University of Michigan launches new alcohol, drug policy

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 26, 2015 at 3:11 p.m.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan is launching a new pilot program designed to notify the parents of first-year students who repeatedly violate the school's alcohol and drug policies.

This week, two university officials sent an email announcing the effort to crack down on underage drinking and illegal drug use. It was sent out by E. Royster Harper,vice president for Student Life, and Eddie Washington, executive director for the Division of Public Safety and Security.

"At U-M, we strive to create a caring community. The safety of our students is our No. 1 priority. Our actions are intended to reduce the risk of harm and increase the safety of every student," the officials said in their email.

Additionally, staff at UHS Wolverine Wellness will notify the parents of students under the age of 21 if their children have committed another violation involving an injury that requires medical attention, property damage or driving under the influence.

Other Big 10 schools have created alcohol and drug-related policies in recent years, according to the University of Michigan.

"Parental notification has been utilized by many universities, including most other Big 10 schools as one component of a comprehensive program," university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The University of Michigan has seen an increase in the number of alcohol and other drug-related violations on campus, according to recent report from the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

During the 2013-14 academic year, 465 alcohol and drug matters were addressed, compared to 404 incidents the previous year. That's a 13 percent increase.

The university's Public Safety Department also will partner more closely with the Ann Arbor Police Department to address violations in off-campus neighborhoods, according to the email.

"Officers will provide early engagement and feedback to students to help them better understand how to avoid being in violation of alcohol laws," the two university officials said.

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