What Do Students Look Like?

Should colleges and universities notify parents when a student is clearly troubled?College officials generally treat students as adults, and officials say that they are constrained by privacy laws. But there are exceptions to those laws, such as a health emergency. And around the country, there are growing questions about when educators should, in fact, call home.

Here is the question, though. If you do start notifying about students suffering from depression, anxiety, etc., whom do you notify if the student is 35? Or 60? I doubt it’s legal to institute a rule where different age groups are treated differently.

Most people have a very unrealistic image of what students look like because the only kind of students featured in news stories are 18-year-olds from upper-middle-class families. Nobody ever talks about how many college students, for instance, are adults with children of their own. What is constantly discussed as issues that matter to students are things that only a small minority knows about.

The media seem fascinated by college students, but it’s a completely unrealistic image of students that they obsessively discuss.

4 thoughts on “What Do Students Look Like?”

  1. They’re all swinging back to some kind of in loco parentis.

    Of course, the possibility the parents are causing or exacerbating the students’ mental problems are not addressed.


  2. A lot of places have you specify an emergency contact number… Who says that has to be the student’s parents? The student could choose to elect a partner, good friend, godparent, whoever. If the admin is clear to the student that they might call the emergency contact for mental health problems, hopefully the student will have the good sense to list a number for someone that won’t exasperate those problems…


  3. I, too, have noticed for the longest time how much the culture of the U.S. practically fawns over the college crowd
    …often to the point where the college/university students in general practically have almost full command over the social climate of this entire society.


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