Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy
Statement of Purpose
Wellesley College is committed to providing an environment of well-being, learning, and accountability for its members. To this end, the Wellesley College Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy is grounded in four community standards derived from the Honor Code:
- Compliance with governing law and College policies;
- Respect for the Wellesley College community by minimizing the impact of alcohol and other drug use upon others;
- Care for one’s own health and well-being; and
- Prevention of harm and seeking of assistance and support for self or others.
This policy informs students of their individual, group, and community responsibilities regarding alcohol and other drugs, the College's response to violations, and the resources available for addressing alcohol and other drug-related concerns. Campus Police and Residential Life Professional Staff have primary responsibility for enforcement of this policy.
The Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy applies to all Wellesley College students and student groups whether they are on or off campus.
The first three community standards establish the basis for Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy violations.
Students are expected to comply with governing law and College policies regarding alcohol and other drug use, which adhere to the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. Wellesley College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by students and employees. (See Legal Sanctions section and Appendices A-D.) Examples of behaviors that violate this Community Standard include, but are not limited to:
- Causing another person to ingest alcohol or other drugs without that person’s consent, or coercing a person, even subtly, to ingest alcohol or other drugs.
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs when operating a vehicle is contraindicated.
- Attempting to purchase or purchasing, possessing, or otherwise having control of alcoholic beverages, or making arrangements with any person to purchase or procure alcohol beverages, if under the age of 21.
- Delivering, furnishing, or otherwise providing alcohol to person(s) under the age of 21.
- Engaging in the private sale of alcohol or other drugs, informally or through websites or social media sites or applications used for private commerce, regardless of whether the purchaser is of legal drinking age.
- Procuring the commercial delivery of alcohol to Wellesley College, except for events where alcohol has been ordered through the Office of Student Involvement in compliance with Appendix A.
- Non-compliance with the requirements of the Procedures Pertaining to the Use of Alcohol at Student Events Held in Common Spaces on Campus (Appendix A) by a student group.
- Purchasing, procuring, possessing or otherwise having control of or using illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, or prescription drugs that have not been properly prescribed to the person, or attempting to do so. Marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law.
- Providing, distributing, manufacturing, or selling illegal or prescription drugs to another person, or attempting to do so.
- Smoking or vaporizing any illegal substance in any College building, which includes but is not limited to one’s residence hall room. Such conduct also violates the Residential Life No-Smoking Policy.
- Mixing or compounding drugs, including manufacture of synthetic drugs.
- Increasing the alcohol content (proof) of a drink or the potency or purity of a drug.
Students are entrusted with the responsibility of creating a respectful environment and reducing the risk of harm caused by alcohol and other drug use. Examples of behaviors that violate this Community Standard include, but are not limited to:
- Possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage in public/common areas or on the grounds of the College, except at registered events (See Appendix A) or causing odor, vapor, or smoke to enter a public or common area or another resident’s room. Common areas include:
- Any area within a residence hall other than a resident’s room.
- Any outdoor area.
- Any other College building or facility
- Engaging in hazardous or disruptive conduct, which may include, but is not limited to, any of the following acts:
- Drinking games or contests involving the consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
- Coercing others, even subtly, to consume alcohol or other drugs.
- Encouraging others to misuse alcohol or other drugs, or to otherwise violate this policy.
- Damaging or destroying College property or another person’s property.
- Engaging in physically or verbally abusive behavior.
- Engaging in physically dangerous behavior.
- Engaging in behavior that involves alcohol or other drugs and constitutes hazing. Such conduct also violates the Wellesley College Hazing Policy.
Alcohol and other drug use can have serious, harmful health consequences. Effects can be immediate and unpredictable, such as alcohol overdose, cardiac arrest, or death, or more subtle and long term, leading to addiction, chronic illness or permanent disability. Tolerance for a particular drug varies from person to person and is dependent on many factors, including the strength of the drug and the condition of the person taking the drug. Self-care requires informed decision-making and safe practices regarding the use of alcohol or other drugs. Examples of behavior that may violate this Community Standard include, but are not limited to:
- Use of alcohol or other drugs to the point of intoxication, the signs of which may include a diminished ability to walk or stand, vomiting, loss of consciousness, verbal or cognitive incoherence, or aggressive or violent behavior.
- Consuming drugs and alcohol together when such use is contraindicated.
- Use of prescription drugs other than as prescribed.
- Use of illegal drugs.
The fourth community standard establishes the circumstances in which an Alcohol and Other Drug Policy violation may be waived.
Students are expected to be educated, empowered, and engaged in preventing and responding to harm related to alcohol or other drug use. In particular, students are expected to learn about alcohol and other drug use on college campuses, acquire skills to prevent harm from alcohol or other drug use as active bystanders when reasonable to do so, and respond effectively to potential harm from alcohol or other drug use.
Responsible Action Clause
Students should call Campus Police (on campus) or 911 (off campus) when alcohol or other drug use requires prompt medical attention. The Associate Director of Residential Life & Coordinator of Community Standards and Integrity generally will waive an Alcohol and Other Drug Policy violation for a student seeking medical treatment or for assisting another person in obtaining medical treatment for an alcohol or drug-related overdose.
A student for whom an Alcohol and Other Drug Policy violation is waived is required to meet with a Residence Life Professional Staff member, a health educator, or a member of the Stone Center Counseling Service. In cases involving alcohol or marijuana, the student will also be required to complete an online education program. If a student is involved in multiple alcohol or other drug related incidents, the student may also be required to attend counseling at the Stone Center Counseling Service, and/or to enter into a care agreement specifying what resources and supports the student will engage, the duration of the agreement, and the consequences for failure to successfully complete the agreement terms. Repeated waivers may be indicative of concerns sufficiently serious as to require additional response from the Dean of Students, including, but not limited to, residential probation or loss of College privileges.