You are here: Welcome Week Safety - Parents

AU Memo Letterhead

August 18, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Congratulations on this important step in the life of your family! We are excited to have the opportunity to know your student as they begin their college career at AU! As you know, the university has planned a number of activities during the next few weeks to help your student meet other AU students and get to know the AU campus. Check out the Welcome Week 2017 Calendar of Events and encourage them to get involved as soon as they arrive on campus. We encourage students to focus their involvement on university-sponsored activities but we recognize that they will be interested in exploring off-campus opportunities. With that in mind, please take the time to talk with your student about the following safety recommendations:

Off-Campus Activities

During the first few weeks of school, it is common for new students to receive invitations to off-campus parties. These parties can pose significant risks to students. We want students to consider these factors:

  • How will they get home safely from the party?
  • Who else do they know is attending the party? Do they trust these people to step up for them as engaged bystanders if needed? How will they look out for their friends and ensure that all get home safely?
  • If your student chooses to drink, do they understand the potential consequences for their safety, health and disciplinary record? Be sure to remind them of the strategies identified in the Think About It online education tool.
  • How will they get help if they need it? Do they have the numbers for local and campus police, and AU's Safe Ride to Campus program (202-885-2527)?

Please remind your student that the university takes a strong position against underage drinking. The parents of students involved in violations of the university alcohol policy or drug policy will be informed of these incidents. Students' actions off campus reflect on the entire AU community, and neighborhood disturbances violate AU's Good Neighbor Policy. They may also violate the Student Conduct Code and the law.

Risks Associated With Underground Groups

An underground group is formerly a recognized student organization or group that has lost or been denied university registration or recognition as a consequence of violating the Student Conduct Code and/or other university policy. Providing assistance to or in any way perpetuating the misconduct of an Underground Group is a violation of the Student Conduct Code and may led to expulsion from the university.

As was presented to you if you attended Eagle Summit, the university encourages you to be particularly aware of an underground group known as Epsilon Iota or EI. Please talk with your student about the risks of participating in activities or events sponsored by this group. It may expose them to serious risk of potential harm and removal from the university.

  • This group of students operates without AU's approval, oversight, or guidance.
  • This group invites students to parties through misleading social media posts, falsely identifying themselves by names other than EI, stating that they are or soon will be a recognized group, and by way of personal contact with unsuspecting new students.
  • Individuals in this group have been associated with high-risk behavior and serious misconduct, including sexual and physical assaults.
  • Students previously involved with this group have faced criminal and disciplinary consequences including arrests and removal from the university.
  • Providing assistance to or in any way perpetuating the activities of an Underground Group is a violation of university policy. Student Conduct Code (page 8)

AU expects its students, wherever they are, to conduct themselves in a responsible and civil manner. If you have questions about your student's responsibilities and rights under the Student Conduct Code, you may contact the Office of the Dean of Students (202-885-3300 or dos@american.edu) or the Student Conduct Office (202-885-3328 or conduct@american.edu).

Best wishes for a safe and successful semester!

Fanta Aw, Interim Vice President of Campus