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Remember... it is okay to not be okay.

Macro image of beer. Credit: @love_the_wind / Freepik

AlcoholEdu Letter 2021

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Dear Member of the Class of 2025 and Transfer Students

In September when you arrive for New Student Orientation, you will finally begin to experience all the things that inspired you to choose Stanford. Being away at college as an adult will give you the freedom to explore new experiences, and you will need to make choices to ensure your health, safety and well-being here on the Farm.

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Some of these choices may involve whether you engage in alcohol use, romantic relationships, or sexual activity. Living in the dorms brings a shared commitment to the health, welfare, and interests not only of yourself but also of those around you. Regardless of your views about these issues, we want you to have a sophisticated understanding of their complexities and the dynamics that impact each of you as members of our campus community. We want you to make informed and empowered choices so that you can avoid behaviors that may be harmful to you or your peers, and to put you on a path to engage in behaviors that are healthy and safe for you.

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Tasks to Complete Before Engaging in Classes

To this end, we expect incoming students, regardless of where you are residing this fall, to complete the following tasks before engaging in classes:

  1. You are REQUIRED to complete AlcoholEdu for College, an online educational course about alcohol use, misuse and its related consequences to you and the larger community.  You will also learn skills for helping peers and situations to look out for when alcohol is present.
  2. You are REQUIRED to complete Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention for College, a 30 minute online educational course that offers knowledge, skills, and tools to help students make healthy, informed decisions about prescription medications.
  3. You are REQUIRED to complete Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates, an online educational course about sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking. This is conduct prohibited by Stanford’s Title IX policies. This program is intended to help you learn more about these issues and how to play an important role as an “upstander” in keeping our campus safe.
    • You can take the courses at your own pace and do not need to complete them in one sitting. Please save this email message. Two to three weeks into the Fall quarter at Stanford, you will receive an email asking you to complete Part 2. Part 2 will take about 15 minutes to complete. The deadline to complete Part 2 is December 6, 2021.
  4. You should visit and review Stanford’s Student Alcohol & Other Drugs Policy and review the university's message about dangerous counterfeit drugs within the Stanford community.
  5. Review survey data on alcohol and drug use, sexual violence and sexual harassment at Stanford.
  6. You should review Stanford policies, procedures, and resources related to sexual violence and relationship violence.
  7. We strongly encourage you to have a frank and honest conversation with your parents or guardians about alcohol and drugs — whether you choose to drink/use or not. Understanding their expectations and thoughts may help frame the issue better for you. Research shows that students who have these conversations before they arrive at college have fewer alcohol-related issues. Most students come to Stanford with healthy norms and limits around alcohol and drugs. 
  8. Reflect on your personal values and beliefs and talk to your parents or guardians and friends about the value of healthy relationships and consent. We invite you to connect with campus resources as you make meaning within your Stanford experience. This may create support if you encounter difficulties and ease a sense of disconnection and isolation that can make students more vulnerable to serious issues.
  9. Be prepared to learn about these issues from your friends and others in the Stanford community. We expect each of you to actively engage in open and honest dialogue about behaviors and attitudes that will prevent the harm associated with alcohol misuse and sexual and relationship violence. It is important for all students to hold themselves and their peers accountable in cultivating a community of respect. 
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In Closing

While alcohol or other drug use are never a cause or excuse for sexual and relationship violence, these issues may be correlated in certain circumstances. That is why our offices have collaborated to provide this comprehensive training to all of our incoming students. We want you to understand our community values and your role as essential partners and leaders in creating a healthy, safe, and supportive campus environment.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Welcome to Stanford!

Ralph Castro
Associate Dean of Students & Director
Office of Substance Use Programs, Education & Resources (SUPER)

Stephen Chen
Title IX Coordinator & Director
Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Education Title IX Office (SHARE)

Carley Flanery
Director of Prevention Education for Students
Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Education Title IX Office (SHARE)

Natalie Thomas
Assistant Dean of Students & Education and Outreach Manager
Office of Substance Use Programs, Education & Resources (SUPER)