The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 (the "Act") requires all institutions of higher education, as a condition of receiving any form of federal financial assistance from any federal agency on or after October 1, 1990, to certify to the United States Department of Education (the "Department") that they have adopted and implemented programs to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees.
At a minimum, the Act requires each institution to distribute to all of its students and employees the following: (a) a statement of standards of conduct that clearly prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on the institution's property or as part of any of its activities; (b) a description of the applicable legal sanctions under local, state and federal laws for the possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol; (c) a description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol; (d) a description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, rehabilitation or re-entry programs that are available to the institution's employees or students; and (e) a statement that the institution will impose sanctions on students and employees who violate its standards of conduct relating to illicit drugs and alcohol, and a description of those sanctions. The sanctions must be progressive (up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution), and consistent with federal, state and local laws.
Regis College honors without exception the laws of the city, state, and nation and expects its constituents to do the same. All members of the Regis College community are required to abide by the policy statement set forth herein.
The university's alcohol policy is reviewed periodically in the context of Massachusetts law regarding alcohol consumption, the legal issues associated with alcohol-related accidents, and the university's concern that alcohol be consumed in a responsible, moderate, intelligent manner, in conformity with all pertinent laws. In outlining the alcohol policy, the university states unequivocally that alcohol may only be consumed by individuals who are twenty-one years of age or older. Failure to abide by this may result in dismissal from the university and or residence hall. Regis College honors all federal, state, and local laws without exception. No member of the Regis community may be under the influence of alcohol.
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol increase the incidence of a wide variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.
Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucination, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver.
Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other children of becoming alcoholics.
Regis College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance by members of the community on the university's campus, or outside of campus, while working for or representing Regis in any way, including student internship or cross-registration.
Regis College recognizes the dangers of drug abuse in the university environment and will educate members of the community about these dangers. No member of the university may be under the influence of drugs.
Local, state, and federal laws make illegal use of drugs and alcohol serious crimes. Convictions can lead to imprisonment, fines, and assigned community service. Courts do not lift prison sentences in order for convicted persons to attend college or continue their jobs. A felony conviction for such an offense can prevent a person from entering many fields of employment or professions.
Cities and towns in Massachusetts, specifically Weston, prohibit public consumption of alcohol and impose fines for violations. The Metropolitan District Commission also prohibits public consumption of alcohol in its parks.
Massachusetts laws prohibit sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages to persons under twenty-one with a fine of up to $2,000 and six months imprisonment, or both. Misrepresenting one's age or falsifying an identification to obtain alcoholic beverages is punishable by a fine of $300. First conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol has a $500 to $5,000 fine, one year revocation of drivers license, up to two-and-a-half years in prison, and mandatory alcohol rehabilitation.
Massachusetts has criminal penalties for the use of controlled substances or drugs, with penalties varying with the type of drug. In general, narcotic, addictive, and drugs with a high potential for abuse have heavier penalties.
Possession of drugs is illegal without authorization. While penalties for possession are generally not as great as those for manufacture and distribution of drugs, possession of a relatively large quantity may be considered distribution. Under both state and federal laws, penalties for possession, manufacture, and distribution are much greater for second and subsequent convictions. Many laws dictate mandatory prison terms and the full minimum term must be served.
Massachusetts makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be "in the company" of a person known to possess heroin. Anyone in the presence of heroin at a private party or dormitory suite risks a serious drug conviction. Many laws dictate mandatory prison terms and the full minimum term must be served.
Persons convicted of drug possession under state or federal laws are ineligible for federal grants and loans for up to one year after the first conviction, five years after the second; the penalty for distributing drugs includes the loss of benefits for five years after the first, ten after the second, permanently after the third conviction. Under federal law, distribution of drugs to persons under twenty-one is punishable by twice the normal penalty with a mandatory one year in prison; a third conviction is punishable by mandatory imprisonment. These penalties apply to distribution of drugs in or within 1,000 feet of a college or school.
Federal laws set substantially higher prison sentences for the manufacture and distribution of drugs if death or serious injury results from the use of the substance.
Failure to honor any policy may subject the violator to criminal and civil charges (including substantial civil damage claims) and imprisonment as well as university judicial or administrative action, up to and including termination of employment and/or dismissal from Regis College or residency.
The designated referral person available to all members of the Regis College community is the University Counselor. A licensed mental health clinician is on campus five days a week and provides 24-hour emergency coverage. Appropriate referrals are made when necessary. All discussions and sessions with the counselor are considered confidential and will not appear on university records. Appointments with the counselor can be made by calling Health Services.