Students attending university can be going through a great deal of growth and development during this time. Many are living on their own for the first time, juggling their studies with a job, extracurricular activities and a social life.
With so much changing for young people in this situation, there are bound to be mistakes. For instance, going to a party can quickly become a problem when a student’s decisions trigger criminal charges.
What can go wrong?
Attending a party can seem harmless; show up, meet friends and have a couple of drinks. But in the blink of an eye, that celebration can turn to panic if the police arrive.
Drinking offences are not uncommon. Students engage in underage drinking, public intoxication or drinking and driving, all of which can lead to tickets and arrests. Drug offences are also common at university parties.
Parties can also lead to criminal mischief charges. Recently, a house party became a big problem for an entire neighbourhood when the attendants (university students) engaged in a range of disruptive behaviours. The party spilled out onto the streets, sparking noise complaints and reports of “near-riot conditions.”
The attendants were also in violation of pandemic gathering limits.
Penalties for partying
Going to a party should be fun, but they can take an ugly turn when people violate school rules or provincial laws.
Depending on university policies, it can administer penalties to students, from probation to suspension. Further, young adults can lose scholarships or important positions held at the school.
The legal consequences can be even more upsetting. Criminal misconduct can lead to a host of penalties, including:
- License suspension
- Payment of restitution
- Jail or prison time
These consequences are troubling and can derail a young person’s life.
Talking to your kids
As parents, you can help your children avoid these painful outcomes by reminding them that there are consequences to illegal actions. Even if something seems harmless or “everyone else is doing it,” a crime is a crime.
Further, even though students may feel like adults when they are away from home, being treated like one in court can be a harsh dose of reality.
If your child is away at university, remind them that there is life outside of school. And youthful mistakes can have a dramatic impact on that life, so avoiding them is vital.