Policy for Alcohol and Other Drugs
Emerson is determined to establish and maintain working, living and learning conditions free from the negative effects of alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse. With this in mind, the College encourages responsible decision-making regarding the use of legal drugs (alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, etc.). The unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit or prescription drugs or alcohol by any student or employee on Emerson College property or as part of or in connection with any College activity is prohibited.
The following information is provided to Emerson students, faculty and staff for compliance with the U.S. Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.
Bear in mind that College officials will not overlook alcohol and drug violations, but we maintain the goal of providing assistance to those individuals who are seeking help with their own use of substances or are seeking help for a friend. This is particularly important in the case of potential alcohol poisoning, a very serious health concern. Emerson’s Medical Amnesty Policy allows for an individual to come forward for help without fear of reprisal or adverse disciplinary action. In addition, Emerson provides a range of support services as described below.
- Medical Amnesty
- Signs of Intoxication/Overdose
- Seek Assistance
- Support Resources
- Physical and Psychological Effects of AODs
- How to Know if You or a Friend Has a Problem
- Laws, Regulations & Sanctions
- Other Drugs
The Emerson College Alcohol and Other Drug Policy contains information on the College’s philosophy regarding alcohol and other drug (AOD) use and abuse by students, faculty and staff (“the Emerson community”), as well as regulations and sanctions regarding the possession, use, manufacture, distribution, sale and advertisement of AODs while on Emerson College-owned or leased property or at off-campus, College-sponsored events. In addition, the policy provides AOD-related information about federal, commonwealth and city laws, regulations and sanctions; physical and psychological effects of AOD use and abuse; and resources for AOD information, education, and treatment.
It is a goal of Emerson College to provide a safe, productive, and healthy environment in which all members of the Emerson community can learn, work and grow from a wealth of different experiences. The College is determined to establish and maintain working, living and learning conditions that are free from the negative effects of alcohol and other drug abuse. With this in mind, the College encourages responsible decision-making regarding the use of legal drugs (alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, etc.). Emerson College does not condone the use of illegal drugs.
Emerson College recognizes that the misuse or abuse of any drug can be detrimental to the health, safety, learning and well-being of individuals as well as the Emerson community. Therefore, the College offers substance abuse prevention programs for its students and employees and will identify resources and provide assistance and support for those who have, develop or are in recovery from problems with AODs.
The overarching priority of Emerson College with respect to alcohol and other drugs is to ensure the safety and well-being of our students. The College is committed to providing guidance so that students can learn to develop a responsible approach to social challenges, including whether to use alcohol, how to do so in moderation and how to comply with local, state and federal laws governing alcohol consumption. Emerson expects students to abide by laws and College policies regarding alcohol and drug possession and consumption. For those students who choose to consume alcohol.
Emerson expects that they do so in moderation and thereby minimize the incidence of alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related injuries. However, the College acknowledges there may be times when students may face medical emergencies involving excessive drinking and/or drug use. In these situations students are expected to call for assistance (e.g. Resident Assistant, Emerson Police, 911, etc.) when concerned for their own health or welfare, or that of another student. In order to encourage students to seek prompt and appropriate attention for alcohol or any other drug intoxication the College has instituted a “Medical Amnesty” policy. Emerson’s Medical Amnesty policy is applicable to the student requesting medical assistance for oneself, student seeking medical assistance for another person, and student for whom medical assistance was sought.
Seeking medical assistance for oneself or a fellow student demonstrates responsible student behavior. When evaluating an alcohol violation the College will consider whether a student sought medical assistance for oneself or another person in need, and in most cases view the act of seeking medical assistance as good judgment and accordingly, not deserving of typical disciplinary sanctions. Thus, if it is determined that the Medical Amnesty policy applies to a given situation the concerned students will not be subject to a disciplinary fine or disciplinary probation. Parental notification and referral to meet with Counseling and Psychological Services and Wellness Educator still apply.
Please note that this policy does not excuse or protect those who repeatedly or flagrantly violate the Student Code of Conduct. If a student received Medical Amnesty for a prior incident the availability of amnesty for a subsequent incident is at the discretion of the Dean of Students or his/her designee. If other infractions are concurrent at the time of intoxication including, but not limited to, physical or sexual assault, distribution of illicit substances or property damage this policy does not apply.
If you drink or have friends who drink it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning: It’s not necessary for all of these symptoms to be present before you seek help. Those signs followed by an asterisk may also indicate opiate or sedative/hypnotic drug overdose.
- Confusion, stupor*
- Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)*
- Irregular breathing*
- Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
- Low body temperature- (feels cold & clammy to touch)*
- Unconsciousness (“passing out”)*
- Signs of an amphetamine overdose may include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Increased temperature/sweating
- Behavior changes indicated by increased anxiety, delirium or psychosis
A person who is unconscious or can’t be roused is at risk of dying.
Even if you don’t see the classic signs and symptoms, but suspect someone has alcohol poisoning err on the side of caution - seek immediate medical care. In an emergency, follow these suggestions:
If the person is unconscious, breathing less than eight times a minute or has repeated and uncontrolled vomiting, call 911. Remember that even when someone is unconscious or has stopped drinking, alcohol continues to be released into the bloodstream and the level of alcohol in the body continues to rise. Never assume that a person will “sleep off” alcohol poisoning.
Don’t leave an unconscious person alone. While waiting for help turn them on their side; don’t try to make the person vomit. People who have alcohol poisoning have an impaired gag reflex and may choke on their own vomit or accidentally inhale (aspirate) vomit into their lungs, which could cause a fatal lung injury.
Your assistance and support in helping the College keep you and your fellow students safe is most appreciated.
Emerson College recognizes that the misuse or abuse of any drug can be detrimental to the health, safety, learning, and well-being of individuals as well as the Emerson community. Therefore, the College offers substance abuse prevention programs for its students and employees and will identify resources and provide assistance and support for those who have, develop or are in recovery from problems with AODs.
- Center for Health and Wellness: 617-824-8666
- Counseling and Psychological Services: 617-824-8595
- Violence Prevention and Response: 617-824-8857
For Faculty and Staff
Emerson College and the members of the Emerson community are responsible for observing and complying with federal, commonwealth, city, and College laws and regulations regarding the use of AODs whenever they are on its U.S. or European campuses or taking part in its activities. Where the legal drinking age at our European campus may differ, Emerson College students will be held to the legal drinking age laws of the hosting countries. All other aspects of this Policy remain in effect at our European campus. In addition, all members of the Emerson community are responsible for ensuring that their guests adhere to the Emerson College AOD Policy, and, when determined appropriate, will be held accountable for violations committed by their guests.
Students or student organizations who violate AOD laws or campus regulations while on Emerson College owned or leased property or at off-campus, College-sponsored events are subject to a variety of sanctions which may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: written warnings; fines; required participation in AOD educational programs; community service; parental notification; loss of residence hall and College privileges; referral for substance abuse evaluation or treatment; housing, disciplinary, or College probation; suspension from housing or the College; dismissal from housing or the College; and prosecution by the appropriate federal, commonwealth, and city authorities.
Faculty and Staff who violate AOD laws or campus regulations while on Emerson College owned or leased property or at off-campus, College-sponsored events are subject to a variety of sanctions which may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: written warnings; referral for substance abuse evaluation or treatment; on-the-job disciplinary actions; job suspension; termination of employment; and/or prosecution by appropriate federal, commonwealth, and city authorities.
Concerns and reports about the violation of AOD laws or College AOD regulations should be addressed as follows:
- Questions or concerns regarding students’ use or abuse of AODs in the residence halls and dining halls should be directed to the Associate Dean/Director of Housing and Residence Life.
- Questions or concerns regarding students’ use or abuse of AODs on non-residential areas of the campus or at off-campus, College-sponsored events should be directed to the Dean of Students. Likewise, students who are unsure about how to address their AOD concerns should be directed to the Dean of Students.
- Questions or concerns regarding students’ use or abuse of AODs at any of the College’s external programs should be directed to the respective Director of the program.
- Questions or concerns about staff or employees’ use or abuse of AODs should be directed to Associate Vice President of Human Resources.
- Questions or concerns about whether and where alcohol may be consumed or served on Emerson property should be directed to the Director of Business Services.
Legal & Institutional Consequences
- Emerson College Alcohol and Other Drug Sanctions
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts laws governing controlled substances
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts laws governing alcoholic beverages:
1. College Wide Regulations
A person must be 21 years of age or older to possess or consume alcoholic beverages. All members of the community are prohibited from serving or providing alcohol to individuals who are under 21 years of age.
Faculty and staff who wish to host an event where alcohol will be served on any property owned or leased by Emerson College must comply with the terms as established by Emerson College by submitting an approval form (available on the Business Services website) to the Director of Business Services, seven (7) business days prior to the event, for review. The form will be forwarded to the Vice President for Administration and Finance for approval.
Students and student organizations who want to hold an event where alcohol is served or present while on Emerson College owned or leased property or at off-campus College-sponsored events must submit a completed “Application for Alcohol at Student Organization Events” at least 21 days before the event for review. Applications are available at the Office of the Dean of Students. The College will typically only authorize requests to allow alcohol service at student events that are sponsored by either the Senior Class or the Graduate Student Association.
Student organizations should present their requests as follows:
- Residence Hall Association, Learning Communities, Residence Life related sponsors should present their proposals to the Associate Dean/Director of Housing and Residence Life;
- Recognized undergraduate student organizations should present their proposals to the Associate Dean of Students; and
- Recognized graduate student organizations should present their proposals to the Director of Graduate Studies.
Final authorization requires the signature of the Dean of Students.
c. Common Source Alcohol Containers
Kegs, beer balls, alcohol by the case, trash can punches or any other central sources of alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
d. Common Areas
Alcohol consumption or possession of an open container of alcohol is prohibited at any time in College owned or leased hallways, lobbies, lounges, stairwells, classrooms, studios, technical facilities, meeting spaces, bathrooms, outdoor areas, vehicles or any other public areas without prior written authorization. Students must obtain such authorization from the Dean of Students and employees must obtain such authorization from the College’s Director of Business Services.
e. Intoxication and AOD Impairment
All members of the Emerson community are prohibited from being intoxicated on Emerson College property or at Emerson sponsored events, regardless of age. The College also reserves the right to hold students accountable, regardless of age, for being intoxicated at off-campus, non-Emerson related events or locations. Behavioral symptoms frequently associated with intoxication will be considered in determining intoxication. These symptoms may include, but are not limited to, the following: impaired motor skill coordination, difficulty communicating, vomiting, glazed/red eyes, the smell of alcohol on one’s breath, verbal and/or physical aggressiveness, destructive and/or disruptive behavior and engaging in any behavior which may endanger oneself or others. Members of the Emerson community are further prohibited from performing employment duties or participating in classes and student activities while impaired due to the effects of AOD consumption, regardless of whether such impairment rises to the level of intoxication.
Students should be aware that the College may notify their parents or legal guardians if the College determines that their use or consumption of alcohol or other drugs poses a threat to their health or safety, regardless of whether such consumption occurs on or off-campus. At a minimum, when it comes to the College’s attention, parents or legal guardians will be notified when a student’s level of intoxication requires their being transported to a hospital.
f. Advertising and Postings
- No postings or announcements may be made, placed or distributed that promote a party or event where individuals under 21 years of age are likely to be served or consume alcohol.
- No postings or announcements may be made, placed or distributed that mention, make reference to, allude to or depict alcohol; promote, invite or encourage alcohol consumption; or mention or allude to the amount of alcohol to be served or consumed at a particular party or event.
- No postings, announcements, promotions or tickets sales may be made, placed or distributed for non-College-sponsored events at which alcohol will be served or consumed.
2. Student Alcohol Regulations
a. Parties, Activities, and Events
- Students and student organizations are prohibited from sponsoring an event, party or program where alcohol is served or consumed without written authorization from the Dean of Students.
- The commercial distribution of alcohol is prohibited.
- The manufacturing of alcohol is prohibited.
- Funding, donations, give-aways and other remuneration for Emerson College events and activities by the manufacturers, distributors or sellers of alcohol are prohibited without written authorization.
- Alcohol is prohibited from all Emerson College student and student organization orientation and initiation activities.
- No event may be held where a primary focus is the service and consumption of alcohol.
- All College-sponsored student organization events and activities at which alcohol will be served or consumed must have the event’s advertising approved by the Dean of Students or his/her designee.
- Student events where alcohol is served or consumed must follow the guidelines below:
a) Admission charges and/or undergraduate student activities fees may not be used for the purchase of alcohol.
b) Open bars or the serving of alcohol without charge is prohibited unless food and non-alcoholic beverages are also available free of charge. In addition, at least 25% of an event’s food and beverage budget must be used for the purchase of food, and at least 25% of an event’s food and beverage budget must be used for the purchase of non-alcoholic beverages.
c) Unless otherwise authorized by the Dean of Students, hosts or hosting organizations are required to provide food and non-alcoholic beverages as a part of any activity or event at which alcohol will be available via a cash bar. Food and non-alcoholic beverages must be available in sufficient quantities (in general, they should be available throughout the entire event) for the expected attendance of the event.
d) No alcoholic beverages are permitted to be brought into the function area by attendees.
- In addition, on-campus student events where alcohol is served or consumed must follow the guidelines below:
a) Alcohol permitted at an event will be restricted to beer and/or wine.
b) No alcoholic beverages are to be taken out from the function room.
c) Alcoholic beverage service will last no longer than three hours in duration, and is to end no later than 11:30 p.m.
- In addition, student organization sponsored events where alcohol is served or consumed must follow the guidelines below, unless otherwise authorized:
a) No alcohol other than what is served by the College’s dining services (for on-campus events) or a licensed server (for off-campus events) is permitted.
b) At least two members of the hosting organization and its adviser or designated faculty/staff member need to be present and not drink alcoholic beverages throughout the entire event. For on-campus events, the organization is responsible for arranging to have a member of the College’s Police Department present throughout the entire program.
c) Admission to the program will be restricted to currently enrolled Emerson students and members of the College faculty/staff. Students will be permitted to host one guest and may not leave an event without their guest. At on-campus events, students will be required to sign in their guest at the registration desk.
d) When deemed appropriate, students and their guests must demonstrate proof of age with a government issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport.
e) No one under 21 years of age will be admitted to an on-campus event. The members of the hosting organization, with the assistance of its adviser or designated faculty/staff member and a staff member from the College’s dining services will be responsible for monitoring entrance to the event throughout the duration of the program.
f) The College’s dining services (for on-campus events) or the licensed server (for off-campus events) will be responsible for managing the beverage bar in keeping with federal, commonwealth, and city alcoholic beverage laws and regulations. The hosting organization is responsible for insuring that the Emerson College AOD Policy is observed at all times.
- The College also reserves the right to discipline students, regardless of age, if the College determines that the student’s service of alcohol to others, including at off campus, private non-Emerson related events, negatively impacted the College’s relationship with, or reputation in, the greater community or posed a danger to any individual’s health or safety.
3. A. Residence Hall Regulations
- An individual 21 years of age or older may possess and/or consume alcohol only in his/her own room or in the room of another resident who is 21 years of age or older.
- An individual 21 years of age or older is prohibited from consuming alcohol or possessing an open container of alcohol in any room where individuals under the age of 21 are present.
- Personal possession of alcoholic beverages by any one resident 21 years of age or older combined with any guests in quantities exceeding one 12-pack of beer (144 ounces) or one half gallon (64 ounces) of wine or one pint (16 ounces) of liquor (80 proof maximum) or its equivalent is prohibited.
- An individual 21 years of age or older may possess and/or consume alcohol in the common area of a residential suite only if all suite mates and guests of the suite are 21 years of age or older.
- Residence hall activities fees may not be used for the purchase of alcohol.
- Individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from being in the presence of an open container of alcohol without written authorization.
- Alcoholic beverage containers of any kind (e.g. bottles, cans, etc.), even if they are empty, are not permitted in any student room except where a student is 21 years of age or older.
- Alcohol paraphernalia including but not limited to beer pong tables or funnels is prohibited.
- Smoking is prohibited in all Emerson College owned or leased buildings.
- Smoking is prohibited within the archway of the 80 Boylston Street entranceway during posted hours.
- Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of 150 Boylston Street.
- Smoking is prohibited in all Emerson College owned or leased transportation vehicles including buses, vans, shuttles, Police patrol cars and Facility Management vehicles.
- The retail sale of tobacco and tobacco products is prohibited.
- The commercial distribution of tobacco and tobacco products is prohibited.
- Funding, donations, giveaways and other remuneration for Emerson College events and activities by the manufacturers, distributors or sellers of tobacco and tobacco products are prohibited.
- Possession, use, manufacture, distribution or sale of illegal drugs is prohibited.
- Possession, use, manufacture, distribution or sale of drug paraphernalia (e.g. pipes, bongs, etc.) is prohibited.
- Being under the influence of any illegal drug is prohibited (see “Intoxication” under the All-College Regulations regarding alcohol).
- Knowingly being in the company of anyone who is using illegal drugs is prohibited.
- Unlawful distribution or abuse of prescription drugs is prohibited.
- Use of prescription drugs without a prescription is prohibited.