Dear Parent of a Marquette Student,

Welcome to the Alcohol Initiatives website. On this page you’ll find useful information about talking with your student about alcohol and how it will and will not play a role in their collegiate career. We hope that this page will answer questions you have about the culture of alcohol at Marquette and what resources are available if you are concerned about your student. If you do not find answers to your questions, or the additional links do not take you to helpful partners to our office, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to help!


What’s the drinking culture like on Marquette’s campus?

The easiest answer to this question is that it depends on who you ask. In other words, the perception of alcohol use on this campus is very different than actual use. Statistically, Marquette University is about average when you compare our drinking use to other institutions. However, we are seeing a growing number of students who have chosen to not consume alcohol prior to arriving on campus. When they arrive on campus, some feel that it is the only way to socialize and to meet there peers. This perception causes the drinking rates to increase.

Luckily, Late Night Marquette and Marquette University Student Government’s programs serve to give students a wide variety of programs both on and off campus so that if they would not like to interact with students where alcohol is present, they can.

How do I talk to my student about alcohol and what should I talk about?

The sooner the better!

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.

  • Marquette University follows Wisconsin State Law. It is illegal to drink as a minor (someone under age 21). Whether our Marquette University Police Department or the Milwaukee Police Department 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. 

  • 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. 

  • A socially responsible person does not always stand out at a party. Normally the loud, obnoxious person is the way drawing attention, and this can lead to a belief that everyone is drinking to excess. A good challenge for your student to undertake is step back and observe how many people are actually drinking and how they are behaving.

Most importantly, have conversations with them about their goals for their collegiate career. Many students at Marquette think about studying abroad, going onto graduate school, entering volunteer programs like the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps programs before arriving. Talk with them about the steps it takes to achieve those goals. Assist with a plan of action so that deadlines and opportunities are not missed.

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?

The Office of Student Development is only one resource that you have available to you and to your student. Here are some links to other offices on our campus to assist you with your concerns. Please note that students at Marquette are considered independent adults and therefore certain information is not at your disposal without your student’s consent.

For more information, follow these links below:

Campus Ministry
Campus Ministry focuses on the spiritual development of students. Through retreats, liturgical positions and support groups, all students (not just Catholic students) can find an ally and assistance when they need it.

Counseling Center
The Counseling Center has a strong and diverse staff to assist students from issues of alcohol and drugs to stress to relationships. If you are concerned about your student, call and speak with a counselor.

Marquette University Police Department (MUPD)
MUPD works with students on proactive ways to remain safe and healthy on campus. They offer workshops on self-defense, room security, and interpersonal violence. Visit their website for more information.

Office of Student Development
If your student is struggling with how to get involved, look no further than the Office of Student Development. Lots of activities, programs, students organizations, and vocational discernment opportunities abound!

Parents Association
If you would like to get involved on campus through volunteer opportunities or sitting on university committees and task forces, take a look at the Parents Association.

Marquette University Medical Clinic
Marquette University Medical Clinic is a fully operating clinic to assist in the medical needs of your student. Within their department, the Wellness and Peer Education Program works to bring awareness of health concerns to the student body. This is a great way for your student to get involved as well.

If you have any questions about Alcohol and other Drug Prevention Programs, please contact Sara Smith at (414) 288-5778, or by email, at sara.e.smith@marquette.edu.