Alcohol and Drug Use/Abuse

Introduction and Philosophy Statement

As an institution of higher education, Southwest Minnesota State University strives to provide experiences that enhance the development of responsible behavior in the academic social areas of student’s lives. In accordance with the Standards of the Network of Colleges and Universities Committed to the Elimination of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (1988), Southwest Minnesota State University’s goal is to create a campus environment that promotes learning, along with healthy, responsible lifestyles. Respect for campus, as well as community standards and regulations, is supported by the University. Alcohol abuse and illicit drug use are viewed as contrary to the educational process and goals of higher education.

Southwest Minnesota State University recognizes that students are adults, ultimately responsible for their own conduct, and responsible for the consequences of their behavior, as well. Student’s are expected to adhere to state and University regulations. Campus violators of the following alcohol/drug policies are subject to disciplinary actions.

Campus Alcohol/Drug Prevention Program Goals

Southwest Minnesota State University operates an alcohol/drug prevention program, which prescribes an institution-wide effort and collaboration with the community-at-large. The five major goals of this program are outlined as follows:

  1. Increased awareness about alcohol/drugs and the consequences of use/abuse for SMSU students, and responsible decision-making about chemical use.
  2. An enhanced campus environment where illicit drug use and alcohol abuse are perceived as negative by students.
  3. Improved collaborative drug prevention networking with the local community and resources within the regional area.
  4. Establish effective campus resources for early intervention, referral, evaluation, and treatment.
  5. Establish clear, effective institutional policies regarding alcohol/drug use by SMSU students.

Campus Alcohol/Drug Prevention Student Services

Southwest Minnesota State University has designated a coordinator of alcohol/drug prevention programming. The person is responsible for coordinating campus-wide services for SMSU students dealing with alcohol, drugs, and related issues. The person coordinating the alcohol/drug prevention program is located in the Counseling and Testing Center, BA 156, 537-7150.

BACCHUS (Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students)

BACCHUS is a national organization that promotes positive alternatives to drinking for college students. The BACCHUS Chapter at SMSU offers non-alcoholic bar programming on campus. Any SMSU student is eligible to join this group.

State & Municipal Laws, and University Regulations

Several state and local laws as well as University regulations impact the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons in the University community. These laws and regulations govern all persons, regardless of age or status. The University policy with respect to alcohol follows state and municipal laws of Minnesota and the city of Marshall. These laws apply regardless of the state or country from which a person has come or in which the person maintains official residence.

It is the responsibility of the server or consumer of alcoholic beverages to be aware of, and abide by, all state and local laws and University regulations. These statutes and regulations are summarized and highlighted here for general use, and may not cover all situations. A more complete description of the statutes is available in the SMSU Library in the reference section.

Listed below are some of the provisions of state and municipal law. This is not an exhaustive or complete list of legal responsibilities. Other statutes, regulations, and ordinances may apply. In addition, common law concepts of negligence and liability may also apply.

Alcohol on Campus

Possession, consumption, distribution, or knowingly being in the presence of alcohol on University property is prohibited.

Exception: The one-time (single event) use of alcohol or 3.2% malt liquor (beer) at Southwest Minnesota State University events shall be allowed under the following criteria:

The President of Southwest Minnesota State University has been delegated the authority to approve use of alcohol or 3.2% malt liquor (beer) at specific campus or at University sponsored events off campus consistent with MnSCU Policy 1 A.9, and SMSU Policy G-012.

Use or Possession of Alcohol and Controlled Substances at MN State Institutions

The sponsor of the event must take proper steps to insure any person under the legal age as specified by Minnesota statues is not served any alcoholic beverage or 3.2% malt liquor upon the premises or grounds of Southwest Minnesota State University or at any Southwest Minnesota State University sponsored off campus event.

Use or Possession of Medical Cannabis (Marijuana) at MN State Institutions

Although the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Law and program allows seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, the Controlled Substances Act, the Campus Security Act, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Policy 5.18 Alcoholic Beverages or Controlled Substances on Campus. Therefore, the use, possession, production, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana, including Medical Cannabis, continues to be prohibited while a student is on college or university owned or controlled property or any function authorized or controlled by the college or university.

Note: While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, SMSU reserves the right to correct any clerical errors herein. Also, you can submit feedback.