Dear Lafayette College Parent,
We are pleased to be writing to you in your role as Lafayette parents. We look forward to
meeting many of you next month during new student orientation. In the meantime, we wanted
to write to you with some important information and a request for your help.
During the next four years, your child will grow and change in large part based on personal
interactions with peers and the environment in which he or she is living. We know that the
culture at Lafayette College will have a big impact on your child’s development. We take
every aspect of the Lafayette College education seriously. To that end, we have implemented a
number of educational programs to help our students – your children – make the safest,
healthiest decisions possible outside of the classroom. Two of them will occur before they
arrive on College Hill next month.
Lafayette partners with EverFi, a company whose mission is to help students thoughtfully
consider critical choices about alcohol use and preventing sexual misconduct and relationship
violence, to help us begin educating and empowering students before they arrive on campus.
To that end, incoming first-year and transfer students are required to complete two on-line
courses before move-in day in late August: AlcoholEdu and Sexual Assault Prevention for
Undergraduates. We communicated directly with students on Monday (7/29) regarding the
information and instructions they need to complete these courses.
We believe enlisting your help by asking you to have these intentional conversations with your
son or daughter is an integral part of our comprehensive strategy to reduce harmful
consequences related to binge drinking and the rapid consumption of alcohol. And, in fact,
research shows us that these conversations between you and your child are incredibly
productive. Researchers have also indicated that parents tend to underestimate how frequently
their own college-age child drinks (Bylund, Imes, & Baxter, 2005). Further, separate studies
(Abar, Abar, & Turrisi, 2009) have shown how important it is for parents to have candid
conversations with their son or daughter about alcohol or other drug use and that these
conversations can actually reduce or curb a student’s use of alcohol well into the first semester
of college. In short, messages from you on this topic matter a great deal.
Lafayette is pleased to be able to provide you with a guide to aid you in having these
conversations. The guide entitled A Parent Handbook for Talking with College Students
About Alcohol is just one of many strategies Lafayette utilizes to reduce the negative
implications of alcohol abuse for individuals and for our entire community.
The time to have these conversations is now, even if you have had them before. I’ll underscore
the fact that research has shown that these conversations actually lead to positive behavioral
change and decision-making.
We are, of course, busy working on a wide variety of other programs and projects in these last
days of summer to ensure that your son or daughter has the best possible Lafayette experience.
However, for our efforts related to alcohol and other drugs and sexual violence prevention
education, we really need your help. If you think that students will not listen to you or that they
aren’t likely to engage in risky behaviors, please take a few minutes to read the Guide or web
resource mentioned above that debunks those myths and offers specific talking points to initiate
We look forward to your arrival on campus later this month. If you have any questions in the
meantime, we would be happy to answer them. Feel free to email us now or during the
upcoming year at firstname.lastname@example.org.
G. Christopher Hunt
Dean of Students
Assistant Dean of Students