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The illegal use or misuse of drugs or alcohol can adversely affect the educational environment and prevent a person from achieving personal, social and educational goals. The University has had a Drug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention Program for faculty, staff and students since 1987 that addresses substance misuse through education and intervention and when appropriate, through referral or disciplinary action. Since then, the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug Free Schools and Communities Amendments of 1989 and the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 have established certain federal reporting and information distribution requirements designed to combat drug and alcohol abuse.

The University’s Alcohol Policy establishes rules on student and employee alcohol use and possession, additional rules for recognized student groups and University consequences for violations of those rules. In North Carolina, “It is against the law for any person under twenty-one (21) to possess, use, distribute or purchase any alcoholic beverage.” The Alcohol Policy also restricts the possession, use and distribution of alcohol by students and employees over age 21 on University property and as part of University activities. It provides guidance on serving alcohol at events on campus and restricts the service of alcohol in accordance with North Carolina law. Further, the policy also contains a medical amnesty provision.

All students, faculty and staff are responsible for knowing about and complying with this policy. Those responsibilities include being aware of and complying with state laws that make it a crime to possess, sell, use, deliver or manufacture drugs designated collectively as “controlled substances” in Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes. These substances include cocaine, amphetamines, anabolic steroids, marijuana and other drugs. Any University community member who violates those laws may be subject both to criminal prosecution and punishment by civil authorities and to disciplinary proceedings by the University. However, opportunities also exist on campus for confidential referrals and support, as well as medical amnesty and safe haven components that allow a student to seek support for a potential substance use disorder without fear of University or legal consequences. Copies of the full text of the policy are available at the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Human Resources and online.

Federal legislation also requires, as a condition of employment, that any faculty, staff member or student assistant engaged in the performance of a federal grant or contract must abide by the University’s drug policy and, if they are convicted of a violation of any criminal drug statute in the workplace, must give written notice of that conviction to their dean, director or department chair within five days thereafter. The dean, director or department chair should forward any such reports to the University’s vice chancellor and general counsel.

Disciplinary proceedings against a student, faculty or staff member or other employee will be initiated under the University’s Policy on Illegal Drugs.

Possible outcomes for violations of the Policy on Illegal Drugs range from written warnings to expulsion from enrollment and discharge from employment. On-the-job drug or alcohol impairment or any possession or use of alcohol on campus other than that authorized by the policies noted above are not permitted under these policies and will be addressed appropriately through established student, faculty and staff disciplinary procedures as appropriate. It’s important to note, for SHRA employees a “Pre-Disciplinary Conference” must be held with the employee to provide the employee an opportunity to address concerns before a disciplinary decision is made. Faculty discipline will be in accordance with the University’s Tenure Policy.

  • Sale of amphetamines, cocaine, GHB, heroin, LSD, MDMA, opium, oxycodone or psilocybin:
    • Student expulsion and appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal for employees
  • Illegal possession of these drugs:
    • First offense: suspension from enrollment or employment for at least one semester. The penalty for a first offense committed by an employee is appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
    • Second offense: sanctions up to expulsion for students and for employees appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
  • Sale of anabolic steroids or marijuana:
    • First offense: suspension from enrollment or employment for at least one semester. Employees will receive appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
    • Second offense: student expulsion and appropriate disciplinary action for employees up to and including dismissal.
  • Illegal possession of these drugs:
    • First offense: Probation. Possible conditions of probation include drug education and counseling, regular drug testing and other appropriate conditions.
      • If a student or employee fails to comply with probation conditions: suspension for the balance of the probation period and further appropriate disciplinary action for employees, including possible dismissal.
    • Subsequent offenses: progressively more severe penalties, including expulsion and discharge or dismissal.
  • Violations of the Alcohol Policy:
    • Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal for employees.
    • Students will be referred to Wellness Services for the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) and may be required to pay restitution or complete community service. BASICS is a preventive alcohol abuse screening and intervention program for college students 18 to 24 years old. It is aimed at students who have had negative experiences or other problems related to alcohol misuse. The program is designed to help students make better alcohol-use decisions and to overall reduce their risks for alcohol-related harm. The program’s style is not confrontational or judgmental and consists of two sessions with a Student Wellness staff member. Students who enroll in BASICS are assessed a fee for service that is charged to the student’s account. Students who violate the Alcohol Policy will also be subject to disciplinary probation for a definite or indefinite period, including probation with associated conditions or requirements. Probation means that a student may remain at the University, but may be required to satisfy specified conditions or requirements, report regularly to appropriate University officials or community professionals and may be barred from holding any office or participating in any activity in which the student represents the University or University-recognized student organizations either within or outside the University community. The sanction of probation prohibits graduation until the period of probation has ended and the student has complied with all requirements of the sanctions. Disciplinary probation shall be reflected on a student’s academic transcript while active, but will be removed upon successful completion of disciplinary probation. For repeat or egregious violations including sale or provision of alcohol to minors, students may face additional disciplinary sanctions, including suspension from the University. For violations occurring in University Housing, students may receive additional Housing sanctions. Student organizations face revocation of their University recognition.
  • The following are situations in which a student will be granted amnesty for violations of the Alcohol Policy:
    • Students in need of emergency medical attention: A student who seeks medical attention or a student for whom medical assistance was sought by another person as a result of the consumption of alcohol and who fully cooperates with emergency responders.
    • Victim of a crime: A student who has been the victim of a crime after consuming alcohol and reports the crime to law enforcement or University officials.
    • Reporting party: A student who has experienced or witnessed sexual violence, interpersonal violence or other violation of the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment under Title IX or the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct.
    • Caller or support person: A student, who calls on behalf of or accompanies an impaired individual, remains with that individual until assistance arrives and fully cooperates with emergency responders.

A student convicted of any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving any grant, loan or work assistance will not be eligible for any federal grant, loan or work assistance from the date of that conviction for the period of time set forth below.

  • Possession of a controlled substance:
    • First offense: Ineligible for one year.
    • Second offense: Ineligible for two years.
    • Third offense: Ineligible for an indefinite period of time.
  • Sale of a controlled substance:
    • First offense: Ineligible for two years.
    • Second offense: Ineligible for an indefinite period of time.

A student whose eligibility for aid has been suspended may regain eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if:

  • The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria established by the Secretary of Education and passes two unannounced drug tests; or
  • The student’s conviction is reversed or set aside.

The Federal Student Aid website can help in determining when someone may be eligible for aid again.