STAF-005: Parental Notification Regarding Alcohol and Other Drugs

Date: 09/13/2018 Status: Pending
Policy Type: Student Affairs
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Applies To: Academic Division.
Table of Contents:

Policy Statement

Reason for Policy:

The University is committed to providing a safe and secure educational environment. The University has established requirements to educate all students on the risks associated with substance abuse and the illegal use of alcohol or other drugs. In furtherance of its effort to engage students and their families regarding these issues, the University has adopted a policy for parental notification pertaining to the illegal or harmful use of alcohol or other drugs.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Terms:

    There are no terms that require definition.

Policy Statement:

The University will notify parents of dependent students (for federal tax purposes) when it becomes aware that a University of Virginia student has been arrested for an alcohol- or drug-related violation.

The University strives to educate all students on the risks associated with substance abuse and the illegal use of alcohol or other drugs. Whenever the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) becomes aware that a University of Virginia student has been arrested for an alcohol- or drug-related violation, and the student is a dependent (for federal tax purposes), ODOS will notify that student’s parent(s). Violations that trigger notifications under this paragraph include, but are not limited to, driving under the influence, public drunkenness, underage possession of alcohol, and unauthorized possession of controlled substances (illegal drugs).

Furthermore, whenever ODOS becomes aware that a University of Virginia student has engaged in a pattern of behavior or a severe incident involving the use of alcohol and/or drugs, and the student is a dependent (for federal tax purposes), ODOS will notify that student’s parent(s). Violations that trigger notifications under this paragraph include, but are not limited to, frequent or severe episodes of drug use, drunkenness, and/or binge drinking.

The University will make notifications under this policy unless the University, family, or other circumstances make such notifications incompatible with the student’s best interests. The University relies on the professional judgment of its faculty and administrators when assessing each student’s situation. Students whose family or other circumstances make notification under this policy inappropriate will be referred immediately to the University’s professional counseling resources.

When making a notification under this policy, time and circumstances permitting, a professional staff member in ODOS ordinarily will encourage the student to make the initial call to his or her parent(s). The staff member then will follow up with a call directly to the student’s parent(s).

A notification under this policy will be in addition to the intervention and education programs already offered to students when such infractions are brought to the University’s attention. Intervention may include one or more of the following: substance abuse assessment by a trained clinician; psychological assessment by a trained clinician; substance abuse counseling; enrollment in educational programs; and/or sanctions imposed for violations of the University’s Standards of Conduct.

A notification under this policy is authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g (“FERPA”), which permits the disclosure of information from education records to parents of dependent students. The University reserves the right in its sole discretion to notify parents of alcohol- or drug-related incidents falling outside this policy to the extent permitted by FERPA or other applicable law.

Related Information:

STU-002: Rights of Students at the University of Virginia Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Major Category: Student Affairs Policies
Next Scheduled Review: 09/13/2021
Approved by, Date: Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer, 09/13/2018
Supersedes (previous policy):
Parental Notification Policy: Alcohol and Other Drugs.