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Underage Drinking and MIP Charges in Pullman: New Rules at WSU

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You are 18.  You are an adult.  You can vote.  You signed yourself out of high school as a senior.  But if you violate WSU alcohol policies, the school can now notify your parents.

image of WSU parent notification alcohol

Starting August 2013, WSU will notify the parents of freshmen caught with alcohol or drugs.

In a widely publicized move last month, WSU announced new policies on alcohol.  These policies include:

  • Notification to the parents of freshmen caught drinking
  • More early classes Friday morning to discourage late night revelry on Thursdays
  • More alcohol free floors to residence halls
  • Requiring alcohol screening for students who are at-risk
  • Teaching students how to recognize the signs of alcohol overdose and how to seek help

The rule of parent notification has come as something of a surprise to WSU freshman who are accustomed to thinking of themselves as an adult.  Normally, under the Federal Educational Records Privacy Act (FERPA) schools are prohibited from sharing school records.  However, schools may notify parents of violations of law pertaining to drug or alcohol use if the student is under 21 years old.  The school has started to implement a policy exercising this power beginning August, 2013.  The move on the part of the school seems to have been made largely as a response to certain high-profile drinking incidents, including the death of a WSU student in Pullman who fell from a balcony.

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