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Alcohol and Drug Prevention Policy
Statement of Purpose
As a recipient of federal grants and contracts, the following policy has been developed to ensure compliance with both the Drug-Free Work Place Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. Students are herein notified of the standards of conduct which shall be applicable while on Western Kentucky University property, and or participating in University-sponsored activities. Conduct which does not comply with this policy poses unacceptable risks and disregard for the health, safety, and welfare of the University community. Students may be subject to disciplinary sanctions up to and including expulsion and /or referral for prosecution for violation of this policy.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy
Western Kentucky University prohibits the unlawful use (or as restricted by university policy), possession, manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by its students and employees on its property or as part of any of its activities. Persons who violate this policy may be subject to campus disciplinary action and referral to law enforcement agencies. Students found to have committed a violation of this policy may be subject to University sanctions that may include: probation, suspension, or dismissal. The level of sanction will be determined by assessing the seriousness of the breach of policy, effect the conduct has on the institution, and the assessed probability that other violations will not be committed by the person(s) in the future. The minimum sanction for illegal sale or distribution of drugs includes separation from the University and referral for prosecution. Referral to treatment programs will be mandated when appropriate.
Distribution of Policy
At least annually, Western Kentucky University shall inform students of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse on campus, the existence of this policy statement, its penalties for violations and of available drug and alcohol counseling, rehabilitation, and assistance through the following actions:
1. Appropriate publication, at least annually, of this policy in appropriate student publications and distribution to students in WKU’s international programs and to study abroad participants;
2. Insertion of this policy in future editions of student class schedules and/or registration materials, student handbooks, and student catalogs;
3. Dissemination of this policy and related information at student orientation events and distribution of information concerning assistance programs and available rehabilitation programs; and
4. Continuation, and expansion, of the drug and alcohol awareness program and publication of pamphlets and other materials.
Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Drug Abuse
1. Alcohol: Effects
Information concerning alcohol and its effects appear on the WKU Student Wellness website.
2. Controlled Substances: Effects
There are many serious and potentially irreversible or life-threatening effects from the use of controlled substances. A summary of these effects is available on the WKU Student Wellness website.
Information regarding appropriate responses to students perceived to be under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit drugs while engaged in University activities or on University premises is available on the Judicial Affairs website.
Penalties and Sanctions
Under University regulations, students who violate the standards of conduct relating to alcohol and other drug use may be subject to disciplinary action under student disciplinary process. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, warnings, restricted University participation, parental notification, suspension from the University or probation, suspension or termination of employment. Students who reside in Western Kentucky University housing are subject to additional disciplinary action which may vary from a warning to termination of their housing contract. Specifically defined sanctions for conduct violations appear in the Student Handbook.
In addition to University sanctions, individuals may face prosecution and imprisonment under state and federal laws which make such acts felony and misdemeanor crimes. Under University regulations, and state and federal drug laws, the gravity of the sanction depends on the classification of the controlled substance, the particular activity (possession or trafficking, which includes manufacture, sale, and possession with intent to sell) and amounts involved, and whether it is a first or multiple offense or conviction.
Charts detailing Federal Penalties and Sanctions for Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Penalties of Kentucky Law for Driving under the Influence (KRS 189) appear on the Judicial Affairs website.
Additional information pertaining to federal penalties for certain drug-related offenses by the federal government appears on the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration web site.
Resources for Education and Treatment
Education and treatment resources are available to Western Kentucky University students including: 24-hour emergency numbers; self-help groups and alcohol and drug treatment programs. Not all resources have been screened by Western Kentucky University and as such the University makes no specific endorsement or recommendations to any one program.
Review of the University Program and Policy
Biennially, the University shall review its “Alcohol and Drugs Prevention Program and Policy on Alcohol and Drugs” to determine effectiveness and to ensure that the University’s disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced. In order to accomplish this, Western Kentucky University will review the number of drug and alcohol related disciplinary actions; drug and alcohol related treatment referrals; drug and alcohol related incidents and/or vandalisms recorded by campus police and by measuring student attitudes and perceptions concerning drug and alcohol use through various assessment instruments.
Required Reporting for Drug Related Convictions
Under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, as a condition of continued employment and in addition to the other requirements of this policy, any employee who works in any capacity under a federal grant or contract must notify his or her University supervisor, department head or the Department of Human Resources, in writing, of his or her conviction for a violation of any criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace or on University business no later five days after such conviction. Within 30 days after receiving such notice, the University shall take appropriate action and remedies within its policies. If the employee is under a federal contract or grant, the University shall notify the contracting or granting agency of the conviction within ten days. This section is also applicable to students who receive a Pell grant (federal grant). The University will continue make a good faith effort in continuing to maintain a drug free work place through implementation of the requirements of this act.