Drug and Alcohol Policy
(Revised December 2012)
On December 12, 1989 Congress amended Title XII of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This amendment, known as the “Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989”, requires that every educational institution receiving federal funding certify its adoption and implementation of programs designed to prevent use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol by students and employees. Prior federal law applicable to Roxbury Community College regulated only criminal drug activity of federally grant-funded employees.
Roxbury Community College, in accordance with legal mandates and its philosophy of establishing and maintaining an environment of learning and a supportive environment in which to conduct the business and mission of the College, will enforce the following policies:
- The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of alcohol or of a controlled substance is prohibited on the campus of Roxbury Community College or as part of any college-related activity. Students or employees who violate these restrictions shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, expulsion or discharge. They shall also be subject to referrals for criminal prosecution. Where students or employees are convicted of violating a criminal drug or alcohol statute related to a college activity, the College should ordinarily expel or discharge the offender, absent mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances shall include, but shall not be limited to, consideration of a handicap under federal and state law.
- Roxbury Community College shall cooperate in the enforcement of federal and state laws concerning illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages. Massachusetts statutes pertaining to alcohol and illegal drugs include Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 94C (Controlled Substance Act), Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 59 (Public Drinking), and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 24 (Operating under the Influence, Open Container).
- Under-age drinking is prohibited at Roxbury Community College functions and on any part of the campus.
- No College funds, Student Activities fees, or All-College fees shall be used to purchase alcoholic beverages. Roxbury Community College additionally prohibits alcoholic beverages at any College event (on or off campus) that is intended for students or student participation. A College event is one that utilizes College facilities, College funds, Student Activities fees or all College fees or is represented as being a College function. The President of the College or designee must approve such events in writing. All purchase orders for student events will exclude payment for alcoholic beverages. Faculty and staff who serve as advisors or chaperones to groups holding such events should understand that they will be expected to monitor the implementation of the Student Alcohol Policy.
- On May 18, 1999, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education amended its Alcohol Policy (BHE 98-01) and the guidelines for Campus Safety and Security and Campus Codes of Conduct (FAAP 97-32) by adding the requirement that, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Roxbury Community College shall notify the parents of students under 21 years of age each time they have been determined to be in violation of the campus alcohol policy.
Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit Drugs and Abuse of Alcohol
The misuse of alcohol and other drugs create problems for students and employees who engage in this behavior as well as for their peers or fellow employees who suffer a range of consequences from having their study or work interrupted to far more egregious acts. Obvious health risks include physical dependence, psychological dependence, possible overdoses and withdrawal symptoms.
The following information on health risks is from What Works: Schools Without Drugs, U. S. Department of Education (1992):
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.
Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.
Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.
Roxbury Community College Resources
- Student Health Services offers substance abuse education and referrals to individuals experiencing or affected by persons with substance abuse issues. Informational brochures on drug and alcohol abuse as well as topics on AIDS transmission and other sexually transmitted diseases are also available to students.
- The College Experience Course, which is mandatory for all new freshmen, uses a customized textbook that contains information on drugs and alcohol in the chapter on Handling Stress and Making Healthy Choices. The Coordinator for Student Health Services visits these classes to present on this topic.
- Student Health Services will provide information on drug and alcohol abuse through the series wellness programs presented throughout the year.
- Student Life and Student Engagement Offers a Healthy Start program on drugs and alcohol is included in the tabling activity at the beginning of each semester.
Distribution of the Policy
This policy is distributed annually in writing to all students and employees through the following means:
- The Student Handbook
- Email to all employees and students
- RCC Website
Review and Compliance
This policy will be reviewed on a biennial basis to comply with the U.S Department of Education regulations to: (1) determine the effectiveness of the drug and alcohol program and implement any necessary changes and (2) ensure consistency in the enforcement of sanctions. Biennial reviews will be complete in December of even-numbered years for the two preceding academic years. Copies of this review will be retained in the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs, the Office of Student Life and Student Engagement, and the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.