was gone and during a fire drill when searching the rooms they got him in trouble. His roommate would not take responsibility so the violation stuck because he could not prove they were not his beer cans.

kmat 5 years, 7 months ago

Boy Rick, you sure are upset over this. Are you an underage student afraid you're gonna get busted??? Your idiocracy makes me want to get drunk, just so I can tolerate your posts. Try reading the law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, I do know and understand the law, a lot better than you do. The writing of the newest addition of FERPA (you didn't bother to go read it, only read the tiny fraction I posted) does just what I stated.

Try reading page 9. To quote for you since I doubt you'll bother to read the laws.

"when an educational agency or institution discloses education records to parents of an eligible student, we expect the disclosure to be made under the dependent student provision, in connection with a health or safety emergency, or if a student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance."

Got that??????? See, a dependent student (still supported by mommy and daddy) doesn't have full rights as an adult while at school if they are breaking the law. Key things to remember - dependent student and breaking the law.

eotw33 5 years, 7 months ago

This will result in lawsuits for invasion of privacy. When I was in high school a friend of mine lived by himself (he was 18) and when he got in trouble the school called his parents. The teacher got fired.

Rick Davis 5 years, 7 months ago

Just because it might be allowable in the law as written doesn't mean that it is a right policy. It does get me fired up because when we start intruding on people's privacy rights in the name of safety in one area it is easy to start doing it in others.

Not that it should matter for the argument but, no I am not an underage student. I have graduated from KU and am well above the legal drinking age.

This idea that these students are dependents is a flawed argument. Maybe some of them get financial support from their parents but these days many do not. I never got any money from my parents when I was in college and neither did any of my friends. I paid my way through college by working 40 + hours per work and while doing my school work. Even if they do still get money from their parents it does not mean that they give up their rights. If the parents want to make a stipulation of their support that the student signs a waiver giving them permission to view their records, that is a family matter and should be completely acceptable. However, parents should not automatically be entitled to this information.

Considering all of this, the most important part of the argument is that housing alcohol violations do not equal a drinking problem. I am all for providing education on responsible alcohol use and programs for students. But I don't think that the school should be running and playing tattletale to the parents of adults who have made the choice to better their lives by attending college and happen to also have a drink or two.

ksdivakat 5 years, 7 months ago

Again....please reread KMAT's post! I will copy and paste it for you.... "when an educational agency or institution discloses education records to parents of an eligible student, we expect the disclosure to be made under the dependent student provision, in connection with a health or safety emergency, or if a student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.” Got that??????? See, a dependent student (still supported by mommy and daddy) doesn't have full rights as an adult while at school if they are breaking the law. Key things to remember - dependent student and breaking the law.


This is the correct info regarding the "privacy" of a DEPENDANT student! A dependent student is one who is under 24 years old, is not married, does not have kids, and is not a ward of the state. Therefore FERPA would not apply to these students.

Rick Davis 5 years, 7 months ago

Just for clarification -- Many students that are classified as dependent don't received support from their parents. Dependent student status is simply a classification that the government expects your parents to provide support it doesn't do anything to make sure that they do.

kmat 5 years, 7 months ago

Rick - I also put myself through school. I had to spend extra time going to school because I also worked full time and was an adult. I didn't live on campus. I didn't party on campus. My parents didn't pay for anything. I had nothing to worry about and neither would you.

There is a difference between someone living on campus (in dorms or scholarship halls) and possessing alcohol and someone not living on campus and possessing alcohol. KU has a no alcohol policy. You live in the dorms or in a scholarship hall, you have to abide by the rules set forth by the university. It's very simple. The university has the right to notify the parents (especially when the parents are paying for their kids to live there) if their kids violate the laws. The kids in the dorms and scholarship halls will still have their legal address as their parents and are being supported by their parents. Their grade cards go to their parents home as well.

No - violating the alcohol policy doesn't equal a drinking problem. BUT, the university has to find one way or another to enforce their laws and try to help the students at the same time. Many kids that do violate the law do have a drinking problem. The kid that died at that frat house is the perfect example.

Under the FERPA laws, KU can have a policy to tell parents when their kids violate the law on campus. I would have never had to worry about that, like many other adult students, because I was an adult and my parents weren't involved with my education at KU (sounds like you were the same).

It's not a privacy issue when you're living in student housing, controlled and owned by the university, you signed contracts stating you know the rules and will abide by them.

The statements by eotw33 and musbhiorlo aren't correct. My 18 niece, married to a marine, didn't show to school last week. Her mother was called. Federal law is 21. If your friend is underage and drinking in the military, his/her commanding officer is looking the other way. If you are stationed in the USA, you still have to follow state and federal laws.

Vinny1 5 years, 7 months ago

kmat says - "There is a difference between someone living on campus (in dorms or scholarship halls) and possessing alcohol and someone not living on campus and possessing alcohol. KU has a no alcohol policy. You live in the dorms or in a scholarship hall, you have to abide by the rules set forth by the university. It's very simple. The university has the right to notify the parents (especially when the parents are paying for their kids to live there) if their kids violate the laws. The kids in the dorms and scholarship halls will still have their legal address as their parents and are being supported by their parents. Their grade cards go to their parents home as well."


There are so many things in that statement that are untrue it is ridiculous.

Kids can change their legal address to the dorms if they want to. My roommates did it when they came up here.

"Grade cards" whatever the he!! those are DO NOT get mailed home. Grades do not get mailed anywhere. As a student, you have to give consent to let your parents look at your grades. They are not automatically entitled to do so.

Parents having the right to get notified because they are paying for school is absurd. Parents paying for school is a personal family matter, nothing more. Just because they pay for school gives them no more right to hear about law violations than those parents that don't pay for their child's school.

And again, for everyone bitching because of the alcohol related deaths on campus. Only 1 of those would have had parents notified anyway. And that one went to the bars with his father the week before his death.

This entire ordeal is a complete overreaction, just like the complete overreaction to the swine flu.

Tony Kisner 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Rick and company. To completely shield students from any interference from parents: the law should be changed so that no person may enroll in college courses if they themselves are not paying the tuition and fees. This will eliminate the who cares Dad is paying so I am going to party issue, and at the same time tuition and fees would drop 50-60% in cost, because the market buyers could not afford the current rates. This could easily be done in much the same way as applying for a mortgage in that they (should) review financial resources.

free2think09 5 years, 7 months ago

http://www.kansan.com/stories/2009/apr/30/sobering_conversation/

Look at the policies at other Big XII schools.
"At Oklahoma, students are automatically suspended for a minimum of one semester after accumulating three alcohol violations. The school notifies parents following the first violation.

Oklahoma implemented a more severe alcohol policy after freshman Blake Hammontree died of alcohol poisoning inside the Sigma Chi fraternity house in 2004. Following his death, the fraternity was expelled from campus, five students were charged with furnishing alcohol at the party where Hammontree died, and school president David Boren instituted a more stringent alcohol policy.

Oklahoma was honored nationally as a success story in 2006 for its new alcohol policy by the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center."

At other Big XII schools the police are called in to deal with the violations. Maybe KU should enact that policy.

I'm sorry but a life is a life and screw privacy when getting pertinent information into the right hands could save one life. I think many of you would be singing a different song if these young people where your friends or relatives. And I agree that age doesn't make someone an adult it's a matter of emotional and behavioral maturity. Fact of the matter is these students are learning to be adults; they are coming into their own and learning to make their own decisions. They haven't arrived yet and guidance is needed and yes sometimes that means making the parents aware of a potential problem.

It took Oklahoma 1 student how many will it take for Kansas?

persevering_gal 5 years, 7 months ago

Rick -

It's not just the rules of the campus that were broken, it was the law that was broken. Maybe instead of telling the parents, the underage student(s) who are drinking need to deal with the police rather than on campus RAs. I may be wrong, but there's not enough discipline is my opinion. Telling one's parents may bring forth some sort of punishment from the parents (not all parenting is the same), but not much when the discipline is not immediately enforced upon the action.

middleoftheroad 5 years, 7 months ago

And we wonder why so many young adults aren't taking responsibility for their actions...we tell them someone else is responsible, not them. Shouldn't we send a more responsible message by encouraging students to self-evaluate and learn from others' accidents? I see this only contributing to the destructive behavior because "safety nets" are now in place.

My sympathies go out to these families during their times of grief.

MeAndFannieLou 5 years, 7 months ago

Well, if we're going to raise the legal age of full adulthood to 21, then we also ought to raise the minimum driving age, the voting age, and the age of eligibility to sign up for military service.

christy kennedy 5 years, 7 months ago

"KU should not be telling parents anything. These students are adults and their privacy should be respected."

Please. Old enough to know better? Yes. Old enough to vote, join the military, yes, yes . . . But I've lived in a student neighborhood for 20 years and I promise you that a huge number of partiers who stagger past and through our yard have changed little since their partying days in junior high and high school and often need help just getting down the sidewalk. It's a miracle that more aren't killed — I've called the police when the parties spill into the street and those leaving stagger to their vehicles, gun their engines, and tear around those wandering across the street. Once when I could see several hundred kids from my driveway, most of them walking down the sidewalk or in the street, holding a solo cup, bottle, six pack etc. in one hand and many of them having close calls in traffic, I called 911 and described the scene to the dispatcher who asked, "And you're calling because? . . . "

I have kids who've gone to college elsewhere. One's at UW-Madison where the parties rage at absurd proportions, another was in Providence, RI, where underage drinking and partying was strongly monitored and shut down routinely.

This is not a mysterious or new problem at KU. Thank god they're finally doing something about it.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 7 months ago

Christy is not going anywhere. You move. Round and round and round we go, and where we stop nobody knows. Or, really cares. Ha, ha! Dust off my shoulder!

notjustastudent 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure Christy was in Providence all the time monitoring how often underage drinking occured- making those statements is pointless if you don't back them up with actual facts or statistics.

I remember many school years here in Lawrence in which students have died while drinking- whether it was falling out a window because they wanted to smoke a cigarette or not looking before they crossed the street, or falling as they dart across, and getting hit by cars. I just don't think it's any better or worse than it's ever been.

I also think that giving violaters amnesty if they taddle on someone else is a bad idea (this may be a wording issue, but if you read it carefully, that's what it says). And I agree with everybody else that's pointed out this policy's inability to prevent the deaths that have occured. I also know how evil (and wonderful) roommates can be, so I can see a lot more hurt than help as a result of this policy. I feel bad for the student whose parents trust them because they actually are trust worthy, only to get screwed over by a roommate and have that trust broken for no good reason, regardless of whether this trustworthy student "deserved it" or not.

kmat 5 years, 7 months ago

Sorry Vinnie - I'm not a young kid like you and when I was at KU we didn't have the internet (hell, I did my papers on a typewriter, do you know what those are?) and grades were mailed home, to your parents. I had to fight KU about it because as a married adult, they kept sending my grades to my parents residence.

This doesn't come down to making sure these idiot kids that want to drink themselves to death are protected, it's about protecting those of us around them that are affected by their retarded behavior. And KU has the right to set policies that protect the university from what these idiots are doing on the university's property.

Everyone seems to be forgetting that these kids don't have a right to be at KU. They were accepted and are there as long as they follow university procedures. So, screw notifying parents. Kids bring booze on campus, kick them out of school permanently. If you aren't smart enough to understand the rules, you shouldn't be enrolled in college. Don't like the university's rules, live off campus.

And sorry, but screw privacy when you're talking about a kid. Yes, most of the people at KU are kids! If the parents are paying for it all and the kids just get a free ride, then the parents do need to know when their kids are breaking the law. If they were busted by the cops (which they should be, KU should call in the police and let these kids have a record), you know they'd be calling mommy and daddy to bail them out and get them a good lawyer.

And I also find it pretty funny when you want to argue privacy rights for these spoiled kids when they post their partying pics on Myspace. We've had so many college grads apply at my work and the first thing we do is look for them on the web. These kids don't care about privacy. It's pretty funny how many of them have semi nude pics on the web then don't understand why you won't hire them to work for you.

Practicality 5 years, 7 months ago

logrithmic (Anonymous) says…

"Contrast this to the “illegal” cannibis plant. No addiction, no death, etc."

I see you are back to your deceptive lies again. I have already proven both of these statements as false. Would you like me to do so again?

I do not know if this policy would have prevented any of the recent tragidies or not, but it can't hurt anything. Surely these 18-20 year old mature adults do not need to justify or hide their behavior to their parents? If they are adults, they won't mind their parents knowing what they do.

Maybe they should just print it publically in the media like they do with Prostitutes and Johns in many places. That way everybody, not just their parents would know. Maybe have a section of it in the Kansan.

notjustastudent 5 years, 7 months ago

Kmat- you have completely dated yourself, which makes your blanket statements even more ridiculous. I agree- people who post that kind of stuff on the internet are complete idiots. I also agree that the cops should be called, because to say that this kind of thing is as serious as it is (which it is) but not do anything about it is stupid. But really, kmat, you have admitted that you don't know a whole lot about modern college life, so you should probably back off a bit now and talk about something you are informed about.

notjustastudent 5 years, 7 months ago

Practicality- great idea about the Kansan, except that the Kansan is a bit notorious for not having any facts straight- like names.

davidsmom 5 years, 7 months ago

No one 18-about 23 is really and truly an adult, and anyone who has raised children to adulthood knows that...and most full-grown adults (usually mid to late twenties or older) know that, also. And there is a big difference between the military and college. For too many college kids, it's not about learning to be responsible away from their parents; it's about having fun being as irresponsible as they want and keeping it from their parents. Medical literature bears out the lack of brain development until about the mid-20s, so their behavior is not surprising. Demonstrating irresponsible behavior is not the way to "learn how" to be responsible. Resisting irresponsible behavior is the way to prove you are learning how to be responsible. The message this new policy sends is, act like an adult and you'll be treated like one. Unfortunately, too many have no idea how, or no inclination, to act like one.

notjustastudent 5 years, 7 months ago

I think the message would be clearer if they called the cops- one "kid" gets arrested, the rest of the "kids" get smart. Well maybe smart is a little strong. Anyway, Instead of treating them as an adult I.F. they act like one, the University should let them know that they A.R.E, and they will be treated as such.

Also, I'm in my late twenties, in case anyone was wondering. Speaking to my mother about this, she thinks the same things. Maybe that's where I got the idea of 18 year-olds being adults. Hmmmm....wait a second...this may mean something...

Vinny1 5 years, 7 months ago

And I also find it pretty funny when you want to argue privacy rights for these spoiled kids when they post their partying pics on Myspace. We've had so many college grads apply at my work and the first thing we do is look for them on the web. These kids don't care about privacy. It's pretty funny how many of them have semi nude pics on the web then don't understand why you won't hire them to work for you.

kmat -

You just admit you know nothing about modern college. So don't go stating things that are in no way true. I don't care if they mailed you grades home 25 years ago. They don't anymore. If you don't know what happens these days, don't pretend, and state it like you do. (p.s. I do know what a typewriter is, thank you.)

I have no problem with you proposition of kicking kids out for drinking, although it will never happen at least you would be treating them like adults instead of tattling on them to their parents.

Another instance of you having no idea about todays college life is your "knowledge" of cops and their laws. --If a kid gets a MIP or MIC (minor in possession/consumption) there is no jail time, so bail is not required. And there is no lawyer needed either. You go to court, they give you your fine, you pay it and leave. (I never got one, I know some who did.)

Just because parents are paying for school does not mean they are entitled for the University to tell them everything. If the parents are paying, they should have the student tell them everything. If they don't believe/trust their child, then they stop paying. Who is funding the education should have nothing to do with how much the university tells the parents.

As for the pictures online - if they are public, then the parents can go online, see them, and do as they wish. Why should the parents not be held responsible until the university tells them there is a "problem." If the parents are good, responsible parents, who are nosy enough to want the university to call them at first sign of drinking in college, they would know there was a problem before the university lets them know.

notjustastudent 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm just not buying the whole "parents will take away funding if their kids screw up" argument. I had multiple friends who screwed up big time, and not one of their parents pulled funding. I really don't think the majority of parents are willing to jeopardize their children's futures in that way. What more often than not happened with my friends were surprise visits at 6 in the morning on saturdays, which nowadays, my friends recall with a smile. It's just not pleasant being hungover and having one or more parent either yell at you for an hour, or drag you out shopping, or anything else. They also T.A.L.K.E.D to their kids on a regular basis about things other than school. This led to a much more open relationship, and in the long run, a well adjusted adult with a degree.

Practicality 5 years, 7 months ago

Although everyone is making good arguments for and against this policy, I think people are missing a major reason the University is doing this.

To try and limit their liability in Law Suits from parents.

Eurekahwk 5 years, 7 months ago

Why are college "kids" and their parents so stupid about drug abuse?

They aren't even really kids, and KU is NOT a babysitter.

If these "kids" don't have their parents paying their way, then they don't even go to college. They go out and get jobs and pretend like they are adults. Some of them even pretend like they are themselves parents at the age of 18. If you actually have to get out and get a job and support a kid instead of pretending to be a kid for another four years, then its nobody's business but your own if you like to enjoy a cold one after a long day of work.

But that is the difference, some people have to grow up sooner than others. How is it KU's fault if your "kids" haven't grown up yet. For God's sake, people take some damn responsibility for once in their life. If your "kid" is screwed up, its probably your fault. Instead of lighting their cigarettes for them and opening their cans of beer, you should be taking it from them. And not hosting keggers for your teenage kid and his or her buddies. And stop pretending that giving them a bible lesson on Sunday makes up for Friday and Saturday night.

sourpuss 5 years, 7 months ago

“Fun is something different than death,” Roney said.

Well, I suppose that really depends on your definition of fun, but that notwithstanding...

An 18 year old is legally free from parental guidance. The minute you turn 18, you can walk out of the door and never look back, if that is your choice.

Maybe if we lowered the drinking age and didn't make drinking a form of status symbol, people would be a little more responsible with it.

LawSW 5 years, 7 months ago

This would be a HIPPA violation subject to fines--violating an ADULT's rights to privacy--drug/alcohol/HIV status requires a separate clause within a release of information form in order for the college to be able to release this information legally and must be SIGNED BY THE STUDENT. The University should think long and hard before they put this into action...

dweezil222 5 years, 7 months ago

As a parent of 2 KU students, I welcome the policy changes they are making and think that most students who start in with the “privacy” whine might just find their next semester's tuition & housing money being held over their heads until they see things differently.

=========================================

Which is precisely why I told my parents we were coming to an understanding on precisely that point before a dime of my tuition was paid. I valued my privacy enough that I was willing to take out student loans and pay my own way just to avoid having them lording over me like that. It wasn't even that I didn't have a good relationship with my parents; I generally was open with them about my drinking. But parents, at some point you have to trust your kids to be functioning adults, and coercion like that doesn't instill responsibility, only resentment.

gontek 5 years, 7 months ago

This is the typical recipe: kids die, media portrays a pandemic, public outcry, legal restriction.

My question is, where do they draw the line?

I they find a few beers in your dorm room, are they going to call your parents and narc you to the police? I think most parents would not be too upset over a few beers or drinking paraphaneila, unless the student reports less than 2.0 GPA or a DUI/felony crimes are involved.

Now if they found a few kilos of uncut powder that would be a different story maybe. Of course that student would probably be up all night studying and pulling close to a 4.0.

I do not understand what this is going to accomplish. I my experience, the college students who are abusing their bodies with drugs and alcohol need to learn basic respect, respect for themselves, their bodies, and other people and property. Sometimes it takes years of being a fool and near death experiences before these lessons are learned.

I can see some argument if the parents are paying the bills, the student signs an agreement with parents and university, and the parents claim student as dependent for tax reasons. But still, I always considers learning respect for others and responsible use of intoxicants part of the college learning experience.

I would not have choose to attend a narc university if I were in a position of deciding where to matriculate.

kmat 5 years, 7 months ago

Vinnie - I last finished one of my masters at KU just 10 years ago and grades weren't online - still mailed out. You act like you know it all, but don't. I'm not that removed from college and obviously A LOT has changed at KU in 10 years. But you acting like someone can't comment on this because they haven't been a student for a while shows how immature and assinine you are. And KU isn't the only university I've attended and obtained a degree from, but the students and student life at KU are VERY different from other universities. This is a party school, not a place of higher education.

Sorry I didn't know you wouldn't get arrested for possession - see, I don't break the laws, but it appears you know the penalties all too well. Maybe why this topic upsets you, because would your mommy and daddy be called on you?

Most of you are just nasty. I've pointed out the basics repeatedly - KU is acting within the laws (FERPA), they are doing this to cover their asses because parents will sue and their kids will continue to act like kids, drinking themselves to death because they don't have enough senses (and their parents did a poor job). You can comment and bitch all you want that this is an invasion of privacy, but under the law it isn't. Plain and simple. You don't like it, get the laws changed.

Vinny1 5 years, 7 months ago

kmat -

You are correct in saying a lot has changed in 10 years. I do not think I am the immature one when you are the one spouting off false things to try and make a point. Anyone else who, like you has been out of school for a while, reads that and thinks it is true then there is misconceptions going on. So if you do not know the facts, do not pretend like you do.

I too, have been to multiple universities, large and small, public and private. More than likely more than you, and I can say for a fact that life at KU is not any different than other schools.

Like I said before, I am of age and I have never been in trouble with drugs or alcohol. But when you live in the dorms and are in school you learn plenty about the penalties. If you do a little google search I'm sure you can find out as well, it is not like you only find out if you get in trouble.

My parents both know I drink, and do not care so long as I am responsible. They encouraged me to drink at home while in high school so I had experience and it was not a whole new life when I started drinking. Probable something that more parents should look at doing.

They have always said if I got in trouble for drinking I was on my own in paying for it and taking whatever consequences came my way. They have also always said that if it was out of control that I was on my own paying for school and living expenses.

If more parents took a preventative, but not controlling measure, they, along with their kids would be far better off. If you think the changes KU implemented will make a change in the lifestyles here you are sadly mistaken. There are hundreds of universities around the nation that have stricter guidelines and the same things happen every weekend at every one of those schools.

RedwoodCoast 5 years, 7 months ago

Wait, I know that many students smoke pot, but we aren't seeing any pot-related deaths, nor will we. I guess I have a problem with the policy, as students have to get busted for drinking two times before parents are notified. If they get caught with pot, however, that is an immediate notification. It seems to me that alcohol has much greater harm potential than pot, especially in the long run. But society is unfortunately at the mercy of folks who seem to take pleasure in crucifying pot-smokers.

akt2 5 years, 7 months ago

Actual dialogue heard between sober 18 year old that called an ambulance for her 17 year old very drunk friend and a Dg Co Sheriff Deputy. "What are you studying this year besides drinking?" "Fine Arts." "You realize that it is against the law to drink in Kansas if you are under the age of 17?" "Yes sir." "Are you going home this summer?" "Yes." This was last weekend. Needless to say the 17 year olds parents were definitely called in the middle of the night. Maybe they will all go home for the summer and let their parents worry about them. The City of Lawrence, Dg Co, KU, LMH ER and many others are ready for a break.

TtownKUlivin 5 years, 7 months ago

This is insane. Catering to a whole rather then taking a stand for an adults rights. Once again, it is less than 1% of the population that ruins it for everyone. People see one irresponsible death pertaining to being kicked out of the dorms and lose their minds to punish the rest of the students.

justthefacts 5 years, 7 months ago

http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ht12-17-08-att.pdf

Straight from the governmental site that oversees FERPA compliance: page 13 of the above,

The final regulations remove the language requiring strict construction of this exception and add a provision that says that, in making a determination under § 99.36, an educational agency or institution may take into account the totality of the circumstances pertaining to a threat to the safety or health of the student or other individuals. If the school determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, it may disclose information from education records to appropriate parties whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals. In response to public comments, we revised the recordkeeping requirements in § 99.32(a)(5) by requiring an educational agency or institution to record the articulable and significant threat that formed the basis for the disclosure and the parties to whom the information was disclosed. If there is a rational basis for the determination, the Department will not substitute its judgment for that of the educational agency or institution in deciding to release the information. Section 99.36 also provides that “appropriate parties” include “parents of an eligible student.” In response to public comments, the preamble to the final regulations clarifies the circumstances under which an educational agency or institution may release without consent an eligible student’s “treatment records” for purposes other than treatment. These changes were made as a result of issues that were raised after the Virginia Tech tragedy in April 2007. In the first instance, the Secretary determined that greater flexibility and deference should be afforded to administrators so that they can bring appropriate resources to bear on circumstances that threaten the health or safety of individuals. With regard to the second amendment adding “parents” to those considered an “appropriate party,” this change will clarify to colleges and universities that parents may be notified when there is a health or safety emergency involving their son or daughter, notwithstanding any FERPA provision that might otherwise prevent such a disclosure."

justthefacts 5 years, 7 months ago

Thus, the legality of the new policy is pretty clear. You may argue about the wisdom of the new policy all you want, that's a matter of opinion, but the fact is that the new amendments to the FERPA make it clear that schools are permitted to tell parents that their child (adult or otherwise) has had some serious alchohol or drug use problem.

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