Alcohol & Other Drugs
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute honors its role as an educational institution by establishing policies and guidelines that regulate the consumption of alcohol on campus and by developing proactive alcohol and other drug awareness, educational, and behavior-change programs.
Rensselaer is committed to educational goals in this area. The Institute’s aim is to develop an alcohol and other drug policy that is clear and consistent; to inform and educate individuals with regard to the policy, and the risk factors associated with alcohol use and abuse; to create an environment that promotes low risk use, safety, and individual accountability; and to maintain a healthy campus community where problems associated with alcohol and other drugs are minimal.
The overall philosophy of the Institute is that each individual member of the campus community is responsible for his/her own actions. When making decisions to consume beverage alcohol or to provide beverage alcohol to others, individuals must be mindful of the inherent consequences and risks involved. In addition, individuals are responsible for understanding and complying with applicable laws. The Institute will not be responsible for enforcing State and Local laws, nor will it shield individuals from the legal consequences of their actions should they choose to violate these laws.
Rensselaer’s policies and regulations are designed to
encourage consistent and reasonable standards in our academic
community. It is expected that all members will contribute to
maintaining a positive and healthy environment by adhering to
this policy. The Institute Alcohol and Other Drug Policy
contains sections on:
- I. The Law: New York State Statutes Regarding Alcohol
- II. Institute regulations on alcohol (printed
- III. Procedures and guidelines for on-campus events at
which beverage alcohol is served
- IV. Specific area policies for alcohol
- V. The Law: Statutes Regarding Other Drugs
- VI. Institute regulations on other drugs (printed
- VII. Policy Enforcement
- VIII. Violations/Sanctions
- IX. Institute alcohol and other drug review
In accordance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act
(1989), the complete policy is available at is available
Alcohol and Other Drug Policy
Extra copies are available at the Student Health Center, or
by contacting Kevin Readdean.
INSTITUTE REGULATIONS ON ALCOHOL
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of alcohol is prohibited on Institute property or as part of any activity sponsored by the Institute. The administration at Rensselaer will not authorize events where drinking under the legal age, as determined by the State of New York will be knowingly permitted. Individuals and organizations who sponsor approved events involving beverage alcohol shall assume full responsibility and liability for the event and for the behavior of event participants.
In our continuing commitment to uphold the law and Institute policy, any Rensselaer recognized student organization found to have served alcohol to an underage individual at any event (on- or off-campus) will, at minimum, be subject to a mandatory two-semester suspension. In addition, all organization alcohol privileges are subject to revocation while a group is under investigation and for the duration of the disciplinary process.
A. Consumption of alcoholic beverages on
campus is permitted only by persons age 21 or older: In the
privacy of their rooms in residential halls; At campus events
where an alcohol permit has been obtained; In areas licensed
for beer and wine service.
B. Possession or consumption of alcohol
on campus by any person who is a student under age 21 is in
violation of the New York State (NYS) law and the Grounds for
Disciplinary Action (GDA) and a violation of Human Resource
Policy Guidelines if the person is an employee.
C. Any person under age 21 who
misrepresents his/her age in order to obtain alcohol has
violated the GDA if that person is a student. If that person
is an employee, policies of HR have been violated.
D. Any person who supplies or makes
alcohol available to someone under age 21 has violated NYS
statutes. If that person is a student, he/she has violated
the GDA; if that person is an employee, he/she has violated
E. In accordance with State law, no
money may be charged for any event at which beverage alcohol
is present unless a permit is obtained from the New York
State Liquor Authority.
F. An alcohol permit must be obtained
from the Alcohol Review Committee (c/o Student Health
Services) for any event occurring on Institute grounds at
which alcohol is served or present. Exceptions are: •
licensed designated area of the Rensselaer Union; • buildings
leased or rented to faculty, staff, or private groups. An
event (on- or off-campus) is defined as any gathering for a
specific purpose where there are more than six (6) people in
attendance and alcohol is present.
G. Campus events that are open to all
students, or where 20% or more of the attendees will be under
age 21, may not be granted an alcohol permit.
H. The consumption of alcohol or
possession of an open container of alcohol is prohibited in
all public or common areas on campus including, but not
limited to, corridors, stairwells, athletic facilities,
elevators, lounges, class rooms, labs, or outside campus
areas (i.e. Quad) unless an alcohol permit has been obtained
for a designated area. At no time may alcohol be consumed in
potentially hazardous environments.
I. Events shall not include any activity
which encourages the abusive use of alcohol.
J. The serving or availability of
alcohol at events being held in or about a predominantly
freshmen and sophomore residential halls is prohibited
without the written permission of Residential
K. The presence, possession, or use of
large quantities of alcohol on campus including, but not
limited to, kegs, beer balls, and any other bulk containers
of alcohol, is prohibited on Institute grounds with the
exception of areas holding a NYS license for beer and wine
L. Beverages containing grain alcohol
M. Alcohol will not be permitted at
Rensselaer athletic events.
N. Displays of any alcohol related items
or materials, including but not limited to alcoholic beverage
containers (empty or full), banners or signs, visible to the
public, are not allowed in any residential facility.
O. Off campus events: It is expected
that all Rensselaer faculty, staff and students will comply
with all governmental laws related to alcohol. Any Rensselaer
group that sponsors or hosts an off-campus event involving
alcohol must adhere to the Rensselaer Alcohol and Other Drug
P. Human Resources’ policies for exempt
and nonexempt staff are addressed in Section VI (Employee
Conduct) of the Human Resources Policy Manual (Revised 3/85).
Under "Offenses Meriting Disciplinary Action", #2 states
that, "Possessing liquor, narcotics, weapons, or explosives
on the campus without prior approval of an authorized
representative of the Institute" is a first degree offense.
The recommended disciplinary action for a first-degree
offense may be discharge.
INSTITUTE REGULATIONS ON OTHER DRUGS
The use, consumption, possession, sale, manufacture or transfer of any illegal drug or controlled substance (so defined by state or federal law) by any student or employee of the Institute for which the individual does not have a legal license or valid prescription, is strictly prohibited.
Rensselaer is an educational institution and not a law enforcement agency, and therefore does not apply sanctions of the law. However, Rensselaer will not disregard the law and will not shield individuals from the legal consequences of their actions should they violate the law. In addition, individuals who have violated the law are also subject to disciplinary action. Students will be disciplined according to the procedures in this document, faculty according to the Handbook for Academic Staff, and staff according to Section 800.5 (Drug Free Workplace) of the Human Resource Policy Guidelines (revised 7/03).