Alcohol and Other Drugs

I. Policy Statement on Alcohol and Other Drugs

Luther College takes seriously the abuse of alcohol and chemical substances. This includes the illegal use of alcohol, specifically alcohol consumption by individuals under the age of 21. As an educational institution, we place a great deal of responsibility on students who are of legal age to make the decision whether or not to consume alcohol and if they choose to consume alcohol, to do so responsibly. College students also have a great deal of freedom; however, with freedom comes responsibility.

The responsible student will:
• Make an informed decision on choosing to consume alcohol.

• Know, understand, and conform to federal, state, and local laws, and adhere to Luther College regulations on alcohol use.

• Assume accountability for one’s behavior (and those of guests) and accept the consequences for all actions.

• Not make alcohol the main focus in his/her activities. Consuming alcohol just to consume or get intoxicated is not responsible use.

• Not pressure other students to consume alcohol, whether directly or indirectly.

• Not pressure other students to engage in sexual activity when either or both of them have been consuming alcohol.

• Not behave in a way that is disruptive or otherwise harmful to self or others including times when this behavior is related to alcohol consumption.

• Show care and concern for students who use alcohol in a manner damaging to themselves or the community, and refer students to the Residence Life Office, Student Life Office, Counseling Service, or any faculty or staff member for additional assistance.

The ultimate definition of responsible personal use is left to the discretion of Residence Life staff. Only students who have attained the legal drinking age of 21 years may possess or consume alcoholic beverages in private living quarters (student rooms, apartments, etc.). Peer pressure to use alcohol will not be tolerated. When in possession of or consuming alcohol, no students under the legal drinking age may be present; in this situation, all students present are at risk of violating the alcohol policy.

Students should note that the possession of alcoholic beverage containers, either full or empty, may be taken as a presumption of use and possession, and as such, may be considered policy violations. Students may also be held accountable, even if they do not have actual possession of alcohol, when they are present at alcohol-related events; commit actions due to alcohol intoxication; or are in “constructive” possession of alcohol (parallel to the Iowa Code on possession) or illegal substances.

Most alcohol policy violations are handled via Informal Administrative Hearings as outlined in the Luther Code of Conduct.

When, in the judgment of a staff person, a student is transported for medical attention or monitoring in response to alcohol or other chemical use, the involved student will be responsible for any costs incurred.

II. Luther Code of Conduct: Statement on Drugs and Drug-Related Paraphernalia

Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV of the Code of Conduct: Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law, including the use or possession of drug-related paraphernalia [Article III(B)(18)].

Students should be advised that local police authorities are involved with investigation and prosecution when illegal use or possession is suspected. The typical disciplinary action on campus will include one-year of social probation, educational sanctions, community service, fines, and/or a drug use assessment at the student’s cost. Eviction from the residence hall and suspension will also be considered. If a student is found to be selling drugs, or the evidence on campus suggests distribution of drugs to others, the college employs a “no tolerance” stance. The student will face eviction from the hall and probable suspension from the college.

III. Luther Code of Conduct: Statement on Smoking and Smoking Devices

Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV of the Code of Conduct: Smoking of cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, cigars, and other forms of tobacco under the provisions of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act. This act prohibits smoking inside all buildings, outside all buildings, and on all college property including, but not limited to, sidewalks, parking lots and roads (and inside vehicles located on such grounds), athletic fields, and on any other college property. The possession of pipes, hookahs, and other smoking devices is also prohibited, as is the sale or distribution of tobacco products [Article III(B)(20)].

Luther College has long recognized that smoking is a serious health hazard. All members of the Luther community are asked to remind persons who are smoking that we are required to comply with the provisions of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act; the Act stipulates that the campus is entirely smoke-free. Persons who have been reminded and continue to smoke will be reported to Campus Safety and Security; a $50 citation may be given to individuals after adequate warning. Finally, students, faculty, and staff members may receive information on smoking-cessation programs from the Wellness Program Office.

IV. Luther Code of Conduct: Statement on Alcohol

Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV of the Code of Conduct: Use, possession, manufacturing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by Luther College regulations), or public intoxication. Alcoholic beverages may not, in any circumstance, be used by, possessed by, or distributed to any person under twenty-one years of age. This policy applies to behavior on Luther College premises or at Luther College sponsored or supervised functions [Article III(B)(19)].

The Code of Conduct broadly identifies prohibited behavior with respect to alcohol possession and/or use. Specific interpretations and policy situations with respect to the policy follow:
• The possession, consumption, or sale of alcoholic beverages at any campus event is prohibited. Further, no college or residence hall funds may be expended for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.

• The consumption of alcoholic beverages in the lounges, corridors, and other public areas of the residence halls, as well as in any other college buildings or on any college grounds, is prohibited.

• Students living in residence halls who have reached the legal drinking age in the state of Iowa are allowed to make their own decisions in relation to the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages in their rooms. However, no kegs or amounts of alcohol in excess of personal use are allowed. Alcohol must be transported to living quarters in closed containers. When in possession of or consuming alcohol, no students under the legal drinking age may be present.

• Students are responsible for their own and their guests’ behavior at all times. The use of alcoholic beverages shall not impinge upon the freedom and rights of roommates, residents in neighboring rooms, and other students. All members of the Luther community should assume responsibility for referring persons who need assistance for alcohol-related problems to Student Life professionals. Disruptive, destructive, or illegal behavior related to the consumption of alcoholic beverages is subject to college disciplinary action and/or civil enforcement.

• The alcohol policy includes alcohol-related violations. Students may be held accountable, even if they do not have actual possession of alcohol, when they are present at alcohol-related events; commit actions related to alcohol intoxication (i.e. excessive noise, harassing or disruptive behavior, vandalism); or are in “constructive” possession of alcohol (parallel to the Iowa Code on possession).

• Possession of alcoholic beverage containers, either full or empty, may be taken as a presumption of use and possession, and as such, may be considered policy violations.

• If a student is found to be responsible for an alcohol or alcohol-related violation, sanctions will be enforced. The sanctions will be based upon the nature and severity of the violation, and range from minor to severe. With each offense, students are required to have a meeting with a Residence Life staff member, typically a hall director or area coordinator, to review alcohol policies and procedures; the R.A. may attend at the hall director’s discretion. Also, starting with the first offense, students are placed on residence hall probation, subject to a period of review of the violation of standards/policy to determine if the student will be allowed to remain in college housing. If the student does not then complete the disciplinary sanction, the staff member may recommend dismissal of the student from college housing or movement to another hall. Probation is assigned on a semester-by-semester basis with a minimum of one semester.

Alcohol and alcohol-related violations include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

• An R.A. confronts students in a room that is excessively noisy and finds students who are drinking. If any of them are underage, it is a clear alcohol violation. If the students are over 21, cooperate about providing IDs, and lower the noise level, it would normally be treated as a noise violation.

• There is a party going on in a room that overflows into the hall or cluster. The alcohol present exceeds "personal use" or there are open containers in the hallways.

• Public intoxication (staggering, slurring of words, vomiting, loss of bodily fluids, etc.).

• Permitting others (students or guests) to use assigned living quarters to consume alcohol in violation of the alcohol policy.

• There is vandalism or damage done to property or other people by a student who evidences alcohol use.

• A student harasses or is abusive to other students or college authorities and there is evidence of alcohol use.

• Promotion of events where alcohol is the primary focus.

• A staff member is present in any area of the residence hall and notices alcohol containers or paraphernalia, regardless if alcohol consumption has taken place.

• Use of false identification in order to consume alcohol and avoid detection by staff or security, or failure to provide identification when requested by a college official.

V. Alcohol-Related Violations: Levels of Severity

Alcohol and alcohol-related violations range from minor to severe. Three levels of violations are defined by Luther’s alcohol policy. The levels are highlighted below, including examples of prohibited behavior.

Level 1 Violations

• Display of alcoholic containers in living quarters by students who are underage.
• While underage, being in a room where alcohol is being consumed and not consuming him/herself.
• Possession of open container(s) in any public area of the residence halls (legal drinking age).

Level 2 Violations

• Possession of, hosting, or consuming alcohol while underage.
• Being in a room where alcohol is being consumed, not consuming him/herself, but this cannot be verified (underage); for example, conflicting stories: person claims he/she was not drinking, but someone else says that they were.
• Possession of open container(s) in any public area of the residence halls (underage).

Level 3 Violations

• Use of false identification to consume alcohol and keeping staff members from verifying legal age.
• Hosting, serving, and/or providing alcohol to person(s) who are underage.
• Disruptive behavior while consuming alcohol, which includes but is not limited to the following: verbal abuse directed towards a college official, physical violence, vomiting, loss of bodily functions or memory loss, unconsciousness due to excessive alcohol consumption, etc. 
• Possession of large amounts of alcohol, such as a keg.

VI. Typical Sanctions for Alcohol-Related Offenses

First Offense.

A cumulative file is started at the point of the first offense, which will chronicle all alcohol-related violations during the student’s enrollment at Luther College. Violations will be considered on a year-to-year basis; however, the file will be available for review in determining sanctions in future years. The first offense usually results in a student being placed on disciplinary probation, plus sanctions noted below. Sanctions are at the discretion of the professional staff handling the offense.

Level 1 Violations

• 5 hours community service
• Other educational activities

Level 2 Violations

• $50 fine
• Mandate to attend a directed alcohol education program at student’s expense
• Other educational activities

Level 3 Violations

• $75 fine
• Referral to the Student Life Office, who will contact parent or guardian
• Mandate to attend an extensive alcohol education program at student's expense
• Other educational activities

Second Offense.

The second offense includes a letter of continued probation with an added semester of probation. Sanctions are at the discretion of the professional staff handling the offense.

Level 1 Violations

• $50 fine
• 10 hours community service
• Other educational activities

Level 2 Violations

• $100 fine
• Mandate to attend an extensive alcohol education program at student’s expense
• Notification of parent/guardian, academic advisor, and cocurricular activity director
• Other educational activities

Level 3 Violations

• $150 fine
• Mandate to attend an extensive alcohol education program at student's expense
• Notification of parent/guardian, academic advisor, and cocurricular activity director
• Decrease in housing priority or relocation
• Referral to off-campus psychological and alcohol/chemical abuse evaluation at student’s expense
• Other educational activities

Third Offense.

Student will have a conference with the Director of Residence Life or Student Conduct Coordinator. Sanctions are at the discretion of the professional staff handling the offense.

Level 1 Violations

• $100 fine
• 20 hours community service
• Other educational activities

Level 2 Violations

• $200 fine
• Notification of parent/guardian, academic advisor, and cocurricular activity director
• Mandate to attend an off-campus psychological and alcohol/chemical abuse evaluation and treatment program at the student’s expense
• Decrease in housing priority or relocation
• Other educational activities

Level 3 Violations

• $200 fine
• Notification of parent/guardian, academic advisor, and cocurricular activity director
• 20 hours of community service
• Mandate to attend an off-campus psychological and alcohol/chemical abuse evaluation at the student’s expense
• Residence hall dismissal
• Other educational activities

Fourth Offense.

Student will have a conference with the Director of Residence Life, the Student Conduct Coordinator, the Hall Director, or Area Coordinator. A fourth violation of the alcohol policy will typically result in removal from the residence halls.

VII. Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy for Student Groups Traveling Off Campus

Luther College is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment free from alcohol and chemical abuse. Students should understand the importance of maintaining a healthy environment within the student organizations to which they belong. When student groups represent Luther College at official college-sponsored activities off campus, or when students make visits as part of classes off campus (including study abroad programs), they have the responsibility of being positive individual representatives of the college. Whenever groups travel off campus, members should be reminded that they are seen as representatives of Luther College. Membership in student groups recognized by Luther College is a privilege, and each student’s actions reflect on our community.

The Luther Code of Conduct specifically outlines jurisdiction for conduct which occurs off campus. The Code of Conduct states: “The Luther Code of Conduct shall apply to conduct that occurs on Luther College premises, at Luther College sponsored programs and activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the Luther College Community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. Each student shall be responsible for his/her conduct from the time of initial visit as a prospective student through the actual awarding of a degree, even though conduct may occur before classes begin or after classes end, as well as during the academic year and during periods between terms of actual enrollment, even if his/her conduct is not discovered until after a degree is awarded. The Code of Conduct shall apply to a student’s conduct even if the student withdraws from school or is suspended while a disciplinary matter is pending. The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or designee shall decide whether the Code of Conduct shall be applied to conduct occurring off campus, on a case by case basis, at his/her sole discretion.”

With this in mind, the college encourages students to develop healthy habits and attitudes related to the use of alcohol and other drugs. Abstinence is always an appropriate option; moderation is acceptable if it does not violate either college policies or the law. The abusive, illegal, or irresponsible use of any drugs will not be tolerated. 

It is the responsibility of students to be knowledgeable of the physical and mental effects of alcohol and other drugs and the risks associated with use. It is also the responsibility of students to be aware of other relevant college policies and federal, state, local, and international laws related to alcohol and other drugs use.  

In the following policy, “group leader” is defined as the faculty or staff member responsible for the group, such as the instructor, advisor, coach, or music director. The group leader is expected to follow the same guidelines as the group.

Off-Campus Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies and Procedures

• The group leader of each student group will meet with the organization to clarify the approach the group will take on the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. This “Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy for Student Groups Traveling Off Campus” will be distributed to all members at that time.

• The following are minimum guidelines, to be followed by every student group that travels off campus. A group or a group leader could develop stricter guidelines for the group to follow. For instance, a group leader may decide that the activity is not compatible with alcohol or other drug use in any way, and may add that to the policy at his/her discretion. In like manner, the students may recommend this action to their group leader. In study abroad programs, these guidelines are subject to host nation laws and cultural customs as identified by the group leader.

• Underage drinking and drug use are illegal and will not be tolerated. Any member who provides alcohol to an underage person or is found to be in possession of illegal drugs will be subject to disciplinary action. 

Students who are of legal drinking age are expected to act responsibly and adhere to the following guidelines:

•On the day of an activity, no alcohol or other drug use is permitted during or prior to a performance, event, or activity.

• No alcohol or other drug use is permitted on college vans, buses, or any other means of private transportation associated with the trip, event, or tour.

•Members of legal drinking age are expected to use good judgment if consuming alcohol at private homes, at group meals, or other settings during non-program hours.

• If a group spends the night in a hotel, it is incumbent upon each member to behave responsibly as representatives of the college. No abusive, illegal, or irresponsible use of alcohol and other drugs will be tolerated. Hotel management will be encouraged to deal with disruptive or illegal activities just as they would with other hotel guests, which may include police involvement.

• Members should help one another in dealing with alcohol and other drug abuse, and should discourage one another from drinking to excess. Members who have an alcohol or drug abuse problem should be encouraged to seek counseling and treatment.

Procedures for Off-Campus Alcohol or Other Drugs Violations

For alcohol and/or other drug violations occurring off campus, two separate student conduct processes may be used—either individually or in combination—to address alleged policy violations.

• The student conduct procedures as outlined in the Luther Code of Conduct may be initiated once the student returns to campus and/or, the group leader may, upon discussion and an Informal Administrative Hearing (as specified in the Code of Conduct), immediately impose one or more of the following sanctions at his/her discretion, independent of other college judicial proceedings.

• The student may be suspended from participation in one or more activities during the travel period.

• The student may be immediately dismissed from the tour or event, and may have to travel home at his/her own expense. Underage or illegal use of alcohol or other drugs are grounds for such dismissal.

•The student may be suspended from the group for a specific time period, after returning from the event.

• Other educational sanctions as determined by the group leader, in conjunction with above sanctions.

• The Vice President and Dean for Student Life or his/her designee, and/or the student’s parents, may be contacted about the incident, either at the time of the event or upon return to campus.