University of Vermont

A Note from President Tom Sullivan

March 2014

President Sullivan
President Tom Sullivan by Sally McCay

On February 10, 2014, I sent a message to the UVM community about an increase threat to the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students. The specific concern is the degree to which some of our students engage in the high-risk use of alcohol, marijuana, and misuse and abuse of prescription medications. This type of behavior is counter to our commitment to the success of our students, both academically and socially. It presents a threat to the success of those who choose to engage in this type of behavior, and poses direct and indirect consequences to their peers, friends and classmates.

As staff members you come in contact with students in a variety of ways, from assisting students with research projects, to providing guidance in the Library, to simply being a welcoming person for students who seek support. You engage with students in ways that contribute to their success and you also may witness behavioral indicators that are troubling that may cause you to be concerned. I want to encourage you to speak up and share your views!

I recognize that for many this is not an easy topic; you may not know the best way to approach the issue. The staff in the Dean of Students Office are available to assist you to offer advice, and to support ways to recognize and respond to common problems that affect our students. The Guide to Supporting Students of Concern offers suggestions and helpful hints as well as referral resources, both on and off campus. In addition, you also may submit a C.A.R.E. Report Form about a student on-line, which will prompt timely and appropriate follow up.

Successfully addressing the high-risk use of alcohol, marijuana, and misuse of prescription medications requires action and a commitment on the part of every member of the UVM Community. We ask for your support and advice.