Columbia University Policy on Alcohol and Drugs

In order to comply with federal, state, and city laws, and to promote the health and well-being of its community, Columbia has enacted the following policy on alcohol, drugs, and smoking. All students, faculty, and staff are expected to comply with this policy.

Columbia University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that is free of alcohol abuse. The University complies with New York State law and other applicable regulations governing alcoholic beverages for those on the University's premises or participating in its activities. The University strongly supports education and treatment programs as the most effective means to help prevent and reduce alcohol abuse.

In addition, Columbia University is committed to providing an academic and social environment that supports individual freedom while promoting individual responsibility, health and safety, and community welfare. To that end:

  1. Columbia expects that those who wish to include alcohol as part of their activities will do so responsibly and lawfully. Responsible drinking includes making sound judgments about whether, when, and how much to drink, understanding the health issues related to the consumption of alcohol, and avoiding excessive or "binge" drinking or any other abuse of alcohol that negatively affects one's academic, work, social, athletic, or personal activities, and health.
  2. Persons planning events on campus should be mindful of the complexities introduced into planning an event with alcohol. Event manage­ment issues-the presentation of entertainment, provision of refreshments, management of the participants or audience, security, and other factors-require serious attention for any event, and all the more for an event at which alcohol is served. Event organizers must fully understand the University alcohol policy and applicable laws and manage their events accordingly. They also are expected to keep the safety and well-being of participants at the forefront of their planning and management of events. Staff members who advise students are expected to assist them in making responsible decisions about their events and to facilitate the enforcement of the Univer­sity's alcohol policy.
  3. Organizations may not plan events that promote or encourage the consumption of alcohol, nor may event planning be based upon the assumption of abusive or illegal alcohol consumption. Persons planning events should rem­ember that the vast majority of events at Colum­bia take place without alcohol, that most members of the undergraduate community are not of legal drinking age, and that among those who are, many do not drink alcoholic beverages at all. Campus organizations that choose to plan events with alcoholic beverages are expected to maintain a reasonable balance in their programming between events with and those without the serving of alcoholic beverages.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence cites "alcohol-related problems or impairment in such areas as...liver disease, gastritis, anemia, neurological disorders...impairments in cognition, [and] changes in mood or behavior." Alcohol consumption also presents serious health risks to pregnant women.

Additionally, alcohol abuse, including excessive or "binge" drinking, can seriously affect academic, athletic, and work performance while leading to behaviors that are destructive, violent, or asocial. In particular, recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between alcohol consumption and instances of wrongful or inappropriate sexual behaviors.

Mindful of these risks, Columbia University provides a variety of counseling, treatment, and educational programs to identify and help those who abuse alcohol through the following sources: Columbia University Human ResourcesColumbia Health (Morningside), and Student Health Services (CUIMC).

New York State law provides that:

  1. Alcoholic beverages shall not be provided under any circumstances by any licensed server to any person under the age of 21 or to anyone who is disorderly, visibly intoxicated, or known to be a habitual drunkard.
  2. No person under 21 years of age may misrepresent her/his age for the purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages, nor may a person assist another in such a misrepresentation.
  3. Proof of age must include presentation of a valid American or Canadian driver's license or nondriver identification card, a valid passport, or a valid identification card issued by the United States Armed Forces. No person under 21 years of age shall provide false or written evidence of age for the purpose of attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages.
  4. No person under the age of 21 may possess any alcoholic beverage with the intent to consume it.
  5. Actions or situations that involve forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization are prohibited.
  6. Alcoholic beverages may not be served where money changes hands (sale of drinks, admission charged, donations solicited, etc.) without the appropriate license or permit.
  7. Events that involve money changing hands require a Temporary Beer and Wine Permit issued by the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Hard liquor is not permitted at these events.*
  8. In premises that hold a New York State Liquor License (Faculty House or Club, designated areas at Barnard, etc.), all individuals and groups must adhere to the provisions of the license. No unauthorized alcohol may be brought into such areas.
  9. In unlicensed premises, beer or wine may be sold or dispensed if a Temporary Beer and Wine Permit issued by the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is obtained. Hard liquor is not permitted at these events.
  10. Appropriate posted warnings about the effects of alcohol during pregnancy must appear at all events where alcohol is served.

Violation of these laws may subject the violator to legal penalties that range from confiscation of the beverage by a police officer to suspension of one's driver's license to fine or imprisonment. Moreover, within the University the illegal or wrongful possession, provision, or consumption of alcohol will lead to proceedings in accordance with the procedures of the respective school or administrative unit, which can include the requirement for the student to receive psychological or medical assessment and/or counseling and appropriate treatment. Disciplinary action may result in suspension or expulsion or the referral of violators for criminal prosecution. Employees should also note that they may not report to work or be at work while under the influence of alcohol.

In addition to the provisions of New York State law as outlined above, the University requires adherence to the following policies at events where alcohol is served:

  1. Alcohol may not be consumed outdoors on University property except at a registered and approved event.
  2. Alcohol that is not specifically manufactured for human consumption may not be offered, served, or consumed in any form (e.g., diluted or undiluted, or as an ingredient in punches or other admixtures) under any circumstances.
  3. The theme of all events where alcohol is served must be primarily social, cultural, or educational, and not the availability of alcohol. Language stating that double proof of age is required for consumption of alcoholic beverages must appear in all promotional material. No other mention or depiction of alcohol is permitted.
  4. Ample quantities of food and appealing nonalcoholic beverages must be continuously provided and visibly displayed during the event.
  5. There may be no games of chance, drinking games, contests, "happy hours," or other activities that induce, encourage, or result in the consumption of alcohol.
  6. Games of chance are not permitted at events where alcohol is served.
  7. Only one drink at a time may be dispensed to each person. Only one drink per hour may be consumed at undergraduate student events.
  8. Kegs or other bulk containers of alcoholic beverages are permitted only in connection with registered and approved events, and all such containers must be closed or untapped at the conclusion of the event and removed from the premises as soon as is practicable. The possession, use, or storage of such containers is otherwise prohibited.
  9. Those who serve alcohol and those who check proof of age for any event may not consume alcohol during that event. Prior to the event, the sponsoring organization must designate an additional non-drinking individual who will be present during the event to assist in its management.
  10. Those who serve alcohol at any University event must be at least 21 years of age.
  11. Application for approval of events where alcohol is served must be made by an appropriately authorized representative of the sponsoring organization or group. This person must be at least 21 years of age.
  12. All student events where alcohol is served require written approval by student organization advisers, student activities officers, or other recognizing body. The approving officer must meet with the organizer(s) of the event prior to approving same and discuss in detail the applicable provisions of this policy including: proctoring, health issues related to alcohol consumption, availability of food and alternative nonalcoholic beverages, event management, and any additional requirements relative to the location of the event or the policies and procedures of the recognizing office. Signature of approval will constitute an assertion of compliance with this provision.
  13. The following types of student events where alcohol is served must be registered with the appropriate school's dean's office or student activities office at least two weeks prior to the event. Applications for such events must be approved by that office, which will also assist in the application for a Temporary Wine and Beer Permit when necessary:
    a. events that occur outdoors on University property; or
    b. events that are open to the University community; or
    c. events that are funded with University funds, or use University resources, irrespective of whether the attendees are affiliates or nonaffiliates; or
    d. events where attendance is expected to exceed 50 invited guests; or
    e. events where money changes hands
  14. Student events where alcohol will be served may not be publicized until the event is approved by the appropriate recognized adviser of the organization.
  15. Proctors are not required for events where attendance is restricted to those over 21, except at the discretion of the appropriate dean or student activities officer. Such events will be governed only by the preceding legal and University requirements.
  16. Where there is reason to believe that attendees may include persons under 21, individuals must present double proof of age before being served alcoholic beverages. A valid Columbia ID card may constitute the second proof of identification. Such events require proctors as directed by the University.
  17. Officers of student organizations are responsible for the implementation and enforcement of these policies. Officers are also responsible for educating their membership, guests, alumni, and incoming officers about these policies. Violations will result in disciplinary action against the responsible individuals and organization, up to and including loss of University recognition and loss of housing status.
  18. Consumption of alcohol in residence halls is additionally limited by these requirements:
    a. No registered student events involving alcohol can be permitted in the common areas of any residence hall.
    b. Alcohol may not be consumed by any person in any part of a residence hall except in a contractually assigned private residence hall room, in the common area(s) within a contractually assigned suite or at a registered and approved event.
    c. While the individual student or host has primary responsibility for abiding by this policy and New York State law, members of the Residence Life staff will address individual consumption or possession violations in the residence halls.
    d.  Additional limitations for undergraduate Columbia College/Columbia Engineering students living in residence are outlined in the Guide to Living.
  19. Consumption of alcohol at events sponsored by a Greek-letter organization is governed additionally by these specific provisions, as well as by any additional requirements as directed by the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life:
    a. Alcohol is not permitted at any rush event.
    b. Pledge fees may not be used to purchase alcoholic beverages.

All University-sponsored events involving alcohol that take place either on or off campus must be authorized by their individual school. Application forms for such events must be submitted, including appropriate adviser approvals, to the appropriate deans or student activities officers. Those registering events with alcohol must be at least 21 years of age.

The deans and student activities officers of each school work with student leaders and their advisers to promote student responsibility and compliance with all University regulations and New York State and federal laws. Individual schools may also set more stringent restrictions on events involving alcohol, but all events must, at a minimum, comply with the policies outlined above.

The deans and student activities officers of Columbia's graduate and professional schools have responsibility for enforcing and implementing the University's alcohol policy within each school. Undergraduate student organizations are expected to work with their designated adviser to comply with the University's alcohol policy. Where appropriate, organization representatives must complete a formal training session for programming with alcohol.

Students may direct their questions about programming with alcohol to the dean of their school or the alcohol programming liaison for their school coordinator.

Events that involve money include, but are not limited to, those with preadmission ticketing, sales of any kind, bar charges, and charity benefits. Events involving money require a Temporary Beer and Wine Permit from the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which may be obtained, with appropriate documentation, from the appropriate dean's office or student activities office. Forms must be received at least 15 working days prior to the event. When authorization is granted, an organizational representative will need to submit a Temporary Beer and Wine License application with the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and pay for a permit to be issued for the event specified. A copy of the license must be submitted to the appropriate dean's office or student activities office at least 5 working days prior to the event.

In accordance with New York State law, the consumption of alcohol in an outdoor space without appropriate authorization is prohibited. All outdoor events are subject to this policy and its attendant procedures. Outdoor space reservation authorization is also required for these events. See University Event Policies.

Undergraduate student organizations that program with alcohol are required to have representatives complete a formal training session for University programming with alcohol. University Event Management, in conjunction with Columbia Health (Alice! Health Promotion), Public Safety, and CUEMS, offers training three times each term. The training emphasizes student responsibility and focuses on the health, legal, safety, security, policy, educational, and procedural considerations related to the use of alcohol at University-sponsored events. Only students of legal drinking age may be authorized to program events involving alcohol. Student representatives are required to be present throughout authorized events to serve as event managers and support the University alcohol proctors.

University Event Management in Lerner Hall recruits, selects, trains, and supervises proctors who oversee University-sponsored events where alcohol is present. University Event Management staff assigns proctors from a central pool to cover specific events, authorizes pay for the proctors, maintains copies of their reports, and provides the appropriate individuals with information to follow up on disciplinary problems when necessary. The proctors, with the assistance of the event manager, are responsible for ensuring that the sponsors of the event accurately identify those of legal drinking age, appropriately handle the distribution of alcohol, and effectively monitor behavior at the event.

Organizations that intend to have alcohol at any sponsored event, on or off campus, must submit a registration form for authorization to serve alcoholic beverages at University events. Student groups must have the registration form signed by the sponsoring group’s adviser and submitted to University Event Management at least 10 days prior to the event.

General Principles

  1. There are laws governing when and to whom alcohol may be served. There is a University policy on alcohol, which is part of a larger policy statement on alcohol, drugs, and smoking. All Medical Center students are expected to comply with the laws and with University policies. Copies of the University policies are available in the Student Affairs Office of each CUIMC school and program in the CUIMC Office of Housing Services and in the P&S Club.
  2. As this is a Medical Center campus, we have a particular responsibility to recognize that alcohol misuse and dependency are very serious personal and public health problems. All members of the Medical Center community are expected to be sensitive to the difference between responsible and irresponsible serving and consumption of beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages.
  3. As CUIMC is largely a graduate student campus, we operate on the presumption that our students are adults who are responsible for their own behavior, and the procedures we adopt reflect this fact. At the same time, as in the society at large, specific guidelines and procedures are necessary to clarify expectations of behavior and to protect and promote the welfare of the larger community. When alcohol is served at student-sponsored events, the students in charge of the event are responsible for assuring that moderation is exercised in the amount of alcohol purchased and served, that both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available, and that food is served. In addition, at every student sponsored event where alcohol is served, at least one student must be designated to ensure that the event is in compliance with the policies outlined here (see numbers six and seven below). Individual students are responsible for moderating their own consumption of alcohol.
  4. In compliance with University policy, no alcohol is to be served to a person who is disorderly or who is or appears to be intoxicated.
  5. While most Medical Center students are over 21, not all are. State law prohibits the serving of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. As prescribed by law and by university policy, no individual on the Medical Center Campus shall be sold, served, given, or otherwise receive alcoholic beverages if that individual is not at least 21 years of age. Any student-sponsored function where there is a possibility of students attending who are not yet 21 must pay special attention to and comply with procedure number three in the section on procedures (see below).
  6. Respect for personal and property rights must be maintained at student events where alcohol is served. When a student-sponsored event takes place in a residence hall or other University space, there must be a designated student(s) responsible and accountable for assuring that University and Medical Center policies and procedures are known and complied with. Any damage to property resulting from disorderly or intoxicated conduct will be the financial responsibility of the students involved in such conduct. If the identity of the students cannot be determined, the group sponsoring the event during which property damage occurred will assume financial responsibility.
  7. Designated students responsible for upholding the alcohol policy at an event must participate in a training sponsored by the AI:MS (Addiction Illness: Medical Solutions) program through the Center for Student Wellness. The training will cover skills related to the points identified above, particularly:
    • procedures regarding the identification of under-age students;
    • procedures regarding the intoxicated student (non-admission, no further service, control of behavior);
    • procedures for controlling the serving of/access to alcohol.
  8. Students whose behavior under the influence of alcohol or other drugs becomes a public matter (e.g., call from Security for health reasons, damage to property) will be required to meet confidentially with the Director of the AI:MS program to discuss the incident.
  9. Because of issues related to professionalism outlined in the CUIMC Alcohol Policy, repeated occurrences related to number eight above may warrant involvement of the appropriate Student Affairs Dean.


These procedures are to be followed for all student-sponsored events in University space where alcohol is expected to be served.

  1. Prior to reserving space, the student or student organization sponsoring such an event must file a plan with the appropriate office. The appropriate offices are as follows:
    • The Medical Center Office of Housing Services for Bard Hall and Georgian Apartments.
    • The relevant office of student affairs for all other space, including the Riverview Lounge.
    If sponsoring students are from more than one school or program, the event must be registered with each of the relevant schools and programs.
  2. Copies of the University Policy on Alcohol and the Guidelines and Procedures to Implement the University Policy on Alcohol on the Medical Center campus will be available in each of these offices. Student sponsors are responsible for knowing these policies and complying with them.
  3. If there is any possibility that individuals attending the event may be under 21, the event must be supervised in accordance with University policy. A designated individual or individuals must be responsible for checking the IDs of all students to assure that no one under 21 is served. Students have the option of hiring a paid proctor to carry out this responsibility or designating one or more of their own number to do so. This individual(s) must be identified by name in the plan and may not drink prior to or during the time he/she is proctoring.
  4. The plan that is filed must contain the following information:
    • Sponsoring student(s) and, where relevant, organization(s).
    • Students' schools or programs.
    • Date or dates of the event.
    • Location of the event.
    • Number of people expected.
    • Whether any individuals attending may be under 21. If so, the plan must indicate how IDs will be checked and by whom, and whether the event will be supervised by a paid proctor or by the sponsoring students.
    • Hours the space is needed for setup, for the event, and for cleanup
    • Hours during which alcohol will be served. Note: No alcohol may be served after 1:00 a.m.
    • Alcoholic beverages to be served
    • Planned number of beer kegs to be served. Note: One keg of beer serves about 75 people with two 12-ounce glasses (gross) each).
    • Nonalcoholic beverages to be served.
    • Food to be served.
    • The names of individuals who will be responsible for setup and cleanup. Note: At the end of the event, the sponsoring students must remove the taps from all kegs.
  5. Forms for providing the required plan information will be available in the student affairs offices of each of the schools and programs, in the Office of Facilities Management where space is scheduled, and in the Bard Hall Office of the Assistant Director of Residence Halls, Medical Center.
  6. These guidelines and procedures in no way supersede or substitute for the rules and Dean's Discipline of the individual schools and programs nor for the policies and rules of the Medical Center Office of Housing Services. These policies and guidelines will be reviewed on a regular basis.

Columbia University recognizes the illegality and danger of drug abuse and, accordingly, strictly prohibits the possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of illicit drugs on University premises or as part of any University activity.

Columbia affiliates (students and employees) who violate the University's policies concerning illicit drugs will face discipline through their schools or administrative units, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment, and may also include the requirement of completing an appropriate rehabilitation program. Moreover, all students and employees should be aware that, in addition to University sanctions, they may be subject to criminal prosecution under federal and state laws that specify severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for drug-related criminal offenses. The seriousness of these crimes and the penalties imposed upon conviction usually depend upon the individual drug and amount involved in the crime. Attachment A (see below) provides information concerning sanctions under federal law.

New York State also provides sanctions for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs. For example, in New York State, unlawful possession of four or more ounces of cocaine is a class A-1 felony, punishable by a minimum of 15-25 years and a maximum of life in prison. Where appropriate or necessary, the University will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies and may refer students and employees for prosecution.

Following the adoption of the federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, the University announced these policies for all employees, which remain in effect:

  1. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a Controlled Substance in a University Workplace by any Columbia employee is prohibited. A "Controlled Substance" is any of those substances referred to in Schedules I through V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 812, and as further defined in regulation at 21 CFR 1308.11-1308.15. These include substances that have a high potential for misuse or which, if abused, may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Among these are heroin and other opium derivatives, marijuana, cocaine, and mescaline and other hallucinogens. "University Workplace" means any site at which employees perform work for the University, whether or not such site is owned by Columbia University.
  2. Employees may not report to work or be at work (at a University Workplace) while under the influence of either a Controlled Substance or alcohol.
  3. It is a condition of employment that each University employee will abide by the terms of this Policy. In addition, each employee must notify the University's Vice President for Human Resources (Columbia University, 615 West 131st Street, Studebaker floor 4, New York, NY 10027) in writing no later than five days after Conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace of any criminal drug statute. A "Conviction" is a finding of guilt (including a plea of nolo contendere) or imposition of sentence, or both, by any judicial body charged with the responsibility to determine violations of the criminal drug statutes. Such statutes involve the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of any Controlled Substance.
  4. Any employee who violates this Policy will be subject to serious disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
  5. Within 30 days after receiving notice from an employee of a Conviction, the University will:a. take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, or b. require the employee to satisfactorily participate in a drug assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health agency, law enforcement agency, or other appropriate agency.
  6. The specific provisions of the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, Studebaker Floor 4.

While adverse health effects may vary depending on the substance, most drugs can produce one or more of the following reactions: headache, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, damage to organs, addiction, and, in extreme cases, death. Interactions between drugs and alcohol can be especially extreme. Moreover, the use of drugs can result in asocial or violent behaviors and can have a severe negative effect on personal development, schoolwork, and job performance.

Counseling, treatment, and educational programs are available to the Columbia community through the following sources:

Columbia University Human Resources

Health Services at Morningside

Health Services at the Medical Center

Background and Rationale

Columbia University Irving Medical Center is committed to assisting members of its community in facing the challenges associated with alcohol abuse and illicit drug use. The drug testing policy provides an opportunity for early identification and intervention before the consequences of such abuse adversely impacts a student’s health, professional growth, and patient care. Early intervention also provides for successful treatment without the involvement of formal disciplinary action or other sanctioning.

  1. Health care providers are entrusted with the health, safety, and welfare of patients; have access to confidential and sensitive information; and operate in settings that require the exercise of good judgment and ethical behavior. Thus, assessment of a student’s suitability to function in a clinical setting is imperative to promote integrity in health care services.
  2. Clinical facilities are increasingly required by the accreditation agency, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (TJC), to provide a drug screening for security purposes on individuals who supervise care, render treatment, and provide services within the facility.
  3. Clinical rotations are an essential element in certain degree programs’ curricula. Increasingly these rotations require drug screening for student participation at their site. Students with a positive drug screen may be barred from certain rotations and thus are unable to fulfill degree program requirements. Identification of such students prior to clinical rotations will enable appropriate assessment and indicated treatment and follow-up.
  4. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and CUIMC require drug screening of all employees. It is appropriate for clinical students to meet the same standards for the reasons stated above.


Preclinical drug testing is required of all students in the clinical schools at CUIMC.


  1. Students in the School of Nursing, the College of Dental Medicine, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons will be required to undergo a 10-metabolite urine drug screen during the semester prior to the beginning of their clinical rotations (or in the case of the nursing programs, during their first semester at CUIMC).
  2. Students will receive a general orientation to the drug testing requirement prior to actual testing, including the testing procedure as well as possible common interfering substances or OTC medications (e.g., poppy-seed bagels, pseudoephedrine).
  3. Chain of custody drug screens will be performed under the auspices of Sterling Infosystems Inc., which also provides preemployment drug screens for CUIMC employees.
  4. Students will pick up a requisition for their drug screen from the Student Health Service (SHS). There is a 72-hour window for the requisition to be filled. Students will take the requisition to a LabCorp laboratory for testing. A list of nearby sites, as well as the link to LabCorp website for the identification of all sites, will be provided.
  5. Test results will be returned to the SHS. If a test is positive in the LabCorp laboratory, it is referred to the Medical Review Officer (MRO) utilized by Sterling. The MRO speaks with the patient and his/her prescriber to ascertain any medications the student may be taking that could either interfere with or cause a positive test. This review is NOT communicated to the SHS. MRO reviews are completed within 5 days and tests are then communicated to the SHS as positive or negative. (For example, a student legitimately on Adderall would test positive by the lab, but review by the MRO with the patient and his/her prescriber would confirm the legitimacy of the prescription, and such a test would be reported to the SHS as negative.)
  6. All students with a positive test will be required to have an evaluation by the Director of the AI:MS program. The AI:MS Director will establish the appropriate follow-up, which could include referral to an addiction specialist for further evaluation and treatment, referral to an outside drug treatment program, or follow-up and treatment within AI:MS and the SHS (including follow-up drug testing as requested by the AI:MS Director). Referral to an outside drug treatment program, assessment by the AI:MS Director or addiction specialist that the student could pose a risk to patient safety, noncompliance with AI:MS-directed follow-up, or directed follow-up that would interfere with a student’s clinical placement will require notification of the Student Affairs Dean of the student’s school or program and withdrawal from the clinical rotation.
  7. Ideally, drug tests will be completed 2 months prior to the beginning of clinical work to allow completion of the evaluation of students testing positive prior to the start of their clinical rotations. Students who are already on clinical rotations, or who complete testing less than 2 months prior to the start of clinical work, may need to withdraw from their clinical rotation depending on the evaluation by the AI:MS Director and/or addiction specialist.
  8. If during or after treatment there is a question of the student’s suitability for clinical work, s/he will be referred to an outside clinician for evaluation.
  9. Drug screening reports will be held in strict confidence in the student’s medical record unless released at a student’s request or under the specific circumstances identified in sections 6–7.
  10. Any results released to the Dean of a student’s program are also confidential and are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA] regulations. For additional information, visit
  11. Urine drug screens requested by a student for an outside program will be ordered through Sterling Infosystems Inc.. Results will be released to the student for submission to the outside program. Students with a positive test will not be able to participate in that clinical rotation. They will be referred to the AI:MS Office as outlined in section 6 above with notification of the appropriate Student Affairs Dean.

Federal Penalties and Sanctions for Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance. Also view Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties.

21 U.S.C. 844(a)

First conviction: Up to one year imprisonment and fine of at least $1,000 or both.

After one prior drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed two years and fined at least $2,500. After two or more prior convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed three years and fined at least $5,000.

Special sentencing provisions for possession of crack cocaine: Mandatory at least five years in prison, not to exceed 20 years and fined a minimum of $1,000, if:

(a) First conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 5 grams.
(b) Second crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 3 grams.
(c) Third or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 1 gram.

21 U.S.C. 853(a) (2) and 881(a) (7)

Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a Controlled Substance if that offense is punishable by more than one year imprisonment. (See special sentencing provisions re: crack.)

21 U.S.C. 881(a) (4)

Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a Controlled Substance.

21 U.S.C. 844(a)

Civil fine of the reasonable costs of the investigation and prosecution of the offense.

21 U.S.C. 862

Denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to five years for first offense, up to 10 years for second, and permanent denial of benefits for subsequent offenses.

18 U.S.C. 922(g)

Ineligible to receive or purchase a firearm or ammunition.


Revocation of certain federal licenses and benefits, e.g., pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, is vested within the authorities of individual federal agencies.

Drug Offenses at or near Educational Institutions

In addition to the trafficking penalties listed here, (1) distribution of a Controlled Substance to a person under 21 years of age, or (2) distribution of a Controlled Substance in, on, or within 1,000 feet of real property comprising a school, college, or university, or (3) receipt of a Controlled Substance from a person under 18 years of age, may subject the violator to twice the usual maximum punishment otherwise authorized by law.

Drugs and Federal Aid

In addition to these provisions, Higher Education Amendments of 1998 included a new student eligibility provision. It provides that, effective July 1, 2000, a student is ineligible for federal student aid if convicted, under federal or state law, of any offense involving the possession or sale of a Controlled Substance (generally meaning illegal drugs, but not including alcohol or tobacco). The period of ineligibility begins on the date of the conviction and lasts until the end of the statutorily specified period. The student may regain eligibility early by completing a drug rehabilitation program that meets certain statutory and regulatory requirements (including two unannounced drug tests), or if the conviction is overturned.


* This includes free events under an organization that charges a membership fee.