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Dear Parent of first year students,

Within the first month of the university experience, students will create fun memories and habits which will resonate with them for a long time.  The Gonzaga community values the many academic and social achievements and opportunities that are available to all students. With all of these opportunities come rights and responsibilities afforded to all students.

As part of their development, we respect the rights of students to make their own choices, and encourage students to choose healthy behaviors.  We have seen the negative effects of alcohol on students and know that with a great deal of free time, the potential exists for excessive alcohol consumption to interfere with academic and social success at Gonzaga.   The consequences of these excesses can have a negative impact on our entire Gonzaga community. Some students will make choices with alcohol that will affect academics, personal health and wellness and infringe on the rights of others.  Our concern for the safety and health of the entire community is why we take underage (illegal) and excessive alcohol use seriously.  Whatever your son or daughter’s personal values or previous experience with alcohol, our expectation is that he or she will follow the law and University policy, which can be found in the on-line student handbook:  www.gonzaga.edu/studenthandbook.  The University’s alcohol and drug policies will be enforced and we expect your son or daughter to be familiar with these policies.

In order to better support the community and your student, we are asking all first year students to complete a confidential web-based alcohol education program prior to arriving on campus.  Your son or daughter will receive an email explaining how to complete this program.  Students will receive excellent educational information whether they choose to drink or not and will be asked to respond to alcohol questions.  All individual information is confidential and is only reported to the university in aggregate form in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.  If you, as a parent, would like to participate in taking the web-based class you are free to do so by following the instructions provided to your student.

We know that you will want to consider paying special attention to your son or daughter’s experiences and activities during the crucial first six weeks on campus.  We encourage you to help your student understand how drinking may inhibit academic, social and personal growth and reinforce your student’s ability to make healthy choices.  As part of the fall residence hall check in process, confirmation of completion of this on-line course will be checked for each student.  So anything you can do as a parent to assure your student completes this prior to arrival, may make the check-in experience quicker.

We hope this letter has been helpful to you.  If you have any questions about this requirement or alcohol and drug prevention education or services in general, please contact Karen Contardo at 509-313-5923 or contardo@gonzaga.edu.

Sue Weitz, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Life


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