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Offices & Services

Student Handbook

Alcohol and Other Drugs- Expectations and Education

Washington College is dedicated to promoting a safe and healthy living and learning environment for all students. The College recognizes that student alcohol use and abuse is an issue that confronts all colleges and universities. Alcohol or other drug abuse adversely affects student success in and out of the classroom and is an issue with complex physiological, social, psychological, and legal dimensions. The following guiding principles are used to shape the College’s alcohol- and other drugs-related programs and services as well as the College’s expectations for students.

Core values at Washington College include: honor, trust, integrity, respect, civility, service, responsibility, and citizenship. These values are expected to influence individual and group decisions involving alcohol and other drugs.

Washington College adheres to all local, state, and federal laws and legal requirements. Students are expected to do the same.

To make informed choices about alcohol use, students are expected to educate themselves about the social, physiological, psychological, and legal consequences of consuming alcohol or other drugs. As an institution of higher learning, Washington College will use education as its primary method to raise awareness about alcohol use and abuse and to guide student behavior. Students are also expected to understand that as part of this educational approach, the College will hold students accountable should their actions violate alcohol and other drug policies.

Members of the Washington College community are expected to take appropriate care of themselves and others in the community, a demonstration of respect and a commitment to individual and shared responsibility. All members of the Washington College community are expected to intervene when necessary. If a student is perceived to be at risk, the College will take the steps needed to ensure student safety.

In an effort to provide support or assistance, the College may choose to notify parents or legal guardians of students who have violated College polices related to alcohol or other drugs. The decision to notify parents or legal guardians will be made according to the professional judgments of appropriate staff. The primary goal of notifying parents or legal guardians is to promote the safety, health, and well-being of the community and the student.

Expectations for Students

Students are expected to abide by applicable laws and College policies concerning the possession, purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages and other drugs and to conduct themselves in accordance with guiding principles outlined above. Explicit in these expectations is that students are responsible for making their own decisions and accept the consequences of those decisions.

Expectations for Student Groups

Student groups considering sponsoring or hosting events at which alcohol may be served are expected to use the guiding principles in designing, planning, and conducting their events. Students are required to complete the registration process in advance and receive the appropriate written authorization for events at which alcohol may be served. Event organizers are required to take appropriate precautions to prevent the unlawful and irresponsible consumption of alcohol. This includes abiding by applicable laws and existing College policies governing the purchase, sale, service, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. These expectations apply to all events or activities sponsored by student groups, whether the event or activity is held on or off campus.

Expectations for the College

The College is expected to:

  • View the student’s first year as a transitional year and therefore may be more likely to notify parents or guardians of dependent students of incidents concerning alcohol and/or drugs that have the potential to affect a student’s health, safety, or academic performance.
  • Intervene with appropriate measures when any student’s health, safety and/or academic success is perceived to be at risk.
  • Provide individualized and timely support and intervention for students who display alcohol- or other substance-related problems.
  • Maintain an alcohol and other drugs advisory group composed of students, faculty and staff members.
  • Implement a comprehensive alcohol education outreach effort informed by data collected from Washington College students about their alcohol related attitudes, knowledge, and behavior.
  • Provide information at appropriate times during the academic year to assist student organizations make educated decisions about the risks of, and whether to serve, alcohol at their activities.
  • Target programming efforts toward populations identified by campus research or the national research literature as more vulnerable to alcohol use and abuse.
  • Offer lively, enjoyable, safe and readily available activities designed to support a campus social culture free of alcohol and plentiful social opportunities for students who do not use alcohol regularly or at all.
  • Establish relationships with local vendors to promote compliance with policies and the law.