Alcohol and Drugs
We often meet with students regarding alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct or the Residential Living Handbook that relate to drug or alcohol use. Our goal in these cases isn’t just to uphold university policy, but to support our students as they work to conform their behavior to both community expectations and all applicable local, state, and federal laws. Furthermore, we use the university’s conduct system to identify and address the particular needs of students experiencing (or at risk of developing) abuse and dependency issues. Our chief aim is to be educational and developmental, while still upholding the values and expectations that make our community extraordinary. We understand that students may be apprehensive about meeting with our office to discuss an incident involving underage alcohol or illicit drug use. The best way to approach this conversation is to be as open and honest as possible, so that we can best understand the situation.
When a student accepts responsibility for a drug or alcohol violation, or is found in violation through the hearing process, the student will receive both a standing sanction and one or more educational sanctions. While our practice does not include “mandatory” or “automatic” sanctions for every case, students should understand the factors that guide our sanctioning decisions:
- We practice progressive discipline for our standing sanctions.
- We assess each student’s particular circumstances, experiences, and potential needs before assigning educational sanctions. Our goal is to provide the most appropriate and useful intervention to better educate our students, help to avoid future violations, and to assess the presence of dependency or abuse risk factors.
- Because we engage in this holistic assessment each time we assign educational sanctions, it is important for students to be as honest and forthright as possible when speaking with their hearing officer. The more information we have, the better equipped we are to provide meaningful and impactful education outcomes for our students.
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to separate a student from our community as a result of either a serious violation of our standards and policies, or repeated violations of those same standards. In either case, we do not take the decision to separate a student lightly, and will help our students to connect with resources here in Columbus or back home so that they may continue to learn and grow. If a student is suspended, we sincerely hope that the time away from the university is productive, and we look forward to their eventual, successful return to our campus community.