It is important to have an open and honest conversation with your son or daughter regarding alcohol. The use and misuse of alcohol by college students continues to be a concern for Gustavus staff and parents. Conversations about alcohol choices can be a difficult and awkward, but is crucial for parents to discuss these issues given the decisions your son or daughter be faced with regarding alcohol use.

At Gustavus, we understand the reality that many college students either come to college with prior experience with alcohol or will begin using it. Gustavus has numerous policies regarding alcohol and work to enforce those policies to the best of our ability. Gustavus also strives to educate students about alcohol use, the risks, and consequences associated with use of alcohol.

The Peer Education and Chemical Health and Peer Assistants are great resources for students with questions about alcohol or drug use.

One Student's Perspective
A letter that a junior women wrote to parents explaining her experience with drinking at Gustavus.

Another Student's Perspective
Thoughts of a recent graduate on living in a dry or a substance-free hall.

Alcohol Definitions

  • BAC
    Blood Alcohol Content. Breathalizer tests can be administered by campus Campus Safety officers or by the St. Peter Police Department. The College uses BAC levels in sanctioning for alcohol violations and a student that registers a .20 will typically be transported to the Regional DETOX center in New Ulm.

Low risk drinking is:

  • Thinking about whether you will drink and what you will drink before the party
  • Eating a meal before drinking
  • Not drinking more than than one drink per hour
  • Consuming some non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening
  • Making a plan with friends to get each other home safely.

High risk drinking is:

  • Starting the evening by planning to get drunk
  • Doing shots
  • Playing drinking games
  • Drinking too much, too fast
  • Mixing medication with alcohol
  • Drinking and driving or riding with someone who has been drinking.
  • Drinking before you are 21

Conversation Starters

  • Discuss your families values relating to alcohol and/or family history of alcohol abuse.
  • What do you think the alcohol scene at Gustavus will be like? What is the alcohol scene like?
  • How will you decide whether or not to drink at college?
  • What will you do if your rommate really enjoys drinking and partying?
  • What will you do if you find yourself at a party with only alcohol to drink?
  • What else is there to do on campus besides go to parties on weekends?
  • What will you do if a friend of yours wants to drive home and they are intoxicated? What if they don't want to listen to you?
  • How can you participate in the social activity of going to parties, but not drink?
  • What are the resources on campus for you or a friend if you have concerns about alcohol?
  • If you do plan to go out and drink, how to you plan to stay safe?
  • Do you know what the consequences are for alcohol violations at Gustavus?
  • If you bring a friend home from a party, and they are really drunk, what will you do?
  • What plan are we going to make so you can feel free to call us if you are in trouble or don't know how to handle a situation. 

Finding alternatives to drinking
Numerous alternative exist for students besides social events with alcohol. Following are some places your student can turn for suggesstions.

  • Collegiate Fellows, the student staff in the residence halls, can plan activities for the weekends.
  • Peer Assistants provide alcohol education and alternatives.
  • Campus Acitivities Board plans activities for most weekends.
  • Campus Activities has board games to borrow.
  • The Dive and many residence halls have equipment such as billards, ping-pong, and darts.
  • The Dive has dances many weekends.
  • Weekend movie - a new movie every week, it is free, and plays on campus.
  • Campus video is located on campus in the Dive and has movies to rent.
  • Gus Bus provides rides on Friday and Saturday nights around St. Peter.