Message to freshman parents regarding "4-20"

To: Parents and Guardians of First Year Students

From: Felicia McGinty, Vice Chancellor Student Affairs

UCSC is committed to providing a safe, healthy living and learning environment in which your student can thrive while earning a world class education. To that end, I write to you regarding a non-University sanctioned event which, although actively discouraged by University officials, nevertheless continues to occur on our campus. Often referred to as "Four-Twenty" or "4/20," participants come together, more or less spontaneously, on April 20 at 4:20 pm for the purpose of smoking marijuana and to a lesser extent, using other illegal substances. While similar "4/20 celebrations" occur simultaneously on college campuses across the United States, over the past four years the event here at UCSC has grown in numbers, with many of the participants being visitors with no investment in our UCSC community. The growth in scale of this activity has become a concern for both the University and surrounding community.

In an effort to maintain the safety of our students and ensure continuity of instruction and services, we continue to institute measures designed to strongly discourage students and others from participating in this 4/20 event. Among other efforts, a "no guest" policy in on-campus residence halls has been instituted per contractual agreements. The "no overnight guest" policy begins on Friday, April 18, 8:00 p.m. and concludes on Monday, April 20, 2009. To ensure safety, additional measures will be taken to limit access to campus for non-affiliates. Likewise, for a limited time bus transportation will be curtailed, access to campus will be limited and illegally parked cars will be towed.

UCSC continues to educate students about the risks of alcohol and drug use, provide alternative activities, and actively enforce University policies. Yet, student culture is largely shaped by the individual choices of the community members. We are concerned about the public use of marijuana and other illegal drugs on 4/20, as such activities can have both personal and community consequences. The use of illegal substances is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and can result in judicial sanctions. I encourage you to talk with your student about his or her plans for 4/20. Ask direct questions about the choices they make and express your expectations regarding marijuana, alcohol or other drug use. Although students may not initiate discussion on this topic, your opinions and expectations can influence their behavior. Research shows that students are influenced by on-going family discourse regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs.

The first year of college is filled with many choices, changes and challenges for students. With your support and our collective partnership, our students can achieve academic and personal success here at UCSC. Thank you in advance for your support and continued partnership. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns. I can be reached at