Student Handbook

Alcohol Policy

Alma College is a Presbyterian-founded, private liberal arts college dedicated to the education of undergraduate students both intellectually and morally.   Realizing that an equal part of education occurs outside of the classroom, we seek to provide students with a supportive campus environment that will enable them to grow into the full possession of the many talents that they have been given.  

General Information

The College is against the misuse and illegal use of alcohol.  The college affirms that the decision to drink alcohol is a matter of personal choice and responsibility.  The negative effect on relationships, individual performance, health, safety, and on the overall quality of the campus community resulting from the misuse of alcohol cannot be tolerated.  It is recognized that the quality of the College’s environment rests with all members of the community.  In view of this, students, faculty, and staff must establish community standards and practices which will insist upon responsible behavior from those who choose to use alcohol, support those who choose not to use alcohol, and encourage all members of the community to conduct themselves as appropriate role models.  This occurs through comprehensive alcohol prevention initiatives, environmental management, and policy enforcement.

                                                                        Goals

In order to minimize the negative impact alcohol use has on the campus learning environment, the goals for the College with regard to alcohol is:

  • To reduce high-risk drinking at Alma College, including underage alcohol use and binge drinking behaviors.
  • To support members of the College community who choose not to use alcohol or drugs.
  • To encourage members of the College community to create and participate in activities which are substance free.
  • To enforce on College property applicable State, Federal and local laws and regulations regarding alcohol and other drug use.
  • To provide assistance (e.g., intervention, assessment, training, counseling and/or referral) for students, faculty and staff with regard to drug use and problem alcohol use.
  • To continuously review efforts and strategies including policies as best practices emerge and change.

 

Summary of Michigan Alcohol Law

In addition to the Alma College Alcohol Policy, all students and organizations are expected to abide by all laws. Some of the laws governing the state of Michigan are below. The full laws relating to the possession, consumption, and sale of alcoholic beverages is governed by MCL available at www.legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-Act-58-of-1998. 

  1. It is illegal for anyone under age 21 to purchase, consume, or possess alcoholic beverages. Fines and penalties of up to $500 and 90 days in jail may result.
  2. It is illegal to provide alcoholic beverages to or provide false identification for a person under age 21. Fines and penalties of up to $2,500 and 90 days in jail may result. If the provided alcohol causes the death of a minor, the penalty is 10 years imprisonment and/or $5,000.
  3. It is illegal for anyone who attends an educational institution to engage in or participate in the hazing of an individual. Hazing means an act directed against an individual that endangers the physical health or safety of the individual and that is done for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization. Hazing includes activities involving the consumption of alcohol. Fines and penalties of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail may result if the hazing results in physical injury. If the hazing is more serious, fines and penalties of up to $10,000 and 15 years in jail may result.

Alma College Alcohol Policy

These rules apply to all Alma College students and organizations. Failure to abide by this Policy may result in Disciplinary Sanctions.

  1. The sale of alcohol in any form or shape is not permitted on the Alma College campus. This includes direct or indirect charges for alcohol and donation collection for alcohol.
  2. Students under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcoholic beverages or host drinking in their room on campus. Students under age 21 will be found responsible for violating this policy if any one of the following conditions exists.
    • The student has alcohol and or alcohol paraphernalia in his/her possession including his/her assigned campus housing or car.  Possession is defined as any receptacle containing alcohol including the body.For the purpose of this policy alcohol paraphernalia is defined as any object that has contained alcohol.
    • The student appears visibly intoxicated.

3. No one shall provide alcoholic beverages to anyone under age 21.

4. No person may consume alcoholic beverages or carry open alcoholic beverage containers in the public areas of campus except under the provisions allowed in the alcohol related events policy. This includes, but is not limited to, any athletic fields and facility, residence hall hallways and common areas, campus buildings, and campus grounds.

5. Alcohol is not permitted on porches, roofs, decks or other exterior structures of College buildings, nor on their lawns or grounds.

 6. No common sources of alcohol or other concentrations of alcohol which require a common container are allowed on the campus or any of its facilities, e.g., trash cans, kegs. A common source will be defined as any container which holds more than ½ gallon of alcohol. Sanctions for having a common source may carry an additional fine of up to $1000.

7. Drinking games are not permitted. Students (and/or their guests) found to be participating in drinking games (i.e. beer pong, flip cup, etc.) are subject to the discipline process. Sanctions for drinking games may carry an additional fine of up to $1000.

 8. Students age 21 or older may choose to drink alcoholic beverages in the privacy of their residential rooms, provided that:

    • The students do not infringe upon the rights of others in or around the residence.
    • The number of open containers in the room do not exceed the number of people ages 21 and over in the room. In situations in which some students are over 21 years of age and others are under 21 years of age, possession of alcohol may be determined by the number of open alcohol containers in the room.  Students are permitted one open alcohol container per person over 21 years of age. Any additional open containers may indicate possession by students in the room who are under the age of 21.
    • The door to the room remains closed
    • The students are in compliance with the Guest and Visitation Policy
    • Students 21 years or older found with minors in possession of alcohol in their residence will be subject to additional sanctions for hosting
    • The number of people in the room is within the following fire code guidelines

No more than

  • eight persons in a North Campus room, a private room in a college owned house or two person apartment in Wright Avenue.
  • eight persons per room in a South Complex suite.
  • twelve persons per apartment in Wright Hall or 4 person apartment in Wright Avenue.
  • Occupancy levels should never exceed three guests per housed student per room.

 9. Furnishing or possessing a false identification is not permitted. False identification will be confiscated and/or destroyed. The student possessing the false identification will be subject to disciplinary action.

10.Intoxication and/or disruptive behavior associated with alcohol consumption is not permitted.

11.Alcoholic beverages may be present at sponsored student events on campus and at off-campus College sponsored student events only under the following conditions:

  • A college office, department, or student organization must sponsor the event.
  • Only persons age 21 or older may posses or consume alcoholic beverages. The sponsoring organization is solely responsible for enforcement of the 21-year-old drinking age.
  • Sponsors will check ID’s at the door and follow B.Y.O.B. Guidelines. (6 pack or one pint limit per of age guest) if not using a third party vendor.
  • Third party vendors are required for events with more than 80 attendees.
  • No sale of alcohol is permitted. This includes direct or indirect charges for the event and donation collection for the event.
  • The sponsoring organization must also serve non-alcoholic beverages and food.
  • The sponsoring organization must abide by all other College Alcohol Related Event and event policies.
  • The use of alcohol as an inducement to participate in the event is prohibited, and the availability of alcohol must not be the focus on any event advertisement.
  • Alcoholic beverages must not be present at any recruitment, new member, or initiation event.
  • On Campus Events where alcohol is served but do not include students must receive written permission from the Sector VP, in consultation with the President of the College.

Behavioral expectations and Sanctions

1. Behavior resulting in violations of College standards as a result of improper use of alcohol will not be excused.

2. Failure on the part of a guest to abide by the College’s regulations may also result in an official request to have the guest leave the campus.

Individual Student Sanctions

 

Sanctions

First Violation while an Alma College Student

Any one or more of the following:

1) $75 fine;

2) Referral to the Counseling and Wellness Center;

3) BASICS alcohol education enrollment and attendance.

 

Second Violation while an Alma College Student

Any one or more of the following:

1) $150 fine;

2) Referral to the Counseling and Wellness Center;

3) BASICS attendance;

4) Up to 5 hours of assigned community service;

5) Educational sanction.

 

Third Violation while an Alma College Student

Any one or more of the following:

1) Up to 15 hours of assigned community service;

2) Apology letter;

3) Disciplinary Probation leading to suspension for a fourth offence;

4) Referral to outside vendor substance abuse counseling at the offender’s expense.

 

 

Amnesty and Self-reporting

Alma College is concerned with its students’ safety and well-being.  Where possible, students who come to the attention of the College as a result of a violation of the Campus Alcohol Policy will be responded to in a restorative manner.  Students should never hesitate to seek help for alcohol-related incidents, particularly sexual misconduct and alcohol-related emergencies.

  • Students who seek appropriate medical help for others who are intoxicated or otherwise adversely affected by alcohol or other drugs are considered to be acting in the best interest of the individual in need. In most cases, if the Good Samaritan and/or the individual in need of help are, in violation of the Alma College alcohol or drug policy, they will both be exempt from formal campus disciplinary action, because they are acting in the best interest of another. The College desires to exempt the Good Samaritan and the individual in need of medical help from formal campus disciplinary action; however, as every situation is unique, these matters will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine if extraordinary or unusual circumstances would alter the desired practice.
  • Students who believe they need help with alcohol addiction or other substance abuse are directed to seek assistance with the Counseling Health and Wellness Center or other professional help and will not be subject to the Student Conduct Process or Disciplinary Sanctions for doing so.
  • The Good Samaritan/Medical Amnesty policy does not preclude the College from mandating involved students participate in the college’s alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs. This policy only precludes the students involved from the campus Student Conduct Process, but not from any medical, legal or other consequences/costs incurred as a result of their actions.

 Last Revision: 8/22/2014