Alcohol policy reiterated in letter to students
Aug. 18, 2003
KALAMAZOO -- In a letter mailed today to WMU students, Dr. Judith I. Bailey, president of Western Michigan University, outlined the University's position on civil disobedience and other destructive behavior and reiterated WMU policy on alcoholic beverages. The complete text of Bailey's letter follows. Relevant portions of the WMU Student Code and other information included with the president's letter can be found following the text of the letter.
Dear WMU Students and Families:
The start of the fall semester is just a short time away and as the new president of Western Michigan University, I am looking forward to seeing this campus return to the vibrant and busy status that only a fall semester can bring.
The start of the fall semester is a time when students forge their first campus friendships or greet returning friends after a summer hiatus. But all too often in recent years, what begins as a back-to-school celebration on a college campus turns into something quite different. I need your help to ensure that our campus not only remains peaceful this fall, but also serves as a model for responsible student behavior.
No doubt, you've read or heard about how student parties, which frequently revolve around alcohol, can escalate into situations that result in destructive behavior and a negative reputation for an entire student body. What may begin as a simple back-to-school party can quickly turn into disorderly and destructive behavior. When this happens off campus, students are often under the mistaken impression that the University will not become involved. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
You need to be aware that our University has a student code of conduct that holds students accountable for their behavior both on and off the campus. Disciplinary sanctions for violations of the student code can include anything from a reprimand to expulsion from the University. (See information following this letter.)
In addition, you should note that the penalties from civil authorities for students who take part in disturbances are increasingly severe. A new Michigan law bars students convicted of rioting on or near campus from attending any public college or university in Michigan for a period of up to two years.
I urge you to take some time to talk frankly as a family about your expectations, hopes and fears as well as the dangers individuals face when it comes to alcohol use and irresponsible student behavior. I promise you that we will do our best to reinforce that message throughout the school year.
Should you have any questions about our Student Code or the issues addressed above, please contact Dr. Diane Anderson, WMU dean of students and vice president for student affairs. She can be reached at (269) 387-2152. Working together, we can ensure that the coming year is one full of academic and social growth and success for our students and moments of special pride for their families.
Warmest wishes for a safe and successful academic year,
Judith I. Bailey
Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
Relevant passages from the Western Michigan University Student Code
A. Jurisdiction of the University
B. Conduct Rules and Regulations
C. Violation of Law and University Discipline
Questions about the WMU Student Code should be directed to Dr. Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs, at (269) 387-2152 or email@example.com
Harvard study details dangers of alcohol abuse among college students
Please consider the following facts compiled by Dr. Henry Wechsler, the director of a Harvard University study that for the past decade has tracked the drinking habits of over 15,000 students at 140 four-year colleges: