Underage drinking happens on nearly every campus and Gonzaga is no exception. Additionally, experimentation with other illegal drugs may occur when students leave home and find new-found freedoms. First and foremost, our approach at Gonzaga is to educate and remind students that illegal and risky behaviors are not safe, either for the individual or our community.
In terms of drug use or possession, Gonzaga is obligated to uphold the federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, and therefore, illegal drug use, possession or distribution will not be tolerated. Violations of this standard may result in suspension. We expect every student in our community to assist in keeping our campus free and safe from drugs.
As we all know, drinking alcohol is an individual decision; however for the welfare of the entire community it is important to help your son or daughter make healthy choices. Our message to students is that the best way to avoid negative consequences of drinking is to choose not to drink. Yet many students still choose to drink believing it is a normal part of college life.
Gonzaga’s policy is based on Washington state law. Drinking for those under 21 is illegal and has both legal and University consequences. Violations of state law and university policy in regards to alcohol and/or drugs will be responded to on an individual basis using the guidelines established by the student conduct and disciplinary procedures. Typically students will overestimate the amount of drinking on campus by believing that everyone is drinking all the time and it is a way to fit in. We have conversations with students about making healthy decisions around drinking in a nonjudgmental way.
In your role as a parent consider it an opportunity to have a conversation about drinking and drug use, by letting your student share what he or she thinks and you share what you believe. Students and parents discussing healthy decision making is helpful in changing risky behavior.