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Substance Use Policy


The University of New Haven works with students to maintain an environment where students can develop holistically.  Our goal is to create a living and learning environment that supports healthy choices and lifestyles which enable students to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives.  Students are supported in making informed, responsible decisions in accordance with CT State Law and University policies.

The University provides opportunities for students to:
  • Become responsible citizens who make intentional decisions related to substance use.
  • Reduce the effects of substance use that impact student success both in and out of the classroom.
  • Empower individuals who can serve as advocates for reducing high-risk substance abuse on campus.  
  • Encourage social responsibility.
  • Sponsor alternative substance free social events and programs.
  • Live in substance-free housing where students who choose not to use substances can live in an environment where their lifestyle is supported by their peers.
  • Teach intervention skills which focus on the responsibility to intervene when others are engaging in high-risk behaviors.
  • Promote and publicize substance abuse intervention policies and education programs.
  • Build relationships with student organizations and their leadership relative to their engagement of substance abuse issues on campus.
  • Provide resources that will assist students who have substance abuse issues in developing a recovery plan.
  • Find it acceptable to choose not to use substances.
  • Refuse to condone excessive drinking or intoxication.
  • Understand that intoxication or substance abuse is not an excuse for misconduct or infringing on the rights of others.
Students will work with the University community to:
  • Encourage fellow students to make safe and healthy choices regarding alcohol use.
  • Discourage substance use which negatively impacts the university community.
  • Plan and implement substance free events on and off-campus.
  • Respect and appreciate the decisions of peers not to use substances.
  • Promote and advocate for a safe and caring environment where an individual can live and learn.
  • Assume responsibility for their well-being and the well-being of their peers.
  • Communicate that actions and inactions in regards to substance use will have a direct effect on their relationship with others and the University.
  • Demonstrate responsible behavior.
University policies and procedures provide both a guideline and system of accountability to aid in establishing and maintaining personal and community standards.

In compliance with all federal, state and local laws, the University of New Haven prohibits the possession, manufacture, sale, distribution, and unlawful use/abuse of any and all controlled substances and drugs.  The University also abides by and enforces Connecticut State laws regarding alcohol (sec. 30-89, 30-89a) which state that only persons 21 years of age or older may buy, deliver, consume, possess, or transport alcoholic beverages, and outlines legal obligations for persons exercising dominion over dwelling units.

 Alcohol Guidelines & Regulations:
  1. Use or possession of alcoholic beverages and the sale, delivery, or service to individuals under the age of 21 is prohibited by the University and Connecticut state law.
  2. Any public or private use of alcohol by students that leads to intoxication, intrusive, destructive, or violent behavior is unacceptable to the University community and will be treated as a conduct matter. Intoxication is defined as the point where the quantity of alcohol a person consumes exceeds the individual’s tolerance for alcohol and impairs behavioral or physical abilities.
  3. All students are responsible for discouraging alcohol-related behavior that is abusive to themselves or to others.  Any effort to induce or force a student to drink against his/her expressed desire is prohibited.  Students will be held accountable for their behavior at all times to include:
    1. Instances when they themselves are under the influence of alcohol
    2. Instances when they are involved with an individual who is under the influence of alcohol.
  4. Students and their guests who are 21 years of age or older may have alcohol in their living unit within the residence halls/apartments provided that:
    1. No minors with the exception of assigned roommates are present.
    2. The student of legal drinking age ensures that those residents of the living unit who are not of legal drinking age do not possess, consume or serve alcohol.
    3. Intoxicated individuals are not served.
    4. There is no appearance of underage consumption.
      Failure to enforce the above guidelines makes the host liable under the law, not only for serving alcohol illegally, but also for actions which the individual under the influence might take after leaving a room/apartment. Additionally, students involved will be referred to the University Conduct System for substance policy violations.
  5. The consumption of alcohol or possession of an open container (i.e. bottles, cans, cups, squeeze bottles, etc.) is not permitted on University grounds and in public areas such as hallways, lobbies, stairwells, elevators, common areas, etc with the exception of approved University sponsored events on campus. A closed container is defined as having the manufacturing seal intact.
  6. The presence, possession or use of common source containers of alcoholic beverages (including but not limited to kegs, beer balls, other bulk containers requiring a tapping device or spigot, punch bowls, trash cans, or other containers used as punch bowls) by individuals or groups is prohibited.  This includes common source containers at tailgate events on campus.
  7. Contests (drinking games) involving the consumption of alcohol and possession of any paraphernalia related to such contests are prohibited and will be confiscated if found.
  8. The use or possession of funnels to consume alcohol is prohibited.
  9. The use or possession of grain alcohol is prohibited.
  10. Alcohol is prohibited on any athletic field and at all athletic events.
  11. Receptions held in academic buildings are the responsibility of the academic departments sponsoring the event and must be in compliance with all state laws and University regulations.
  12. Operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited and subject to University and civil action.
  13. Violations of the Substance Use Policy posted on the internet (Facebook, Myspace, Email, Instant Messenger, etc.) may be subject to disciplinary action.
  14. Violations of the Substance Use Policy will be referred to the University Conduct System.
  15. Questions that involve employ¬ees’ use or abuse of alcohol should be directed to the Human Resources Office.
Guidelines for Events Involving Alcohol on Campus
  1. While alcoholic beverages are generally not permitted at student events, special requests from student groups, clubs and organizations for alcohol service (beer and wine only) at a campus event must be made in writing to the Associate Dean of Students at least three (3) weeks in advance of the event.  There will be no exceptions to the three (3) weeks in advance requirement.   
  2. A Facilities Use Request and Event Registration Form must be completed and the group’s faculty or administrative adviser must be present during the entire event to ensure that the sponsoring group adheres to State and Federal law and University regulations.
  3. The sale of alcohol is prohibited on campus except in the case of approved special events where the sale and service of alcohol is being conducted by the University Dining Services in accordance with State law and University policy.
  4. Alcoholic beverages may not be furnished, purveyed, dispensed, sold, delivered and/or offered on campus where admission is charged, donations accepted, or money exchanged for an activity under the sponsorship of any organization, group or individual, affiliated with the University, unless a permit is obtained by University Dining Services from the State Liquor Commission at least three (3) weeks in advance of the event.  The sale of alcohol is defined as occurring:
    1. when there is a charge by the glass, bottle, can, or pitcher;
    2. when there is either an admission charge or a charge for entertainment and the alcohol is free;
    3. when donations are requested;
    4. when money is collected in advance for the purchase of alcohol to be given away.
      All alcohol which requires a permit shall be dispensed by the University Dining Services.
  5. Event planners must make provisions to check identification and to prevent the interaction between those using alcohol legally and underage persons by having a separate serving/consuming area.  The serving and subsequent consumption of alcohol at registered events must be limited to a single defined area.  Alcoholic beverages cannot be taken from the defined area.  Sufficient space shall be designated for the service area to avoid congestion and related disruption.
  6. Positive proof of age (a valid State issued photo I.D.) is required at any event at which alcohol is served and/or consumed.
  7. The University requires that non-alcoholic beverages and food be served at all events where alcohol is present and encourages entertainment where appropriate.
  8. There must be established time limits for the serving of alcohol at any event.  Alcohol service/sale must end one (1) hour prior to the end of the event.
  9. The Associate Dean of Students and University Police may place limitations on the amount of alcohol permitted at any event.    Any violation of limitations or restrictions on the amount of alcohol permitted at any event will be treated as a disciplinary matter in accordance with university judicial procedures.
  10. Alcoholic beverages may not be offered as a prize, award, gift certificate or incentive by an individual, group, club, or organization.
  11. No social event shall include any form of “drinking contest” in its activities or promotion.
  12. Undergraduate Student Activity Fees may not be used for the purchase of alcohol.
  13. UNH students will be held responsible for the behavior of their guests at all University events.
Regulations Regarding Alcohol/Party Promotional Materials and Advertisements
  1. Posters, flyers, promotional mate¬rials, and other forms of public announcement from private individuals or student organizations advertising private parties shall not be permitted on campus or in any campus publication.
  2. Posters, flyers, advertisements, announcements, and any other materials containing references or logos promoting the sale or con¬sumption of alcohol are prohibit¬ed on campus and in any campus publication.
Residence Halls/Apartments
  1. Alcohol is not permitted in fresh¬men residence halls (Bixler, Botwinik, Bethel, Campbell, Dunham, Bergami Hall and Ruden) or in rooms, suites, or apartments in which all residents are underage students.
  2. Students and their guests who are 21 years of age or older may have alcohol in their living unit within the residence halls/apartments provided that:
    1. No minors with the exception of assigned roommates are present.
    2. The student of legal drinking age ensures that those residents of the living unit who are not of legal drinking age do not possess, consume or serve alcohol.
    3. Intoxicated individuals are not served.
    4. There is no appearance of underage consumption.
  3. The consumption of alcohol or possession of an open container, including cups and squeeze bot-tles, is not permitted in public areas such as hallways, lobbies, stairwells, elevators, or common areas.
  4. All visitors to the residence halls are responsible for compliance with these policies.
  5. Gatherings in the residence halls involving the service and con¬sumption of alcoholic beverages must be in compliance with the Residential Life alcohol and Party Policies described below and with Connecticut state law.
  6. The Residential Life staff reserves the right to ask you to open a bag if they suspect you are carrying in alcohol to a freshmen (dry) building.
Residential Life Party Policy

General Guidelines
  1. All parties are to be kept within the confines of the room/apartment/suite. Guests are not permitted to congregate in hallways or stairwells.
  2. Hosts are responsible for informing their guests of the alcohol and party policies and for ensuring that the only guests drinking are of legal drinking age. Please note: Underage individuals may not be in the presence of alcohol in the residence halls with the exception of underage assigned residents of the room or apartment. It is important to remember that serving alcohol to minors is a violation of university policy and Connecticut state law.
  3. All gatherings with 12 or more guests, excluding the actual residents of the room, must be registered with the Office of Residential Life. The maximum number of guests (excluding the residents) allowed in a room/apartment at any one times is:

    Room Size Max Number
    2-3 people 8 guests
    Apartment Size Max Number
    2-3 people 20 guests
    4-5 people 25 guests
    6-7 people 30 guests

  4. Your door must remain closed to keep the noise level down. Please remember to be considerate of your neighbors and their rights to privacy and quiet.
  5. Students who are under 21 will not be permitted to register a party with alcohol.
  6. Nonalcoholic beverages and food must always be offered and featured as prominently as alcoholic beverages.
  7. Students who are of legal drinking age are required to remove alcohol containers from the building and properly dispose of them by noon of the day following the party.
  8. Advertising, charging an admission fee, or asking for a donation is prohibited.
  9. Residential Life staff members will check on each registered party.
  10. Alcoholic beverages will be confiscated and disposed of by Residential Life staff member s when a student is in violation of the alcohol policy. Any alcohol, kegs, taps, containers, etc., that must be confiscated due to a policy infraction will NOT be returned to the host(s).
  11. Any violation of the party policy will be grounds for disciplinary action against an individual and/or the host(s) and guests found in violation shall be subject to restrictions on future residence hall visitation privileges and may face immediate removal from the residence hall.
Registration Guidelines
  1. Parties may be held only on Friday or Saturday nights and must be over by 1:00AM. Parties are not permitted during study, exam, or vacation periods.
  2. The gathering must be registered with a Resident Director in the Office of Residential Life by completing the appropriate form by noon on the Thursday prior to the party.
  3. The registered host(s) must remain present for the duration of the party.
  4. The Office of Residential Life will determine how many parties will be approved in any building on any given weekend. The staff will consider such factors as other events on campus, number of parties already scheduled in the building, etc.  ORL reserves the right to deny a party registration due to probationary conduct standing of the residents hosting the event.
Termination of Party / Confiscation of Alcohol

These actions will occur under conditions including, but not limited to, the following:
  1. serving minors;
  2. inappropriate use of alcohol: kegs, beer balls, grain alcohol, common containers, funnels, drinking games (e.g., beer pong, Beirut);
  3. extending the party after hours;
  4. exceeding the permitted number of guests;
  5. charging admission;
  6. an unregistered party;
  7. excessive noise (one warning given);
  8. rowdy and inappropriate behavior of guests, taking place either in or out of the room/apartment.

Examples of Sanctions for Violations of the Alcohol Policy

If the individual(s) involved in the violation cannot be identified, the sanction will be applied to all residents of a room/suite/apartment or to all members of a club/organization.

Level I Offense:  Underage individual in the presence of alcohol, empty alcohol containers in an area where students are not of legal age.  Minimum sanction of a letter of reprimand and referral to an online alcohol education program.

Level II Offense:  Underage possession or consumption, open containers with manufacturing seals broken, first violation involving a large and/or disruptive gathering and second level I violation.  Minimum sanction of referral to the BASICS group and a $100.00 fine.  

Level III Offense:  Intoxication, participation in or presence at contests involving the consumption of alcohol and  possession of any paraphernalia related to such contests,  supplying or serving minors, second level II violation, and/or second violation involving a large and/or disruptive gathering. Minimum sanction of referral to the BASICS group, parental notification, and a $200.00 fine.   

Level IV Offense: Possession of kegs, grain alcohol, or common source containers; possession or use of funnels.  Minimum sanction of 1 year disciplinary probation, parental notification, $300.00 fine.  If a first Level IV violation, minimum referral to the BASICS group; if a second Level IV violation, minimum referral to a one-on-one counseling session, and/or other appropriate actions as determined by the hearing body.

Level V Offense:  Fourth level II violation, third level III violation, any additional violations after a level IV violation, and/or any physical assault developing from intoxication. Minimum sanction of suspension or removal from the residence halls and/or the university and, parental notification.

Illegal or Controlled Substances, including misuse of prescription drugs
The manufacture, distribution, possession, sale, or use of any illegal or controlled substance, including misuse of prescription drugs is a violation of university regulations. Intentionally or recklessly inhaling or ingesting substances that will alter a students mental state is also prohibited.  Students who are suspected to have violated these regulations will be subject to university disciplinary action.  If found responsible students will face, but are not limited to, the following sanctions:

Examples of  Sanctions for Violations of  the Illegal or Controlled Substances Policy

Level I Offense:  Smell of marijuana smoke in a room/apartment or location on campus, possession and/or use of drug paraphernalia. Minimum sanction of referral to an online drug education class and a $100.00 fine.

Level II Offense:  Possession and/or use of unauthorized drugs, second level I violation.  Minimum sanction of a $300.00 fine, parental notification, 1 year disciplinary probation, referral to an individual substance use assessment, and possible removal from the residence halls and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

Level III Offense:  Sale, manufacture and/or distribution of drugs, second level II violation.  Minimum sanction of removal from the residence halls.  Additional sanctions may include suspension and/or expulsion from the University, and parental notification.

In addition, the student may be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution in these matters according to federal, state and/or local criminal codes that pertain to illegal or controlled substances.

The university reserves the right to inspect student rooms and property if reasonable suspicion of illegal activity exists.  Reasonable suspicion may be generated by, but is not limited to, observable substances or drug paraphernalia and/or the evidence of substance usage including the odor of marijuana.

To preserve the academic integrity and mission of the University of New Haven, university personnel will vigorously pursue investigations and enforcement of these policies.  The university has developed this policy in compliance with all federal, state and local laws.

The university distributes a drug and alcohol policy statement to all members of the UNH community on a yearly basis. Copies are available from the Office of the Dean of Students, Human Resources, in course registration books, and in the student handbook.

Substance Use Intervention Programs

Online Educational Courses
Alcoholedu for Sanctions and Marijuana 101 - interactive web-based programs that provide education on each substance, and feedback regarding self-reported use of alcohol and/or marijuana.
The BASICS Group is a two-session intervention intended to help those students who have reported incidences of underage or heavy alcohol use.  The focus of the group is to help students reduce alcohol consumption and problems that are caused and exacerbated by alcohol use. 

Individual Substance Abuse Assessment
Students will be assigned to meet individually with a psychologist at the UNH Counseling Center.  Referrals are intended for those students who have had repeated substance abuse violations, and/or for students who are at great risk for future problems.