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Dear Bobcat parent and family members,

Hands down, that was the best Parent & Family Weekend that I've ever attended at MSU! Thank you to all of the parents who were able to join us. I especially enjoyed meeting parents like Jim (a fraternity president 30 years ago during his time at MSU), Brian (who invited me to hike Cedar Mountain in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness with him) and Heather (a middle school teacher from Sumner, Washington). Overall, it was simply an incredible weekend of events -- a major shout-out to Erin and her team in the Dean of Students' office for their hard work in making the weekend so special.

And the excitement doesn't stop there! It's Homecoming Week, and we're looking forward to welcoming our alumni to campus for a fun-filled week. Montana State University will celebrate this "Bobcat Family Reunion" with a variety of events for students, alumni, and the Bozeman community.

Last night, we kicked off the week by lighting the college "M" on Mount Baldy. On Friday at 4 p.m., there will be a grand opening of the Bobcat Athletic Complex, the new home of MSU's football program at Bobcat Stadium. If you're in town, you won't want to miss the annual Homecoming Parade downtown on Saturday at 10 a.m. and afterward the football game against Cal Poly. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium. 

Homecoming Week is a special time for our students too with many campus activities just for them. It's also a time when students end up at off-campus parties and other social gatherings. Unfortunately, there are always a few students who go overboard in their revelry, resulting in violations of campus policies regarding alcohol and drug use or other campus rules.

With this in mind, it seems like a good opportunity to mention MSU's Code of Student Conduct, including our drug and alcohol policies. If you're not familiar with the Code or haven't discussed it with your student, I'd encourage you to start these conversations.

In my Sept. 16 e-news message, I briefly described the history of the legal relationship between colleges and students. Originally known as In Loco Parentis -- Latin for "in the place of the parent" -- this legal relationship has evolved significantly in the last 60 years, informing the content of student codes of conduct on campuses around the country.

The major shift in how colleges and universities worked with students came during the 1960s, after the landmark legal ruling in Dixon v. Alabama State Board of Education, 294 F.2d 150 (5th Cir. 1961). Prior to the Dixon case, college students were legally seen as children without adult rights as protected by the U.S. Constitution. That means colleges could summarily discipline students without any notice of wrong-doing or an administrative hearing where students could explain their side of the story to an impartial decision-maker.

The Dixon ruling profoundly changed how colleges and universities treated students with alleged conduct violations and how they oversaw and managed student activities, both on and off-campus. You can read more about the Dixon case and its impact on In Loco Parentis in this informative article on the SUNY website.

Why share this legal history about student conduct codes? I want to make sure you have a strong understanding of how we work with your student at MSU, especially in terms of our expectations for students adhering to campus policies regarding alcohol and drug use, academic misconduct, and other important campus rules.

In addition to the Know Your Code webpage, we also communicate with students through flyers and emails to make sure they know their rights and the responsibility they have to follow campus policies.

Finally, amid our homecoming activities and programs, another significant campus event is planned -- Fall Career Fair 2021. This biannual event at MSU provides students with an opportunity to explore career and internship options. Fall Career Fair 2021 has 175 employer and industry partners who have registered to attend. On Wednesday, Oct. 6, students can attend information sessions to learn more about employers and connect with company or agency representatives in advance of the Career Fair. An All Employer and Industry Partner Networking Reception is also scheduled for Oct. 6 so students can network with employers participating in the Career Fair.

The Career Fair is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Friday, Oct. 8 is interview day, where 850 interview opportunities are currently available for internship and full-time professional employment. If your student is searching for an internship or full-time job, please encourage them to take advantage of the Career Fair.

Warm regards,

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Matthew R. Caires
Dean of Students

P.S. For Bobcat families in the greater Houston area, you are welcome at the MSU Houston Area Chapter fall picnic on Sunday, Oct. 17. Join MSU alumni and friends at the Bear Creek Park Pavilion #3 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Bobcat Parent and Family Program, Montana State University
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717 | [email protected] | 406-994-7359
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