On average, for the past several years, less than 5% of UM’s students have found themselves in violation of student conduct policies. A large majority of those violations involved first-year students who had either violated the underage drinking policy or had violated other alcohol or drug codes. Below are some facts and tips for you to consider before discussing the issue with your son or daughter prior to his/her arrival on campus this fall.
Many of the violations for freshmen occur in the first six weeks of school. Make sure that you stay in close contact with your student during this crucial period. Ask if he/she is attending class, monitor their moods and inquire about roommate issues.
Make sure your student understands that he/she may go through a period of adjustment, missing friends and family from home.
Alcohol can interfere with your student’s adjustment to and success at college. According to collegedrinkingprevention.gov about 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams and papers, and receiving lower grades overall.
Underage drinking, public intoxication and drug use is against the law, and as such, can lead to an arrest. As a University of Montevallo student, underage drinking and drug use is also against the Student Code of Conduct and can lead to charges being filed by the University Student Conduct Officer even if an arrest occurs off campus.
Have your student read the entire Student Code of Conduct. This can be found here.
Living in a residence hall is a privilege that can be lost. Students can lose the privilege of living in a residence hall if they have repeated drug or alcohol violations. See the Housing Handbook for more information.
Make sure that your student knows that parents/legal guardians of students under 21 years of age are notified by letter of all alcohol or drug violations.
Explain that alcohol and drug use can greatly increase vulnerability to date rape, violence and academic failure.
Watch for signs of possible drug and alcohol use (e.g. difficulty reaching student to talk, unwillingness to talk about friends and activities, lower grades than you would expect).
If you think that your student may be having a problem with drugs or alcohol, encourage him/her to seek help. The departments of Counseling Services and Student Health Services may be good places to start.
The University requires students to complete Consent & Respect, an online interactive module, before arriving in the fall. Consent & Respect covers substance abuse issues along with information that helps the University of Montevallo meet federally mandated guidelines given in the Violence Against Women Act. Once students have registered for classes, they will be sent the invitation to start the training.
We want your son or daughter to be successful. Staying involved in your student’s life is one way you can help to make this happen.