As a parent of a college student there are things that you should know and actions you can take to help your child make responsible decisions and avoid many of the problems associated with drinking while they're away at school. Check the local web sites about school alcohol policies and city social hosting laws. KU and the city of Lawrence have instituted many new policies and laws just this year. Send your student off prepared with the facts. Set up open communication about alcohol and drugs so if your child gets in over their head, either by drinking too much or being around it when it is out of control, they can call you for help and advice. Make sure your college student knows the signs of alcohol poisoning and what they must do to help their friends in need. Have them designate two or three friends they can call if they find themselves in trouble and need help themselves. Talk about the dangers of doing 21 shots on their 21st birthday. (Ever heard of a "Shot Book"- a scrap book documenting the progression of the birthday girl doing 21 shots throughout the night?) Below are some good conversation starters for you and your college bound student.