Emergency Contact Notification Policy

Rev. 10/20/2020

Privacy of Student Records: The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) generally prohibits colleges and university from releasing students’ educational records. Two exceptions include notification of a student’s parent or legal guardian in circumstances surrounding underage drinking and illegal drug use, as well health and safety emergencies.

Illegal alcohol or drug use of students who are younger than 21:
In accordance with Utah System of Higher Education (USHE policy R.261), Utah State University strives to educate all students on the risks associated with substance abuse and the illegal use of alcohol or other drugs. In furtherance of its effort to engage students and their families regarding these issues, the University has adopted this Parental Notification Policy pertaining to the illegal or harmful use of alcohol or other drugs.

Whenever the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) becomes aware that a Utah State University student has been cited for an alcohol or drug related violation, and the student is under 21 years of age, the VPSA, or designee, may notify that student’s parent or legal guardian. Violations that trigger notifications under this paragraph include, but are not limited to, driving under the influence, public drunkenness, underage possession of alcohol, and unauthorized possession of controlled substances (illegal drugs).

Furthermore, whenever the VPSA becomes aware that a Utah State University student has engaged in a pattern of behavior or a severe incident involving the use of alcohol and/or drugs, and the student is under 21, the VPSA will notify that student’s parent/legal guardian.

Health and Safety Emergency Notification:
Utah State University will notify a student’s emergency contact, typically a parent or legal guardian, of a student who poses an imminent threat to (a) cause serious physical harm to the student or others as evidenced by recent behavior, or any other relevant information, or (b) suffer serious harm due to the student’s lack of capacity to protect themself from harm or to provide for their own basic human needs.

Utah State University’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) uses the NABITA Risk Rubric Tool, and will evaluate emergency contact/parental notification of any student rated “elevated” or “critical.” In making a determination of risk, the BIT conducts an individualized assessment, using objective indicators of risk.

Either the BIT or a treating health professional will inform the University Vice President for Student Affairs whenever notification is required in these instances. The VPSA or designee will then notify the emergency contact or parent.

Notification may be withheld if the BIT determines that notification would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the student or another person.