At Rider University, we have a strict Alcohol Policy that was created by the Task Force in 2007 following the death of Rider student Gary DeVercelly Jr.  We encourage parents to be proactive and talk to students as soon as possible about alcohol and possible consequences.

In the first six weeks of a college, students are introduced to a wide variety of life changes. The potential for excessive alcohol consumption is one challenge that they will face. Here are some ways to approach this topic with your student.

  • Rider University follows New Jersey State Law. It is illegal to drink as a minor (someone under age 21). Whether our Department of Public Safety, Lawrenceville Police Department, Princeton Township Police Department, Princeton Borough Police Department, or Residence Life staff, find the student consuming alcohol, they will be subject to consequences.
  • Many students have explained that they drink because it is the first time away from home and they are experimenting with new found freedom. Talking with them about how to handle tough decisions is key. 
  • There is a perception that meeting new people occurs at social settings with alcohol present. Discuss with your student about joining clubs and organizations that fit with their interests. Joining these groups can serve to develop healthy friendships with students from multiple areas of campus. Rider University offers over 150 clubs and organizations and 12 Greek Life organizations.
  • Family history can be a factor in alcohol use. If there is a family history of alcohol abuse or dependence, talk with your student about how that may influence their experiences with alcohol.
  • While the media portrays alcohol as always fun and always social, alcohol in excess can still be a very harmful and sometimes fatal experience. Talk to your student about moderate drinking and how to be aware of the alcohol they are consuming.

Most importantly, have conversations with them about their goals for their collegiate career. Many students at Rider think about being successful during their undergraduate career, being involved on campus, studying abroad and going on to graduate school. Talk with them about the steps it takes to achieve those goals.

The more students think that they can “get away” with their drinking habits that are unhealthy, the more it comes as a shock to them when they are held accountable for their actions. Regardless of the conduct outcomes that they will face, the health and safety of our students is paramount. Please take a moment and talk with your student to let them know you care and want their success in life.

If you have questions or want more guidance in how to approach students, don’t hesitate to call!

If I’m concerned, what should I do and who do I call?

There are many resources available for you and your student. Here are some links to other offices on our campus to assist you with your concerns. Please note that students at Rider are considered independent adults and therefore certain information is not at your disposal without your student’s consent.

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