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Student Handbook: School of Law Section

Substance Abuse Policy

Purpose

In keeping with the mission of the University and its commitment to provide an alcohol and drug-free work environment, the University and the School of Law have formulated the following policy regarding alcohol and drugs.

Applicability

This policy applies to all students.

Definitions

"Substance" means any drug (including alcohol) that has known mind- or function-altering effects on a human subject, specifically including psychoactive substances and including, but not limited to, substances controlled or prohibited by state and/or federal law. "Alcohol" in this context means beer, wine, and all forms of distilled liquor, or any beverage, mixture or preparation containing ethyl alcohol.

Prohibitions

The university prohibits the illegal use, possession, transport, manufacture, distribution, promotion, or sale of drugs, drug paraphernalia or look-alike (simulated) drugs, and the unauthorized use or possession of alcohol while at any facility controlled by the university or as part of any university-sponsored activity. University funds may not be used to purchase alcoholic beverages and they are not provided by the school. Students may not be on university-controlled property or engage in any university activity while under the influence of any drug, alcohol, or other substance that will in any way affect their safety or the safety of others.

Health Risks

The university is very concerned about harm to students using or abusing drugs and alcohol. All drugs are toxic or poisonous if abused. Health risks of drug abuse include, but are not limited to, sleep disorders, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, deep depression, impotence, liver and kidney damage, cardiac irregularities, hepatitis, and neurological damage. Abuse of either alcohol or drugs during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects, spontaneous abortion, and still-births. Alcohol is a depressant. It depresses the central nervous system and can cause serious, irreversible physical damage. Excessive drinking damages the liver, resulting in cirrhosis. Chronic alcohol abuse also causes hypertension, cardiac irregularities, ulcers, pancreatitis, kidney disease, cancer of the esophagus, liver, bladder, or lungs.

Student Assistance

Any individuals within the university community who have developed an alcohol or drug dependency and who so identify themselves to faculty or administrators will be afforded every reasonable consideration, so long as they continue appropriate efforts to achieve and maintain sobriety. Such individuals have the right to expect that such disclosures will be held in confidence and not relayed to another who does not have a legitimate need to know. Facilities of the university will be made available to alcohol and drug recovery self-help groups who serve the university community and the general public for the conduct of their meetings. Confidential counseling and treatment are available to students through the Student Health and Counseling Center or by referral to appropriate agencies off campus.

Legal Sanctions

Local, state and federal laws establish severe penalties for unlawful possession of illicit drugs and alcohol. These sanctions, upon conviction, may range from a small fine and probation to imprisonment for up to one year or a $1,000 fine, or both. It is especially important to note that recent federal laws have increased the penalties for illegally distributing drugs to include life imprisonment and fines in excess of $1,000,000.

Disciplinary Action Regarding Alcohol and Drugs

  1. A student will be subject to immediate suspension leading to dismissal for any of the following conduct:

    a. Supplying or using alcohol or drugs on campus;

    b. Supplying or using drugs or unauthorized alcohol at university and/or School of Law-sponsored events;

    c. Unlawfully supplying alcohol or drugs to anyone;

    d.  Encouraging another to consume alcohol or any other substance as a means to induce that person to engage in behavior that would otherwise be against that person's will.

2.  If a student residing on campus is found to be in an intoxicated state:

a. Upon a first offense, a report will be entered, the student will be returned to his or her residence, a residence hall employee will be alerted to the condition of the student, and the university and School of Law's Drug and Alcohol Policy will be reviewed with the student. Also, the student will be contacted by an appropriate university and/or School of Law official to determine whether personal counseling is advisable or whether disciplinary action is necessary.

b. On two or more occasions, the student may be suspended for up to one year, or in cases where no improvement is evident, dismissed from the university and School of Law.

c. If a student is also found to be unruly, disruptive, or destructive, a report will be entered and the student will be detained or confined to his or her residence until sober.

3.  Any nonresident student found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be detained until safe transport to his or her residence can be arranged. If a nonresident student engages in a pattern of intoxication or problematic behavior, he or she will be treated in the same manner as a resident student.

4.  The university and/or School of Law may prevent any intoxicated individual from operating a motor vehicle.