Alcohol and 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:

In accordance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (1989), the complete policy is available at is available at: Rensselaer Alcohol and Other Drug Policy


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.


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).

Last modified: Oct 5, 2017