Dear College Freshman,
Welcome to college! College is an amazing place to grow and experience new things. Here are some tips to keep in mind in order to have a fun and safe first month of college. From experience with the firm and personal experience there are three things to be aware of in your first month of college; alcohol, student housing and plagiarism. These three things are the most common ways to get into trouble with your university.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is very common on college campuses, and it is the most common violation for college students. It is always important to know the alcohol laws of the state you are in and the school you attend. The consequences of being intoxicated vary by school, ranging from disciplinary probation to expulsion. It is important to read about your school’s alcohol policy and be sure you know of the consequences.
- Student Housing: A lot of students do not realize there are rules and regulations when signing their housing contract. Things such as violence, drugs, microwaves, coffee makers, or nails may not be allowed. It is important to read about what is and what is not allowed in your dorm. In addition, it is important to realize that you must take ownership of the items in your room. If a friend leaves alcohol in your room, that is now your alcohol and you can be charged and disciplined by the university.
- Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a major offense, and unfortunately, can be accidentally committed. Plagiarism is committed when someone tries to pass someone else’s work off as their own, and it does not have to be intentional. Every university has a different definition and different consequences for plagiarism. Therefore, it is important to know what your universities definition is to ensure you do not violate it. A helpful tip to not committing plagiarism is to learn how to cite your work properly. A lot of college freshman come to school not knowing how to cite their work and use internet sites to automatically cite their sources for them. This is not a reliable source and is oftentimes wrong. Therefore, students should learn how to cite by themselves to ensure no plagiarism is accidentally committed.
Lastly, all of the relevant rules for your school can be found in your student conduct code. The conduct code has all the information to look out for in your university career. College is a great place to learn a lot, make lifelong friends and have fun. Just be sure you have fun safely and within the university boundaries. If legal issues do arise, then DC Student Defense is here to help. It is always smarter to get legal advice at the start of a problem than when it gets too big.
These materials have been prepared by WGW for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.