oldest child is beginning to look at colleges. My younger brother
died in a drinking-related incident at college. I don't want
to be over-protective but I want to give my child the best opportunity
to survive his college years. Is there a way I can find out
how much drinking goes on at the schools we visit?
A. This must be a frightening time for you. You are brave
(and wise) to consider letting him go away to school. You
must trust your child to make good decisions but it's
also your responsibility to make sure he's not going to be
in an unhealthy, unsafe or uncomfortable setting.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (www.madd.org
) announced that they will begin ranking colleges based
on how well they curb student drinking. The list could be
ready for Fall, 2001.
In the meantime,
here are a few things to look for when you begin the college
Watch for posters advertising cheap drinks at bars.
Watch for empty beer cans in dorms.
Time your visits so that you arrive on Thursday and stay overnight.
Stroll on the campus near midnight (not alone!) and observe.
Ask officials about school policy (do they notify parents
of alcohol violations?)
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