Need some advice for son currently in college........

<p>My step son attends a very good college and this year had been waitlisted to get into some new dorms which in Oct. he got into. He ended up being in a quad with 6 other boys, all of whom are either on the football or baseball team and all the stereotype to a tee. My stepson is a great kid, low key a musician, likes tennis, not a major die hard sports fan but enjoys them...not tough or rough, the surprising thing is that he ended up getting along with this kids very well despite how different they are.
Soon into this situation, he started being a part of their many many parties, all of which involved getting plastered to the point of being very rowdy,etc......this is not my stepsons thing. He would have a drink or two but doesn't' enjoy getting actually drunk...these kids try to outdrink themselves. The thing is my stepson has many very good processions, a very expensive laptop, nice clothes, a very expensive guitar and bass, amp,etc.......these kids think nothing about going into his closet borrowing shirts, taking his new socks, their mentality is whatever each of them has is to be shared amongst everyone. On one hand that is very sweet but on the other it allows no one to have something and keep it for themselves.
So.......recently my stepson went to visit his girlfriend at another college, came back to find the door broken off the dorm room entrance, beer, throw up, food everywhere, all over his bed and all the others. All the posters ripped off the walls, sticky residue all over his laptop, beer cans and garbage everywhere, you get the picture. He was beside himself and I can totally understand. He called upset and said he has no respect for these "animals"
and while I do know kids in college drinking and having parties is normal, they seem to take it to an extreme every weekend. Three of the 6 kids are already on probation having gotten caught with alcohol a few times before, you would think they are asking to be thrown out. His roommate does this for the acceptance and attention and told my stepson that he would "do his best to clean everything up" as my stepson refuses to touch a thing even though he is disgusted that his dorm has turned into a pigpen.</p>

<p>He says he is calling the housing dept. on Monday and wants to move out, which we fully support. I feel however like our hands are tied, the first thing we wanted to do was to get on the phone with someone and demand how and why this is permitted to go on. Apparently everyone knows this is the biggest drinking, hardest partying rowdiest group on campus. One of the boys was so drunk he was going around punching and trying to hurt everyone, then broke the door off and ripped the posters off the wall, some of which are my stepsons. We are just LIVID and furious, and really could use some advice from you seasoned veterans out there. This is our first child to go to college and thus far things have been pretty good, having him move out is not good enough for me at this point, I want these kids to pay for what they have done, to pay my son for anything of his that they have taken/ruined.</p>

<p>Am I being fair and reasonable? Do you have any suggestions to go about this? I was thinking of calling anonymously. Let me know your thoughts....we are just so upset about this and feel like we need to have a satisfactory resolution. Thank you.</p>

<p>
[quote]
He says he is calling the housing dept. on Monday and wants to move out, which we fully support.

[/quote]
I think he (and you) already know what to do. Relax. You did a good job. He's capable of doing this himself.</p>

<p>This is where kids learn to make the right choices and behave like adults. Your son clearly behaves and expect others to behave in a similar manner, unfortunately these other boys do not have the same values. Your son has made the right decision to move out. A learning experience.</p>

<p>How does he feel about reporting this? If it is a smaller school, plus the fact you are dealing with athletes, not sure what will come of it. I would leave it up to him to decide.</p>

<p>My sympathy to you.
I think the problem began with stepson being "laid back" and allowing the borrowing of clothes. Had he asserted himself from start, he may not have been as liked. I see nothing sweet about taking new socks. </p>

<p>I don't know how stepson reacted to the destruction of his room after his weekend away. I certainly hope he ran and got the RA and made a big stink. If door torn off, I'd also be calling in the campus police. Your SS should not be responsible for destruction of school property, but should be documented immediately. If the roommates did not offer to reimburse (which I doubt), I'd still want documentation to report to insurance company.</p>

<p>good luck</p>

<p>I guess what I forgot to mention is that he is adamant about us not calling but as a parent I feel so outraged that no respect was given to the fact that this is HIS room too and HIS things were treated like garbage, if they want to treat their own possessions like that it is their business but to do that to someone else's with no regard is really low. I feel like these kids need to be reported, he wants to keep the peace and will tell the housing committee that they are just not a good match, and pretty much keep it at that. He couldn't even sleep last night because the door is off!! As the parents working VERY hard to pay for the tuition and board this has us outraged. It frankly is hard to relax when I think about what has transpired. I am hoping they will read between the lines when they see this good kid wanting out. I really want to call myself, but not give my name. He told me a few girls who live close by were also quite upset over this chaos, so for all they know it could be a girl's parent, any suggestions?</p>

<p>I think you can give him your opinion and why you think he should take action. In the end he has made good decisions for himself and you should repect his choice, whether or not you agree with it.
Good Luck</p>

<p>Agree with the others. This is tuition for life's lessons and a real growth opportunity to allow him to handle himself.</p>

<p>The thing is this is a smallish school and of course and I totally understand this is he doesn't want to be seen as the "nark" and doesn't want to make enemies, he wants to keep the peace but recognizes this situation is out of hand and wants no part of it. He wants to move but without much fanfare, however I feel so differently. I want these kids to pay, in my book they do not deserve the chances that they have had nor the privledge to remain there.
When I said the sharing is sweet, its more because they have this real "boys club" mentality, they go to the market chip in and buy food, and its for everyone, to share, no portion control or rationing, when someone gets something, its shared with everyone. I think on one had that is sweet, but it doesn't work for my son. My son did put his foot down about the borrowing of his things and it stopped, they respected his wishes after a few reminders but they are who they are and this is likely to not change. He realizes this and wants out. I dont' blame him one bit. I am thinking of calling the campus police however to have them look at the door and probe a bit, it could have come from anyone right?
I asked my son where in the world the RA'S are at a time like this, and then I think is it because for the most part, these are 6'5" 270 lb. guys on the football team so there is the fear factor? Sad but possibly true.
Nonetheless I am likely going to make a few calls myself all the while taking great care to keep my s. out of it.</p>

<p>Tell him to take photographs of everything - all the damaged possessions, the general condition of the room, the door off the hinges. Then, when he no longer lives with these students (and I use the word loosely), he can take them to small claims court. He has at least one year to sue them. (He might also be able to sue the university, since clearly an RA must have known that kids were being violent enough to punch holes in walls and rip doors off hinges.) That way, it won't disrupt his living with them until he moves out, and it may make them pay for his damaged stuff. Serving them with small claims papers, depending on the state, could be done at their permanent addresses, so there's no question that their parents will know about it.</p>

<p>In the meantime, yes, he should call housing himself and see them in person (armed with his digital photographs) - calls can be ignored, people are harder to ignore. If he gets brushed off, only then would it be appropriate, with his permission, for you to get involved.</p>

<p>Your son would prefer to handle it himself? I say let him. HE is the one who has to live -- within the school -- with these guys, not you.</p>

<p>And no, it's unlikely that a complaint to the police "could have come from anyone." How many people are likely to have such specific information? It's not going to take a genius to put two-and-two together.</p>

<p>I know you're very upset about this -- completely understandable!! But please give your son the opportunity to handle it. It's a learning experience for him; don't take it away from him. Your involvement will be telling him that you think he isn't capable of handling it; do you really want to give him that message?</p>

<p>No of course I don't want to give him the message that we dont' believe he can handle it. But putting him aside, I am concerned about the damages, the fact that one of these kids could likely end up drinking enough to get alcohol poisoning and end up really sick,they are compromising a lot for everyone present. Contacting the police could have come from any parent, there were over 50 kids there and many of them were upset with how things escalated, I am sure my son was not the only one to have told his parents what went on and in fact I know for sure of three others, because I am friends with those parents and they called me to talk about it so it could come from any number of people. You are right, it should be something he should handle and learn from which is why he will be the one to go to the housing and deal with that end of it. I however feel like I must make someone aware of what is going on and what the RA is obvioulsy incapable of doing..........reporting things that are not in keeping with campus policy.</p>

<p>He needs to inform housing, if for no other reason so he will NOT be held liable for damages to his dorm room. I agree with the above poster that he should take pictures of everything.</p>

<p>If you step in when your son is already doing a competent job of protecting his own interests (moving out, avoiding getting charged for damage that occurred during his weekend away, etc.) and when he has expressly asked you NOT to intervene, you risk damaging your relationship with your son. And for what? To punish his roommates or RA? It doesn't seem worth it, especially since the school seems to kind of turn a blind eye to the antics of these groups anyway.</p>

<p>Also, if you call and inadvertently use some of the statements you made here, like "He would have a drink or two but doesn't' enjoy getting actually drunk" your son may also end up getting in trouble for underage drinking.</p>

<p>Your son seems to have a good grasp of the dynamics of the situation. Like everyone else here, at this point I'd let him handle it...if the college won't move him or tries to make him pay for damage or something, that might be a point where you get involved.</p>

<p>stacy, while I agree with most of what you are saying........I personally feel that someone needs to say something about what is going on, clearly the school is not afraid to take a hard stance but the RA is not capable as is evidenced by the lack of action. My son has many friends who have been removed from campus or lost housing because of 2 incidences with drinking, I really think if they find out about this, this will be the end for 3 of them for sure. I dont' expect my son to blow the whistle just to worry about taking care of his own situation and getting himself into a dorm where things are a little calmer and less crazy. Of course I would never make the comment about him having a drink! He said he normally just sips one to not look out of place but just really has no desire to drink (Thank God). He doesn't want me to say who I am but doesn't have a problem with me calling "anonymously", so my husband and I will mull it over and decide what to do. In the meantime got a call from another parent who lives close to campus and has decided they are going there to talk to student dean about what has taken place so I may not even need to say anything at all. Thanks for your advice.</p>

<p>Let your son report it to housing but take the pictures as Chedva describes. Be very specific about dates. Does he have any proof that he was out of town and so on (airplane receipts, automobile gas tank fillup receipts, or anythng written to show he was elsewhere)? If so, these could be attached to a letter to housing (tell him to make copies before handing in anything original to the housing office). </p>

<p>Often the "damages" to rooms don't come to light until after everyone leaves for the term. As each kid leaves for the term, they make an appointment with the RA to inventory each room. If the damage is specific to one room, anyone who lived there will be charged significantly. Anything they can't pin down on a room is divided up and bills sent to all parents. You and the other parents don't see that stuff until summer. If you don't pay it, you can't register for next term (or graduate) etc. etc.</p>

<p>Our kid moved out of a similar-sounding jock hall freshman midyear; it sounded about half as bad as what you describe. He handled it all. It was important to him to do without making a fuss. I was stunned to receive a parental equal portion for the damage from first term on that hall (vomit on rugs with specific cleaning bill noted, etc). Itemized damage. Anything that happened in the lounge was divided among all the parents (broken furniture..). That we paid; it involved first semester. </p>

<p>Our son laid the groundwork with the housing office to prove that anything within his room AFTER he moved out wasn't his financial responsibility. But for all the time he did live there, we got proportional charges on the collective damage up and down the hallways.</p>

<p>I think whenever the RA's CAN pin something down to a specifric room, they'll charge those room residents a lot, so it doesn't have to be spread out among the rest of the hall. There's enough to be spread around; if they can localize the damage, they will and charge only those families from those rooms. (The roommates get dunned, too).</p>

<p>Your son needs to prove what happened right now, and that he wasn't present, in order to protect you and his specific roommates from being charged handsomely for the entire repair of his room area. </p>

<p>If housing doesn't indicate they'll protect his family from excessive charges at the end of the year inventory, THAT might be your place to phone in because you have a stake in that.</p>

<p>What happens to the other boys lives isn't your stake or concern, but your
bills are your territory.</p>

<p>Your son could handle all of this "quietly" socially yet still try to protect you from financial false accounting. </p>

<p>Your goal should be to tell your son how to back up his report with photographic and physical evidence that he was nowhere around when the door came off. If housijng won't guarantee his family financial protection at end-of-year room inventory, IN WRITING, then perhaps you have the entree (at your son's report) to phone in to housing to discuss the financials.</p>

<p>Absolutely agree with those who say let him handle it. Provide the appropriate backup suggestions -- documentation, etc -- but let him take the lead. IF he gets nowhere, then you can step in, with his permission.</p>

<p>Thankfully, I learned this lesson when ds1 was about 10, and I intervened in a minor bullying situation. I put an end to the bullying right then, but, when the boy didn't think I could see him, I saw him continue to taunt my son because his mommy got involved. I felt horrible and apologized to my son later that day, as I had made the long-term situation worse.</p>

<p>I know a 10yo basketball bully is not the same thing as dealing with big, burly college football players, but allowing kids to handle age-appropriate situations themselves is universal. Your son seems to have a good grasp of what needs to be done.</p>

<p>Good luck and let us know how it turns out. Getting those other parents to call sounds like a great way to avoid your having to get involved!!!</p>

<p>Most are advising you to 'stay out of it.' Your S wants to handle it himself, and it sounds like he'll do just fine. He probably understands these meatheads pretty well, and best knows how to proceed with them.</p>

<p>That said, though, as a parent-- and probably the person paying for tuition, room and board, I think that you are completely justified in putting in a call to Res. Life if it makes you feel better. I would do two things, though-- cool off a bit first, and also let them know your son is already handling it from his end. While he is probably focusing on getting new housing and handling the social aspect of this mess, there might be other property or expense-related issues for you to follow up on. Will there be reimbursements of any kind? Will he be off the hook for damaged college property that will be inventoried at the end of the year? Paying3tuitions made some good points above. I'd stay away from the issue of punishment of the drunken idiots-- tempting as it might be. But-- maybe talking to an adult on the other end of the line will make you feel better. And if you need to vent a little I'm sure they'd understand (I would!).</p>

<p>I agree wtih the advice above..take photos, take names, document but number one is simply to remove him from these losers...your son has only four years to get an education/make friends/find mentors..at your family's expense..your son is a great kid and can accomodate different people and lifestyles more than adequately..your son is not the problem nor does he need to stretch anymore to accept these kids as friends but you must factor in that he will be seeing them around and does not need enemies either and a few of them may grow up and be better people in two years time....and you don't have time or energy to change other people's children is my view..sometimes it is best to simply keep moving...</p>

<p>get him out first...have him and or your send letter to people in charge of RAs...but mainly...get him out. He has great social skills clearly...is tolerant enough..he will be loved and appreciated soon by a new circle of young adults...tons of us have freshmen mismatch issues...</p>

<p>all best and my total parental sympathy...my son's roommie...well I almost busted into tears when we saw him. Health freak. Climbs mountains. Eats healthy..no alcohol...built like a movie star...slept 8 hours a night..clean conscience....boring!!! </p>

<p>a mother's dream frankly. Just good fortune...</p>

<p>Just to clarify, I'm not saying to "stay out of it." I'm saying don't jump in too soon because it sounds like your son has a plan he's ready to put in to place.</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice, my s. will take care of it this morning and his goal is to move out, which we are all relieved about. He will have no choice but to somewhat reveal that they are not compatible roommates but will not go into heavy specifics. By planting a seed, it may open their eyes to being more vigilent to a bigger problem than perhaps they realize exists. H doesnt' want to play police and will let the college handle it,at this point we have decided to let him proceed and will see how the college responds. A learning experience for sure, and one that I am sure in the end has helped him more than hurt him. We are proud of his maturity in how he is handling this though he is still very upset, life throws a curveball and in the end these make us stronger and more resillient. Thanks for all your well meaning advice.</p>