Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Policy

Approved by the Student Life Committee on April 13, 1995.

Oberlin College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol or drugs. It is the college’s policy to provide a learning, living, and work environment that is free of illicit drugs, tobacco smoke, and the unlawful use or abuse of alcohol. Believing that the acceptance by students of full responsibility for their conduct is an essential component of the educational process, the college seeks to prevent the destructive use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol by means of counseling and the education of students with regard to the risks involved.

While the college’s emphasis is on preventive and educational approaches to substance use and abuse, the college will not protect students from local, state, or federal laws. College judicial procedures will be initiated if a complaint of misconduct related to drug, alcohol, or tobacco use is filed by a member of the Oberlin College community. Judicial sanctions may include suspension or dismissal, depending on the seriousness of the offense.

The following statement was issued to the Oberlin College community by the General Faculty Council on May 9, 1991:

“Oberlin College cannot condone the illegal possession, consumption, provision or sale of alcohol or drugs, and Oberlin College cannot protect members of the community from prosecution for crimes under federal, state, or local laws. Ohio state law (Section 4301.69) provides that no person shall sell intoxicating liquor or beer to a person under the age of 21 years, unless given by a physician in the regular line of practice, or by a parent or legal guardian. Drugs are defined as including marijuana as well as the following, all of which are illegal except when taken under a doctor’s prescription: barbiturates, amphetamines, prescription tranquilizers, LSD compounds, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, cocaine, and other narcotics or opiates.”

1. SUMMARY OF STATE LAWS

Ohio Revised Code Governing Alcoholic Beverages Section 4301.22 division (A)(1) and (3) No intoxicating liquor or beer shall be sold to or handled by any person under twenty-one years of age. The penalty for violating Section 4301.22 provides for a fine between the range of $500 and $1000 plus court costs or imprisonment of not more than 60 days, or both. (Third degree misdemeanor.)

Section 4301.69 (A) and (I). No person shall sell* intoxicating liquor to an underage person, or buy intoxicating liquor or beer for an underage person, or furnish it to an underage person, unless given by a physician in the regular line of the physician’s practice or given for established religious purposes or unless the underage person is supervised by a parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian.

The penalty for violation of this section provides for a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 180 days, or both. (First-degree misdemeanor.)

* The law is quoted as it reads. Selling alcoholic beverages, however, requires a license and thus is not legal anywhere on campus except the Dionysus, where a license has been issued to sell beer, and the Oberlin College Inn, which has a full liquor license.

Ohio Revised Code Governing Drugs. The current Ohio law regarding drug abuse, including marijuana, may be found in Chapter 2925 of the Ohio Revised Code and related sections in Chapter 3719. Activities covered in these sections include drug abuse, trafficking in drugs, possession of drug abuse instruments, corrupting another with drugs, permitting drug abuse, selling paraphernalia for consumption of marijuana to minors, drug theft, deception to obtain drugs, illegal processing of drug documents, abusing harmful intoxicants, illegal dispensing of drug samples and counterfeit controlled substances. Traffic laws relating to driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs are to be found in Chapter 4511 of the Ohio Revised Code. The federal law with respect to drug abuse prevention and control may be found in Title 21, Chapter 13 of the United States Code.

Ohio Revised Code Governing the Reporting of a Felony Section 2921.22. No person, knowing that a felony has been or is being committed, shall knowingly fail to report such information to law enforcement authorities.

These laws may be referenced in their complete context in the Office of Safety and Security or online at codes.ohio.gov.

If a student is apprehended on or off campus by the state, local or federal authorities for violation of drug laws:

  1. The student will remain enrolled in the college.
  2. Students released on bail will normally be free to continue their courses of study while awaiting legal proceedings.
  3. Withdrawal without prejudice will be granted to those who find it impossible to continue for legal or personal reasons.
  4. Conviction for a drug or alcohol-related offense will not automatically result in separation from the college, but college judicial procedures will be initiated if a complaint of misconduct is filed by a member of the Oberlin College community.

2. RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ABUSE OF ALCOHOL, DRUGS, AND TOBACCO

The college is concerned about the risks and potential dangers involved in the abuse of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. There is the risk that the abuse of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco may cause profound changes to an individual’s physical or psychological health. Also, the abuse of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco may interfere with the process of free and open intellectual inquiry, the interaction and the trust that are crucial to the educational community. Finally, there is the risk of being subject to college judicial procedures as well as the risk of being arrested and possibly serving a prison sentence. 

3. SUPPORT AND COUNSEL

For counseling and psychological support, students are advised to consult with the Counseling Center, (440) 775-8470, (www.oberlin.edu/counsel/). Consultations with psychologists are confidential and subject to Ohio law governing the practice of psychology. Others also stand ready to help. If individuals need support or seek advice, they may also contact:

Lorain County Mental Health Hotline 1-(800)-888-6161

Class Deans (440) 775-8462

AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) (440) 246-1800

Office of Safety and Security (440) 775-8444 or, for emergencies, (440) 775-8911

Student Health (440) 775-8180

Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (440) 775-8103

Office of Student Wellness (OSWELL) (440) 775-5332

Mercy Allen Hospital Emergency Room (440) 775-1211

Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (LCADA) (440) 277-8190

4. VIOLATIONS OF COLLEGE POLICIES

Whether or not misconduct is involved, those concerned about instances of alcohol and drug abuse and violations of the smoking policy on campus have the following options:

  1. Directly express concern and urge the student to seek support and assistance from among those listed above.
  2. Refer the matter to the campus judicial coordinator.
  3. Refer the matter to the civil authorities (i.e., report the matter to the police).

5. ALCOHOL POLICY

 The following is the college’s policy regarding the serving of alcoholic beverages on campus.

  1. Persons who serve alcohol at any campus function must be 21 years of age in accordance with Ohio state law.
  2. If alcohol is to be served at a student-sponsored, all-campus function, sponsors must employ certified student bartenders and comply with Ohio state law. Students who wish to be certified as bartenders must complete an alcohol education course that is offered each semester by the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services to address issues of safety and liability.
  3. Students acting as bartenders must sign a statement stating that they are aware of the Ohio state law and that they are responsible for compliance.
  4. Every party is required to have two trained, paid bartenders hired by the party sponsor from the current list of students that have been certified through TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers of Alcohol) by the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services. In addition, each party must provide registers at the door for non-OCID guests to sign. Guests must have a valid proof of age and must be hosted by a member of the Oberlin College community.
    NOTE: Guests who are not enrolled as students of Oberlin College are not permitted in residence hall parties.
  5. Some parts of the college grounds are considered to be in the public domain. Individuals on campus should be aware that the “open container” law applies in those areas and should act accordingly.
  6. To help ensure state laws are followed, the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages in the college dining halls or public areas is not permitted, excluding special programs or dinners if special approval has been given.

6. DRUG POLICY

The college’s emphasis is on preventive and educational approaches to drug abuse. While the college will not protect students from drug laws, there are forms of conduct that are particularly unacceptable in an educational community and that will not be tolerated. College judicial procedures will be initiated if a complaint of misconduct related to drug abuse is filed. Under the terms of the Judicial System Charter, any member of the college community may file a complaint. Such cases may result in sanctions including suspension or dismissal, depending on the seriousness and extent of the offense.

7. INTOXICATION POLICY

Approved by the General Faculty on March 5, 2001.

Oberlin College promotes an “intoxication” policy that centers on concern for the health of individual students and on the safety and wellbeing of the campus community. No person, while voluntarily intoxicated, shall engage in conduct that presents or creates a condition they should know is likely to present a risk of physical harm to another person, to the property of another, or to themselves.

For those students who are found to be abusing alcohol or drugs, the college’s first priority is to ensure that they receive appropriate counseling and medical attention. This policy is based upon the expectation that students will take responsibility for their own decisions surrounding the use and abuse of alcohol or drugs, and that they will accept the consequences of those decisions.

  1. Policy
    Consistent with these goals, the college maintains the following policy with respect to alcohol intoxication:

    (1) Alcohol or drug consumption to the point of severe intoxication is a violation of college regulations. When severe intoxication is an accompaniment to other possible disciplinary infractions, under no circumstances may it be regarded as a mitigating factor; indeed, disciplinary infractions may result in additional sanctions when they are in part or in whole the consequence of alcohol abuse.

    (2) Severe intoxication is defined as intoxication that may be reasonably judged to represent significant potential harm to self or others.

    (3) Customary indications of severe alcohol intoxication include one or more of the following signs:

    • Stumbling/staggering/bumping into things/spilling beverages.
    • Falling down/injuries.
    • Unawareness of surroundings/semi-consciousness/loss of consciousness/passing out.
    • Inability to state or recall basic personal information such as name, address, telephone, birth date, social security number, hometown, etc.
    • Vomiting/low breathing rate (less than 12 breaths per minute)/inability to control excretion (loss of bowel/bladder control).
    • Severe agitation.
    • Slurred speech.
    • Sudden or extreme behavioral or personality change.
    • Aggressive behavior resulting in actual or threatened harm to self or others.
  2. Sanctions
    Under ordinary circumstances, first-time intoxication unaccompanied by other possible disciplinary infractions results in a required consultation with one or more members of the alcohol support team, without additional disciplinary procedures or sanctions. The alcohol and substance use support team typically consists of the assistant deans of residential education, associate deans who serve as judicial coordinators, the associate dean/director of wellness and health promotion, and a member of the counseling staff. The reoccurrence of such violations may result in judicial action and include sanctions appropriate to the individual situation.
  3. Medical Amnesty Policy
    Oberlin College wishes to ensure that students at medical risk as a result of alcohol or substance use will receive prompt and appropriate medical attention. For this reason no student seeking medical attention for him/herself (or another) for intoxication or overdose shall be formally sanctioned for the illegal use or possession of alcohol or other drugs when other college polices have not been violated in conjunction with the intoxication or overdose. Such students will meet with a Judicial Coordinator in the Office of the Dean of Students or with an authorized hearing officer in Residential Education to discuss the incident. The Judicial Coordinator or authorized hearing officer has the discretion to refer the individuals for appropriate educational intervention(s), including but not limited to: screenings with members of the alcohol/substance use support team, parental notification, writing reflective essays, AOD assessments at a state certified agency or treatment center, etc. When substance related impairment leads to physically violent or dangerous behavior; disruption to ordinary community function; vandalism/destruction to, or theft of, communal or personal property, amnesty may be granted for the intoxication, at the same time additional charges may be pursued.
    NOTE: The Medical Amnesty policy will not apply when a student persistently refuses to comply with the request of a college official to seek a medical evaluation to determine degree of intoxication/impairment. When asked by an officer of the college to do so, the failure to provide the name of the supplier of the intoxicating/impairing substance is obstruction and a form of failure to comply. Refusal to comply with in officer of the College in such circumstances will override the recommended staged sanctioning for drugs and alcohol related violations that are outlined in the most current published, Student Regulations, Policies, and Procedures. Students who persist in their noncompliance will be reminded/informed that failure to comply with a Security Officer’s request to go to the Emergency Room for a medical intoxication/impairment evaluation will result in judicial action that may result in suspension.

8. EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION FOR INFRACTIONS OF THE POLICY ON ALCOHOL, DRUGS, AND TOBACCO

This is an amended version of a proposal instituted in September of 2003. In general, this process will be followed. However, each Judicial Coordinator has the authority and expertise to assign sanctions based upon his/her discretion and the particulars of the case.

Introduction: Although the application of sanctions in Oberlin College’s Judicial Process are handled on a case-by-case basis and never applied automatically, violations of the college’s revised policy on alcohol, drugs and tobacco will customarily result in the following judicial responses. Sanctions will customarily be imposed except in cases in which a judicial coordinator or authorized hearing officer in Residential Education determines that the medical amnesty policy applies. This policy ensures that the concern for judicial consequences does not become an impediment for students seeking assistance for themselves or others when the abuse of alcohol and/or drugs presents a significant health risk. In such cases and where there are no additional infractions of the Code of Conduct, students will generally be asked to take advantage of educational or counseling opportunities; however no formal judicial action will be taken. In any of the instances outlined below, written or service oriented educational sanctions may be required in addition to the other options outlined.

Minimum Disciplinary Sanctions for Violations Related to Alcohol and Drugs, Fall 2013-Spring 2014

Following are minimum responses to violations pertaining to controlled or unlawful substances (i.e. intoxication/impairment the illegal use, possession, distribution, or manufacture of alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substance; or paraphernalia, equipment, materials, or other objects intended for the use, distribution, or manufacture of such substances.) See information related to life safety and end of term room inspection exception below.

These interventions and sanctions are intended to promote substantive opportunities for students to engage in self-reflection with the potential for assessing current personal wellbeing and planning for future sustenance; reflection about community standards in relationship to personal rights and responsibilities with the objective of students understanding their potential to impact others in the campus community and beyond; and to foster a level of concern within students that is fit to the circumstance and is likely to deter repeat violations of these or other college policies.

Alcohol Violations

Drug Violations

1st Offense

Deferred Probation; On-line educational program, e-Checkupto-go ($50 fee billed to term bill); accompanying online reflective exercise must be submitted to hearing.

1st Offense

Deferred Probation; Reducing Risk Marijuana I (RRM-I), this 45-minute abuse prevention and harm reduction program for first time offenders carries a $50 fee billed to term billed to the student's term bill; reflective paper submitted to hearing officer.

2nd Offense

Reducing Risk Alcohol (RRA) a 45-minute abuse prevention and harm reduction program with an administrative fee of $100;

a subsequent appointment in the Counseling Center for an alcohol and other drug screening and to consult; a reflective paper; parental notification letter; immediate disciplinary probation for the duration of the current semester plus one full semester.

2nd Offense

Marijuana-- Reducing Risk Marijuana II (RRM-II) this 45-minute abuse prevention and harm reduction program for repeat offenders (carries a $100 fee billed to term billed to the student's term bill); a subsequent appointment in the Counseling Center for an alcohol and other drug screening and to consult; a reflective paper; parental notification letter; immediate disciplinary probation for the duration of the current semester plus one full semester.

Other Illegal Drugs and Controlled Substances--a referral for an AOD assessment at Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (LCADA) in Elyria or another state certified treatment center in Ohio or in student’s home state* will replace the RRM.

3rd Offense

Required participation in an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Assessment at the student’s expense. This assessment may be performed by Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (LCADA) in Elyria or another state certified treatment center in Ohio or in student’s home state*; immediate probation for the duration of the current semester plus one full year; parental notification letter.

3rd Offense

Marijuana-- Required participation in an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Assessment at the students expense. This assessment may be performed by Lorain County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (LCADA) in Elyria or another state certified treatment center in Ohio or in student’s home state*; immediate probation for the duration of the current semester plus one full year; parental notification letter.

Other Illegal Drugs and Controlled Substances--possible responses include referral to substance abuse and/or other intervention services in conjunction with status sanctions such as extended probation, suspension, or dismissal to be determined by a hearing board.

Additional Violations

The possible responses include referral to substance abuse and/or other intervention services (at the student’s expense) in conjunction with status sanctions such as an extended term of probation, suspension, or dismissal to be determined by a hearing board.

Additional Violations

The possible responses include referral to substance abuse and/or other intervention services (at the student’s expense) in conjunction with status sanctions such as an extended term of probation, suspension, or dismissal to be determined by a hearing board.

IN EVERY INSTANCE ABOVE, ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS MAY BE APPLIED WHEN INFRACTIONS ARE ACCOMPANIED BY OTHER INFRACTIONS OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT.

Alcohol Violations with Direct Impact on Others in the Community

Intoxication, in combination with an allegation of a Sexual Offense Violation will be referred to the Sexual Offense Policy Administrator for adjudication. The authorized hearing officers or hearing body in such cases may invoke the educational and counseling responses listed above.

Drug Violations with Direct Impact on Others in the Community

Intoxication, in combination with an allegation of a Sexual Offense Violation will be referred to the Sexual Offense Policy Administrator for adjudication. The authorized hearing officers or hearing body in such cases may invoke the educational and counseling responses listed above.

Covert Use of Drugs on Another—Interim Suspension followed by a hearing with a finding of responsibility resulting in dismissal.

The Sale or Distribution of Drugs to Others—Interim Suspension followed by a hearing with a finding of responsibility resulting in dismissal.

 

Life Safety and End of Term Room Inspection Exception: Responses to first time violations involving only the possession of alcohol, illegal drugs and controlled substances and paraphernalia designed for their use that are discovered during life safety or end of term room inspections will be subject to an immediate administrative response determined by residential education staff for up to one incident in any academic year. A second such violation will be handled this way if it occurs during a different academic year; all prior fines and interventions are satisfied; and if the residents do not have an existing judicial record related to the use, possession or distribution of illegal substances or related paraphernalia. Administrative responses may include a fine, an educational intervention where one is appropriate, and an administrative notation in a student’s record that a life safety violation has taken place. The fines that may be imposed are published online at new.oberlin.edu/students/policies, and are subject to change each academic year. Individuals who disagree with an administrative response to a documented violation may schedule to meet with a hearing officer to resolve the matter by participating in a judicial administrative hearing.


*Upon request the Judicial Coordinator will consult with staff in the Oberlin College Counseling Center to be able to supply a list of two to three approved centers in the Oberlin-Cleveland area. This list does not constitute a specific referral, but serves to assist the student in identifying an appropriate resource in a timely fashion. The responsibility for the cost of the assessment rests entirely with the student

The respondent must provide the Judicial Coordinator and the certified agency with a signed release permitting the agency to provide an assessment report outlining its recommendations. The student is also required to sign a release allowing relevant third parties to provide the Judicial Coordinator with documentation that verifies completion of the recommendations made by the assessing agency including, but not limited to in- or out- patient treatment programs, counseling, and/or participation in support groups.

9. SMOKING POLICY

The General Faculty voted to adopt the following policy regarding a campus-wide smoking ban in the fall of 1993.

Oberlin College’s policy is to limit smoking by its faculty, staff, students, and visitors to outdoor areas on campus that are at least 30 feet away from building entrances and exits. Smoking is banned at all times in all campus buildings including libraries, offices, residence halls, co-operative housing units, and designated village housing units, dining rooms, laboratories, classrooms, lounges, etc. Smoking in college-owned vehicles is also banned. (Violators may be reported to building representatives or to the Office of Safety and Security.)

Smokers must stand far enough away from entrances, exits and intake vents so people do not have to pass through the smoke to enter or leave, or smell smoke from vents while in the building. Employees, students, and visitors must smoke at least 30 feet away from doors and vents. Each community member is responsible for understanding the smoking policy and is encouraged to educate his/her peers.