Rockland Community College (the College) is committed to providing a safe work and learning environment and to fostering the well-being and health of the College community. The College recognizes that the misuse and abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs negatively affect an academic community. This can be exemplified by decreased productivity of members of the community, increased physical and mental health problems, strained social interactions and various forms of violence and vandalism. Problems associated with the illicit use and abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal substances have a pervasive impact on our academic community and are not limited to a singular age level or socioeconomic group. The harmful effects of alcohol and illegal drugs can impair the process essential for learning and effective participation in the richness of the academic experience.
In compliance with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) Amendments (Public Law 101 -226), the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations, and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988; and in keeping with its mission, the College strictly prohibits the possession, use, or distribution of any controlled substance and/or alcohol on College property or at any College-sponsored function, including but not limited to off-campus activities such as during the course of College-sponsored field trips, College-sponsored social activities, or College-sponsored study abroad programs. In addition, employees are prohibited from on-the-job use of, or impairment due to the use or abuse of alcohol or controlled substances. Students are prohibited from impairment due to the use or abuse of alcohol or controlled substances, or appearing in an intoxicated or altered state on College property or at any College-sponsored function.
This policy applies to all College employees, whether full or part-time, including faculty, staff, and administrators; and students, whether full or part-time. A person is identified as a student subject to this policy if they are registered for study at the College without regard to whether the course of study is for credit or credit free.
Exemptions to Policy
- Authorized Prescription
Where permitted, an employee may possess and use a controlled substance that has been properly prescribed to him/her by a physician provided such prescription does not interfere with the employee’s ability to perform necessary job functions.
- Non-College Event
Beer and wine (only) may be sold or served at commercial events not sponsored by the College per guidelines as approved by the President. However, even if beer and wine is authorized to be sold or served on campus, the prohibition regarding use by individuals subject to this policy is still in effect.
- Sanctions: The possession, use, or distribution of any controlled substances and alcohol on College property or at any College-sponsored function shall be considered a serious form of misconduct. The College will respond swiftly and promptly to any known violations of this policy. This response may include:
- Students: Students violating this policy will be considered to be violating the Student Code of Conduct and shall be subject to disciplinary action (as described below) and referral for criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of applicable, federal, state and local law depending upon the nature and gravity of the infraction and the degree to which violation of the policy adversely affected the well-being of the community or the fulfillment of the College’s mission. Penalties for these actions will be administered by the Vice President of Student Services, in accordance with the rules and procedures administered by him or her. Penalties range from a warning, referral for an appropriate assistance program, confiscation, restitution, suspension, dismissal, up to and including expulsion. Students are responsible for their conduct at all times, and the fact that a student was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance will not be considered an excuse for their conduct or a mitigating factor in any disciplinary or academic action taken against them, except as permitted by the College’s Policy for Drug and Alcohol Amnesty in Sexual Violence and Interpersonal Violence Cases (found in the Student Code of Conduct). Depending upon the particular circumstances, continued attendance at the College by students who violate this policy may be made expressly contingent upon satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance, counseling and/or rehabilitation program. NOTE: A conviction for the sale or possession of illegal drugs may affect a student’s eligibility for federal student financial aid. For more information students can refer to the Federal Student Aid Webpage at: http://www.ifap.ed.gov.
- Employees: Employees violating this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action (as described below) and referral for prosecution, in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements, and subject to criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of applicable, federal, state and local law. Disciplinary action for employees include, but are not limited to, an oral or written reprimand, suspension, up to and including termination from employment, referral for an appropriate assistance program, and referral for criminal prosecution, when appropriate. Employees should refer to the collective bargaining agreement, if any, to which they are subject for additional prohibitions, penalties/sanctions and assistance information.
Students and employees are reminded that federal, state and local law provides for a variety of legal sanctions and penalties for the unlawful possession or distribution of controlled substances and alcohol. These penalties include, but are not limited to, incarceration and monetary fines.Pursuant to the Drug-Free Workplace Act, any employee who is convicted of a violation of any criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace must submit notification to the Office of Human Resources in writing, no later than five (5) days after the criminal conviction. Notice must be received on or before the 5th day after the criminal conviction. This reporting requirement is a term and condition of employment.
- Controlled Substances Defined: Controlled substances include the many substances covered by the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 811). See, Schedules I – V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and Schedules I-V of New York State Public Health Law Section 3306. All so-called “street drugs” (heroin, crack, cocaine, marijuana, speed, acid) are controlled substances.
- Drug Free Awareness Education and Prevention Program: The College offers prevention education programs designed to increase awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and available support services.
- Distribution of Policy: In accordance with federal guidelines, notification to all students and employees will occur annually. The Vice President of Student Services is responsible for distributing this policy to all students annually. The Director of Human Resources is responsible for distributing this policy to all employees annually.
- Biennial Review: The College will conduct a biennial review of this program to determine its effectiveness and implement changes to this policy/program as needed to ensure that the disciplinary sanctions are enforced consistently.
The appendices will be updated biennially, and such updating will not require approval by the College’s Board of Trustees.
A description of the applicable legal sanctions under New York State law for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol is listed in Appendix A.
A description of the applicable legal sanctions under Federal law for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol is listed in Appendix B.
A description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs is listed in Appendix C-1 and a description of the health risks associated with the abuse of alcohol is listed in Appendix C-2.
A description of available drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation or re-entry programs is listed in Appendix D.