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Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Information

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as published in the 2014-15 St. Ambrose University Student Handbook

Introduction and Philosophy

St. Ambrose University recognizes that students may choose to consume alcohol. However, the University takes seriously the issue of alcohol use and abuse as these behaviors can interfere with an individual's ability to succeed in college both in and out of the classroom. Alcohol consumption causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology, posing a significant threat to the health and welfare of our nation's college-age students. Even minor usage can impair judgment, coordination, and abstract mental functioning. Statistics show that the vast majority of violent behaviors (including acquaintance rape, vandalism and assaults) on college campuses involve alcohol use. Additionally, continued use stresses social relationships and may lead to dependency, which often causes permanent damage to vital organs and is counterproductive to a healthy lifestyle. Wishing to establish an environment that fosters academic excellence while educating our students on the complexities of alcohol use, St. Ambrose University established the St. Ambrose Alcohol Policy as follows:


The 1989 amendments to the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act, Part 86, requires that as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under a federal program, an institution of higher education must certify it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. The basis for the St. Ambrose University policy stems from our belief that alcohol abuse by college age students is counterproductive to the pursuit of academic excellence. While we believe that alcohol use is not inherently detrimental to college age individuals, a high percentage of college age students are involved in the abusive behaviors associated with alcohol use that impact their academic performance and well-being.

As an institution of higher education, St. Ambrose University is committed to the education of the whole person, both in and out of the classroom. Recognizing the prominence of alcohol use and abuse in our society and that policy does not necessarily dictate behavior, we deem the education of our students on these issues to be of paramount importance. To be most effective, we believe it is critical to establish an environment that allows for this topic to be freely discussed.

St. Ambrose University seeks to encourage and sustain an academic environment that both respects individual freedom and promotes the health, safety and welfare of all community members. St. Ambrose strongly encourages students to call Campus Security (x6104 or 911 from campus phones) for medical assistance for those who are dangerously under the influence of drugs or alcohol. No student seeking medical treatment for the effects of drug or alcohol use will be subject to University discipline for violating the St. Ambrose Alcohol Policy, but may be held accountable and responsible for acts committed while intoxicated. This medical amnesty will be granted to both the intoxicated student and to the student(s) seeking medical assistance for the intoxicated student; educational interventions or discussions may, however, be provided in the response.

 Alcohol General Guidelines

1. Students are expected to encourage responsible drinking behavior by those individuals who choose to consume alcohol and to respect the choices of individuals who choose not to consume alcohol.
2. Consumption by, supplying and/or selling alcohol to a person under the age of 21 is illegal in the State of Iowa and a violation of University policy.
3. Violations of the Alcohol Policy are cumulative through a student's career.
4. No alcohol or alcohol containers (including empty containers) are allowed in traditional student residential areas (Bechtel, Cosgrove, Davis, Hayes, Franklin, North traditional suites, and Rohlman Halls). All students present, regardless of age, will be held in violation of the Alcohol Policy when alcohol or alcohol containers are found in a room or house and/or consumed in residential areas.
5. In a "preferred" housing setting, when a person underage is found consuming alcohol, the host(s) and underage person(s) found to be consuming alcohol may be held in violation of the Alcohol Policy.
6. No one may possess or consume alcoholic beverages in public areas of campus. Public areas include all locations other than students' rooms, "preferred" apartments in Tiedemann, Hagen, houses, North Hall apartments, or townhouses.
7. When a policy violation is confronted on campus property or in university housing, university staff will instruct hosts and/or guests to properly dispose of all alcohol and alcohol containers that may be accessible at the location of the policy violation.
8. Kegs, pony kegs, or other common sources of alcohol, will not be permitted in University student housing. These items will be confiscated and not returned.
9. Due to the nature of their use and the reality that their presence encourages overuse and/or parties, bars are not allowed in residential facilities.
10. Alcohol may not be given as a prize or award.
11. Competitive drinking games (any type of game that can reasonably be assumed is for the purpose of alcohol consumption) and equipment (i.e. beer pong tables, shot roulette/checkers/chess, beer funnels, etc.) are prohibited. Equipment will be confiscated and may not be returned.
12. No advertisements that promote alcohol consumption may be printed in student publications or posted on campus unless the event is sponsored and approved by the University.
13. Names and logos of alcohol distributors, brewers and distillers may not appear on the printed programs, schedules or posters of athletic teams or student organizations.
14. Posters, containers and other items that refer to alcohol may not be displayed in areas of student residences visible to the public. These areas include windows, outer doors and porches. Failure to remove these items from public view may result in disciplinary action.

Drug Policy

St. Ambrose enforces drug policies consistent with state and federal statutes and has declared a drug-free workplace at all locations at which the University conducts business. Students, faculty, and staff are prohibited from the use, possession, manufacturing, sale or distribution of any illegal controlled substance. The use and possession of drug paraphernalia, including but not limited to blow tubes, rolling paper, pipes, etc., is also prohibited.

If a student believes she/he has a substance abuse problem and seeks assistance prior to a violation of this policy, the University will provide support according to the Alcohol and Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) which is outlined below.

Tobacco Free Environment Policy

In consideration of the health, safety and comfort of all St. Ambrose students, employees and visitors, and in compliance with Iowa State law (Iowa Code Chapter 142D), the use of any form of tobacco is prohibited in or on any property owned by St. Ambrose University.

This policy prohibits the use of any form of tobacco, or tobacco-like products (such as electronic or e-cigarettes) in or on, but is not limited to, all of the following: University grounds including parking lots, athletic fields, and any other outdoor area under the control of St. Ambrose University, residential housing, offices, classrooms, student residences, lounges, hallways, dining facilities, rest rooms, entryways and enclosed areas owned by the University.

The use of any form of tobacco or tobacco-like products is prohibited at all times in University-owned vehicles. Smoking is prohibited inside any vehicle, whether University-owned or privately-owned, located on school grounds.

Smokers are required to properly dispose of any tobacco materials before entering any campus property or the grounds. No ashtrays or smoking receptacles will be available on campus.

The sale of tobacco or tobacco-like products is prohibited on campus.

All applicants for employment and students will be advised of the tobacco-free policy.

Employees and students who want help curbing their use of tobacco may obtain literature and smoking cessation assistance from the St. Ambrose University Human Resources Office or Health Services Office.

All students, employees and visitors share responsibility for adhering to and enforcing the policy.

Anyone in violation of Iowa law may be subject to the state's regulation, enforcement and civil penalties.

St. Ambrose employees and students in violation of the University's policy may also be subject to University disciplinary action.

The University shall not discharge, refuse to employ, or retaliate in any way against an employee, prospective employee, or student for exercising his or her rights under Iowa Code Chapter 142D, including the right to register a complaint or prosecution of a claim.

Alcohol and Other Drug Policy Enforcement

As noted above, past history has shown that students may choose to consume alcohol on campus. Mindful of these choices, we extend a level of trust that each student is honoring his/her contractual commitments to follow University policy, local, state, and federal law until given reason to believe otherwise. We will confront all policy violations of which we become aware. The University reserves the right to search any personal property brought on campus if reasonable suspicion exists that a university policy is being violated. This includes backpacks, purses, vehicles and other closed containers.

Empty alcohol containers and other elements found in student rooms or houses that suggest evidence of possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus may be grounds for disciplinary action. Should a staff member approach a situation, it is expected that individuals present comply with all reasonable requests made by a college official. All present are expected to be respectful in their interactions with staff and present themselves truthfully.

Sanctions for Violation of Local, State, and Federal Laws

Alcohol Use

Local statues adhere to State guidelines regarding sanctions for violations.

Iowa State law considers the illegal possession and use of alcohol a simple misdemeanor. Please see the following link for full detail:
Federal laws likewise prohibit the underage use of alcohol. Please see the following link for full detail:

Drug (Controlled Substances) Use

Local statues adhere to State guidelines regarding sanctions for violations.

Iowa State law considers the manufacture, deliver, or possession of illegal drugs to be a class "B" felony, punishable by confinement of up to fifty years and fines up to $1 million. Please see the following link for a full detail:

Federal law (specifically the Controlled Substances Act passed in 1970) likewise prohibits the manufacture, distribution and possession of controlled substances. Please see the following link for full detail on the limitations and sanctions for violation of this act:

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Resources

Substance Abuse Support Program

The Alcohol and Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) helps students whose alcohol or drug dependence interferes with their academic or social success. The Director of Counseling serves as the ADAP coordinator. This person uses all available community resources to restore the health and effectiveness of these students. Procedures include:
1. Self-Referral. Students who want help should call the Counseling Center and speak to a counselor. Confidentiality is maintained at all times. The counselor will evaluate the information presented and suggest available community resources. Per client approval, the counselor will remain in contact with the treatment facility and student until he/she can function successfully. The counselor will maintain confidentiality unless the student requests in writing that someone else be informed of the situation.
2. Faculty/Staff/Peer Referral. If a student's course attendance, performance or a particular incident indicates the student has an alcohol or drug problem, the faculty/staff should first tell the student he/she believes a problem exists and suggest the student contact the Director of Counseling. With the student's permission, the coordinator will advise the faculty/staff of any further action that may be helpful. The student may choose alternative programs for assistance, aware that performance and behavior must improve. All information pertaining to the student's referral and information provided by the coordinator to the faculty/staff will be held in strict confidence.

Alcohol Educational Programming

The St. Ambrose University conduct review process includes educational sanctioning for violations involving the alcohol policy. These include but are not limited to reflection papers, and helping with alcohol programming such as passive displays. Additionally, Informed Decisions has been created and implemented. This educational seminar is designed in a manner that allows students to reflect on their alcohol use and question if that behavior is consistent with their morals, values, and self-perceptions. Informed Decisions is a two-hour seminar offered throughout each semester.

St. Ambrose University recognizes the need and desire for continuous education in regards to alcohol. As a result, a campaign has begun titled BEE Responsible. This campaign is a week-long kick-off event that occurs in the fall of each academic year. By collaborating with community members, the University is able to educate the Ambrose community about alcohol use, abuse, and the effects these choices have on users and friends. Programming varies from mock car crashes, drunk driving simulators, guest speakers, and other activities in an attempt to increase awareness and to further inform students, faculty, and staff regarding current usage and trends of alcohol and higher education.

Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcohol Use

The use of alcohol serves as a depressant that affects the central nervous system of the body. Effects of alcohol use include, but are not limited to, slowed motor skills, loss of judgment, blurred vision, vomiting, and in extreme cases death. Impacts on University work include missed classes, poor test performance, failure to complete assignments, and course failure. For a full range of effects on the body please consult the Health Services Resources website. 

Use of Controlled Substances (Drug Use)

Similar to alcohol use, controlled substances (also referred to as drugs), have a multitude of mind altering, debilitating, and in some cases catastrophic effects for the user. Effects include, but are not limited to, slowed motor skills, loss of appetite, lack of motivation, lack of patience, inability to concentrate, violent outbursts and in some instances death. For a full range of effects that controlled substances have on the body please consult the Health Services Resource.