Policy Statement

Mohawk Valley Community College is committed to an environment, which supports the academic success and health of our students. Alcohol abuse or the use of illicit drugs may be harmful to the user and may be harmful to the educational environment, an environment that must be conducive to learning.

Reason for Policy

Mohawk Valley Community College is committed to providing an environment where students, employees and guests have the right to study and work in a healthy and safe environment. The Student Code of Conduct specifically prohibits the use of alcohol or illicit drugs. These regulations are found in the Code of Conduct section of this handbook and on the College website.

Applicability of the Policy

All members of the College community, including visitors to the College, should be familiar with and abide by this policy.

The procedures for students are outlined below. The procedures for employees, contractors and vendors are outlined on the Office of Human Resources website.

This policy shall also apply to conduct of students, employees, contractors and vendors when representing the College at College sponsored events at off-campus locations including but not limited to campus activities, school sponsored trips, school sponsored study abroad programs and school sponsored social events.

Related Documents

  • Mohawk Valley Community College Student Handbook
  • Mohawk Valley Community College Office of Human Resources
  • New York State Penal Law, Article 220, 221
  • MVCC website

Procedures

The College prohibits the use, possession, distribution or sale of controlled substances at the College. Further, the College prohibits the use, possession, distribution or sale of alcohol except when authorized by the President.

The MVCC Student Code of Conduct broadens this policy in its residence halls to include but not be limited to being in a room where alcohol or drugs are present, possessing paraphernalia, selling or purchasing alcoholic beverages to minors and possession of empty alcohol containers.

There are recommended sanctions for violations of the Alcohol and Drug Policies. If a student is found responsible for violating the alcohol and drug policy through the standard judicial process, the sanctions include the following:

First Offense: Alcohol Infraction

(there may be additional repercussions from a Residence Hall perspective)

  1. Disciplinary Probation – the amount of time is directly related to the individual circumstances
  2. Educational component
  3. Notification of parent(s)/guardians (written) if permitted by law including without limitation to FERPA
  4. Specific notification within the first offense communication to the student and the parent(s)/guardians regarding the severity of a second violation and its subsequent sanction (dismissal from the Residences Halls) if the student is found responsible.
  5. Additional sanctions if deemed appropriate

Second Offense

  1. Dismissal
  2. Notification of parent(s)/guardians (written) if permitted by law including without limitation to FERPA

First Offense: All other drugs

(there may be additional/different repercussions from a Residence Hall perspective)

  1. Residence Hall dismissal, College dismissal

Compliance with Sanctions and Timelines

All sanctions will be communicated in writing with clearly established timelines for completion. If the student has not completed the sanction within the timeline and has not received approval by a Conduct Officer for an extension the student will be subject to additional sanctions.

Federal, State and Local laws prohibit the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, control, sale and dispensation of any illegal narcotic or dangerous drug. These laws carry penalties for violations, which range from fines to prison. The seriousness of the offense and penalty imposed upon conviction depend upon the individual drug and amount held or sold. It is noteworthy that a gift of drugs is treated as a sale under the law.

New York State Alcohol Beverage Control law sets twenty-one (21) as the minimum age to purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage. Parts of that law include:

  • Persons under 21 found possessing alcohol may be given a maximum fine of $50.
  • Persons convicted for fraudulently using a driver’s license to buy or attempt to buy alcohol may have their driver’s licenses suspended up to 90 days.
  • Persons convicted of buying alcohol through fraudulent means face a possible $100 fine and/or may be required to work up to 30 hours of community service work.
  • Persons convicted of selling, giving or serving alcohol to persons less than 21 years of age face significant fines.

Health Risks:

Risks associated with substance abuse cannot be easily summarized, but the information that follows should give the reader an appreciation of the severity of these risks.

Substance abuse is usually acute or chronic. An acute problem results from a single episode of drug/alcohol use such as sudden heart failure (cocaine use), an automobile accident with personal injuries or misbehaviors with legal ramifications. While under the influence of alcohol or drugs, rational decision-making may indeed be altered, which can result in many unwanted outcomes such as unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted disease, violence, and rape. Substance abuse by anyone can cause unwanted and unnecessary acute problems.

Chronic problems result from long-term habits of abuse of alcohol or drugs. It is typical for individuals with chronic problems to hide or deny the existence of a problem. In most cases, an individual’s ability to perform any task is diminished which negatively affects one’s relationships, ability to work and overall performance in life. Substance abuse creates changes in one’s life that are very gradual and many times the negative affects go unnoticed by the abuser and those around him or her. Addiction is a disease that is not easily detected in the early stages.

Symptoms of Addiction Include:

  • Drinking or getting high for relief
  • Increased tolerance
  • Feeling guilt or remorse (as a result of behavior while under the influence)
  • Negative attitude or blaming others for problems
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Complaints from family/friends about drinking or drug use
  • Decline in work performance
  • Inability to remember what happened when drinking (blackouts)

Counseling and Treatment Programs

If you, or a friend, have a problem (or suspect a problem) with alcohol or drug abuse, there are several ways you may seek assistance or support. MVCC has a number of counselors who can assist students who have concerns with alcohol or drug abuse. These counselors can also refer individuals to off-campus services if desired. Contact the Counseling Office at 315-792-5326.