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Community Standards

Policy on Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, and Other Controlled Substances

  1. Introduction
    The Policy on Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, and Other Controlled Substances is intended to further the educational mission of Hofstra University. Hofstra, in accordance with the P.R.I.D.E Principles, is committed to fostering a campus community whereby each member is responsible for his or her own actions and is expected to respect the rights of others to participate in the academic and social life of the University. Consistent with its educational mission, the University sponsors programs for students regarding the misperceptions about alcohol use among college students, to promote open, honest dialogue about alcohol use and abuse, and to increase awareness of the physical, psychological, social and behavioral effects of alcohol consumption.

    The policy emphasizes individual and shared responsibility, healthy and informed decision-making, and a caring University environment. All students are expected to be familiar with the Policy on Alcohol, Illegal, and Other Controlled Substances as outlined below. Any violation of these policies by a student will also be considered a violation of the Code of Community Standards.
  2. Alcohol Policies
    1. Standards of Conduct

      Violating any federal, state, or local laws or University policies regarding alcohol, including Hofstra University’s Policy on Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, and other Controlled Substances. Violations include, but are not limited to:

      • knowingly remaining in the presence of alcohol in a residence hall room/suite while under the legal drinking age; or
      • possessing, consuming, and/or distributing any quantity of alcohol on property owned or controlled by the University or as part of any University activity while under the legal drinking age; or
      • distributing any quantity of alcohol to an individual under the drinking age; or
      • misrepresenting yourself or using another person’s identity with the intent to purchase, possess and/or consume alcohol; or
      • acting in a disruptive/disorderly manner, regardless of age, while under the influence of alcohol.
    2. Campus Buildings and Spaces
      Students who are of legal drinking age may consume alcohol on campus only in accordance with all policies listed here, and only in a residence hall room assigned to them or to another student who is also of legal drinking age; or at events held in accordance with section II. D.
      The possession and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in all public campus buildings and spaces, without prior written approval from a divisional Vice President or his/her designee. This includes:
        • Buildings and hallways (other than in a residence hall room assigned to them or to another student who is also of legal drinking age; or at events held in accordance with section II. D).
        • Offices
        • Student organization office and work spaces
        • Lounges
        • Outdoor spaces (e.g., intramural fields, quads, lawns, etc.)
        • Parking lots (e.g., tailgating)
      1. Students residing in or visiting and any guests in a Hofstra residence hall must adhere to all policies outlined, as well as the following:
        • Possession or consumption of alcohol in student lounges, floor lounges, study lounges, or hallways is prohibited.
        • Bulk alcohol is not permitted.  Bulk alcohol is defined as any container other than a bottle or a can, such as wine boxes, beer balls, and kegs.
        • Glass beer bottles are not permitted in the residence halls.
        • Drinking paraphernalia (e.g., funnels) and drinking games are not permitted in the residence halls.
    3. Use of University Funds for Purchases of Alcohol
      No Hofstra University funds, including student organization fees, revenue from organizational fundraisers, member contributions, or gifts, may be used for the procurement of alcohol.
    4. Events with Alcohol
      Event sponsors are responsible for following this policy, as well as other relevant University policies, at any authorized University event or activity sponsored by an authorized student or University organization where alcohol is served. Policies include but are not limited to:
      • Alcohol consumption must not be interpreted as the primary focus of any event.
      • Authorized servers, such as University Dining Services, or an approved third party vendor, must provide and distribute the alcohol.
      • Alcohol sold must include a price that could not reasonably be interpreted as providing unlimited drink specials (e.g., nickel drafts, specific persons drink free).
      • Two forms of identification proving legal drinking age are required to be shown to the server in order to consume alcoholic beverages on campus. 
      • An appropriate amount of food and non-alcoholic beverages must be offered at the event.
      • No one visibly intoxicated may be given or allowed to consume alcoholic beverages.
      • If the event is held at an approved off-campus venue (e.g. catering hall, restaurant, etc.), enforcement of alcohol laws rests with the off-campus vendor. 
      • An approved organization/department advisor must be present at both on- and off-campus events where alcohol is served for the entire duration of the event.
    5. Promotional Activities/Event Marketing
      Print, electronic, and broadcast media funded in whole or in part by University funds, or bearing the University's name, may not contain inappropriate references to alcohol, or emphasize alcohol as the primary purpose of an event. Images of alcohol are strictly prohibited in all advertising, including advertising for events where alcohol is served.
    6. Responsible Drinking
      It is the expectation of Hofstra University that individuals of the legal drinking age who choose to consume alcohol will do so responsibly. The rapid consumption or excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited. Indicators that individuals are not drinking responsibly include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • Drinking games
      • Consuming shots of alcohol
      • “Shot gunning” alcohol
      • Instruments of abuse (e.g., beer bongs, funnels)
      • Bulk alcohol (e.g., kegs, wine boxes, beer balls, etc.)
      • Alcoholic punch, gelatin shots, or drinks containing grain alcohol.

      Students who drink alcohol to excess, whether on campus or off campus, and require medical attention, will be required to meet with a member of the Dean of Students office to discuss/develop more responsible behaviors related to alcohol consumption.
    7. Health Risks
      Use of alcohol may result in mood changes, impulsive actions, loss of judgment, and loss of coordination. Excessive use of alcohol may cause heart damage, liver damage, damage to the digestive tract, cancer, brain damage, mental disorders, loss of sexual function, blood disorders and birth defects. In addition, long-term alcohol use may affect relationships, employment, academic and athletic performance, and self-esteem. Consumption of alcohol while using over-the-counter or prescription medications, where such use is contraindicated, can lead to unintended health consequences. Acute alcohol poisoning, occurring when an individual consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, may result in changes in breathing and heart rate, the gag reflex, and can lead to coma and death. More information regarding the use of alcohol at college and the health risks associated with the consumption of alcohol can be found here.
    8. University Sanctions for Students
      Students who violate any of the above alcohol regulations will be subject to a minimum penalty of a disciplinary warning. Subsequent offenses will result in more serious action. For a complete listing of possible sanctions, please refer to the "Sanctions" section in the Code of Community Standards found in the Guide to Pride available at here.
    9. Violations of Law
      In addition to sanctions imposed by the University, alcohol violations may be referred to the appropriate external authorities. Under state and local laws, such as the New York State Penal Law, Vehicle and Traffic Law, and Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, violations may result in penalties ranging from fines through suspension of a driver’s license and possible imprisonment.
  3. Policy on Illegal and Other Controlled Substances
    1. Standards of Conduct
      Violating any federal, state, or local laws or University policies regarding drugs, including Hofstra University’s Policy on Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, and Other Controlled Substances. Violations include, but are not limited to:
      • Remaining in the Presence (Illegal Drugs) – Knowingly remaining in the presence of illegal drugs and/or drug paraphernalia/illegal drug use on campus or at a University-sponsored activity; or
      • Drug Paraphernalia – Using/possessing drug paraphernalia on campus or at a University- sponsored activity. Examples of items that could be defined as drug paraphernalia include, but are not limited to: scales, rolling papers, bowls, pipes, bongs, grinders, spoofs, hookahs or any other device that is fashioned for the purpose of drug use; or
      • Improper Use/Abuse/Possession (Legal Drugs) – Improperly using or abusing over-the-counter or prescription drugs and/or possessing legal drugs prescribed to another individual; or
      • Use/Possession (Illegal Drugs) – Using and/or possessing illegal drugs; or
      • Aiding/Abetting (Drugs) – Aiding and abetting in the sale/distribution/use/possession of illegal drugs or prescription drugs prescribed to another person; or
      • Manufacture/Sale/Distribution (Drugs) – Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, and/or selling illegal drugs, or prescription drugs prescribed to another person.
    2. Health Risks
      The health risks caused by drug use vary depending on the drug involved, and the use of legal prescription and nonprescription drugs without a doctor's supervision, as well as the use of illegal drugs, may cause serious health difficulties. In addition, the abuse of any substance can adversely affect relationships, employment, academic and athletic performance, and self-esteem. Visit the National Institutes of Health webpage for the acute and long-term health effects of specific drugs.
    3. University Sanctions for Students
      A University conduct charge for Drugs will be issued to students who violate any of the prohibitions listed above. Charges are issued based on evidence suggesting a violation has occurred (including witness statements, smell of marijuana, smoke, towel under door, open window, fan in operation, etc.). Students will have the opportunity to challenge evidence in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Code of Community Standards.

      Students found responsible for a drug violation will be subject to a minimum sanction of disciplinary warning and mandatory attendance at an educational seminar. Students found responsible for repeated drug violations may face more severe penalties, including automatic suspension and/or removal from the residence halls. Students who are found responsible for the distribution of controlled or illegal substances or possession of such substances with the intent to distribute will be subject to a minimum sanction of suspension from the residence halls and/or the University, and could face expulsion from the University. For a complete listing of possible sanctions, please refer to the “Sanctions” section in the Code of Community Standards found in the Guide to Pride available at www.hofstra.edu/guidetopride.
    4. Violations of Law
      In addition to sanctions imposed by the University, drug violations may be referred to the appropriate external authorities. Violations of law, including the New York State Penal Law and the Federal Controlled Substance Act, may result in penalties ranging from fines through imprisonment. If a student is convicted of offenses involving the sale or possession of illegal drugs, he or she will not be eligible for any federal Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work-study funds, if the conduct occurred while the student was enrolled in school and receiving federal Title IV, HEA student aid.
  4. Medical Amnesty
    Hofstra University’s priority is for the safety and well-being of the students who attend the University. As such, medical amnesty is in effect to ensure that those individuals who require assistance for themselves or a friend who may have consumed excessive alcohol or drugs will turn to the appropriate personnel to seek emergency medical assistance without fear of reprisal for doing so.

    Students who seek emergency medical attention for themselves or someone else related to consumption of alcohol or drugs will not be charged with violations of the Code of Community Standards related to that consumption (specifically those violations as defined under the alcohol and/or drug codes), provided that the student subsequently complies with any designated educational intervention and/ or behavioral assessment. Failure to complete this intervention/assessment may result in charges being filed with the Dean of Students Office. Additionally, students will be held accountable for any other violations of the Code of Community Standards related to the incident (endangering the health or safety of others, fire safety/emergency violations, failure to comply, vandalism, etc.).

    This policy only provides amnesty from violations of Hofstra University’s Student Conduct Codes. It does not grant amnesty for criminal or civil consequences for violations of federal, state, or local law.

    This policy is not intended to shield or protect those students who repeatedly violate Hofstra’s Code of Community Standards. In cases where repeated violations occur, the University reserves the right to initiate conduct action on a case-by-case basis, regardless of the manner in which the incident was reported. Additionally, the University reserves the right to adjudicate any case in which the violations are considered especially egregious. For amnesty from alcohol and drug policies in cases of disclosure of an incident of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault , see the Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence And Sexual Misconduct (see policy in Section IV).
  5. Education, Treatment, Counseling, and Resources
    Hofstra is committed to supporting the rights of individuals who choose not to drink, and helping individuals who choose to drink to do so in a responsible manner. Educational programs related to alcohol use and alcohol-free social alternatives are held throughout the year.

    The University provides confidential counseling services to students who are concerned about their alcohol and/or substance abuse. The Office of Student Counseling Services provides individual and group counseling as well as referral resources for community treatment as needed. Student Counseling Services may be reached at 516-463-6791. Additional resources are available at the Health and Wellness Center by calling 516-463-6745. Additional alcohol and drug-related resources may be found on their website, www.hofstra.edu/wellnessresources.