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Read the latest issue of Rowan Family!

Letter to the Parents

30 November 2009

Dear Rowan Parent:

Please forgive the informality of my salutation, but this letter is going to the parents of all students living in residence at Rowan, either on the campus or in the surrounding neighborhoods, and together those students comprise about 60% of our entire undergraduate population.

You will see a letter attached to this one that has been sent electronically to all of our undergraduate students. The purpose of that letter is two-fold: First, to remind the small group of students who are currently ignoring provisions in our student code relating to student conduct that these provisions are requirements, not suggestions, and that there are penalties for violating them—and we intend to enforce those penalties strictly, in order to get the attention of students whose behavior is unacceptable.

The second purpose of the letter is to inform the vast majority of students who are by and large paying attention to the provisions of the student code of conduct that we will be protecting the value of their degree and the reputation of the campus by cracking down on the behavior of the first group of students.

The purpose of this letter to you, the parents, is simply to inform you of our actions, to seek your support in what we are doing, and to ask that you talk to your student about this issue.

Please feel free to contact any of the following individuals if you have questions or concerns:

Joe Mulligan
Asst. Dean of Students
mulligan@rowan.edu

Richard Jones
Dean of Students
jonesri@rowan.edu

Carmen Jordan-Cox
V.P. for Student Affairs
jordan-cox@rowan.edu

Donald Farish
President
farish@rowan.edu

Sincerely yours,
Donald J. Farish
President

A Message from President Donald J. Farish

In the 17 years since the transformational gift from Henry and Betty Rowan, our university has seen unprecedented growth and change. Wonderful things have happened on our campus: new academic and residential buildings; a new generation of faculty who are continuing the proud tradition at our campus of putting the interests of the students first; an increasingly talented student body; and the growing prestige that comes from improved national rankings and regional pride.

Rowan’s demonstrable success makes what I have to say all the more troubling.

There is at present a small group of students who are willfully jeopardizing our reputation and our credibility. Sadly, their behavior reflects poorly on all of us. Let me be specific about the behavior I reference:

  1. Loud and raucous parties in Glassboro’s quiet residential neighborhoods.
  2. Students roaming these neighborhoods very late at night, disturbing the peace and relieving themselves wherever they happen to be.
  3. Littering, and random destruction of personal and public property.

I cannot and will not accept that Rowan students as a whole have such callous disregard and disrespect for the community that Rowan calls home. These are not the actions that any student would think appropriate in his or her hometown, nor are they acceptable or appropriate in their temporary home in Glassboro.

Yet I remind you that Rowan’s reputation is your reputation; Rowan’s future is your future. And to the handful of miscreants I say the following:

  1. When you sponsor a “red cup” party, you are running a speakeasy, and that is a criminal offense in the State of New Jersey.
  2. If you are convicted of breaking the law in this way, you are subject to a substantial court fine as well as campus sanctions that can include suspension from the University.
  3. If you are convicted of any drug violation, your financial aid will be negatively impacted, and you can never be licensed to teach in the State of New Jersey
  4. In collaboration with the Glassboro Police Department, we intend to cite and sanction every student who sponsors or attends loud and disruptive parties or who engages in disorderly conduct in Glassboro.
  5. We will notify the parents of dependent students who are cited and sanctioned for disruptive parties, disorderly conduct, and/or raucous behavior.

I understand full well that what has led me to write this letter is the behavior of a small and defiant group of students who feel that it is their right to behave as they choose, regardless of the trouble they cause the citizens of Glassboro or the damage they inflict on Rowan’s reputation. But let me underscore this point: Being a student at Rowan University is a privilege and not a right. Since every Rowan student is effectively an ambassador of Rowan, and since the misdeeds and bad judgment of a few can reflect negatively on the reputation of the many, we will protect the value of your degree by taking action against those who would cause it damage, including revoking their privilege of being a Rowan student.

Donald J. Farish
President
November 30, 2009