It is no secret students get alcohol from older friends or fake IDs, but a lesser-known resource is their parents.
Leslie Haxby McNeill, director of Health Education at Miami, said some students get alcohol from their parents, either on move-in day or parent’s weekends.
“I think there are some well-intentioned parents who unwillingly put their students at risk,” McNeill said. “They give them alcohol to keep in their dorm rooms whether it’s a case of beer or a bottle of liquor.”
Miami junior Ariana, who requested to be listed by her first name only, said she got alcohol from her parents when she was underage.
“A lot of times, when I’m home, my parents will have extra of something they don’t like,” Ariana said. “They don’t necessarily buy the alcohol for me but will give me some to take back to school.”
While McNeill said some students get their alcohol from their parents, she said the data shows most students get it from older students.
Miami University Police Department (MUPD) Chief, John McCandless agreed.
“I think it’s less likely in college that students get alcohol from their parents because of the proximity,” McCandless said. “Students aren’t close to their parents.”
McCandless also said a lot of parents will buy their underage students alcohol at the bars on parent’s or mom’s or dad’s weekend, but that kind of purchasing is legal in Ohio.
This kind of purchasing is illegal in 40 other states.
Junior Corbin Kuceyeski said his parents have bought him alcohol at bars.
“When I was under my parents would buy me drinks at bars when they came to visit me at school and when we were on vacation,” Kuceyeski said. “They never bought me a case [of beer] or anything though.”
According to McNeill, Miami tries to discourage illegal purchasing of alcohol by parents for students by increasing the number of parents who have conversations about alcohol with their student, or changing the conversation to focus more on the laws.
According to McNeill, Miami seeks to find out, through several mechanisms including alcohol.edu, if parents talk to their students about alcohol.
“We’d like to see an increase in the amount of parents who talk to their students about alcohol before college, and not go in with the mentality that they will do it no matter what,” McNeill said.
In addition, the Miami University Parents Council, a group of representatives that come together a few times a year to discuss issues pertinent to students and parents, have a subcommittee on alcohol abuse.
The council will send parents cards before big events where parents might be in attendance, like Parent’s Weekend or Homecoming, encouraging them to not break the law.
“Sometimes it’s difficult for parents to say no when their student asks if they will go out with them, on pub crawls or other events,” McNeill said. “Parents council will send cards to parents encouraging them to ‘step up when they ask you to step out.'”