Drug and Alcohol Policy and...

Drug and Alcohol Policy


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Students and employees are reminded that members of the community differ in their convictions about the use of alcohol. Some have formulated positions which require them to abstain from its use. Others have not. Therefore, students and employees are requested to consider the consciences of others in the seminary. Those who abstain from alcohol use are requested not to condemn those who do not abstain from its use. Those who have not formulated positions requiring abstinence are requested to apply restraint whenever prudence or concern for another warrants it. In the interests of these sensitivities, alcoholic beverages and their consumption are prohibited on campus and at the Bookstore’s leased location.

Illicit drugs are strictly prohibited. The seminary will cooperate fully with local police in prosecuting offenders who possess, use, or sell drugs. The seminary has adopted strict disciplinary sanctions regarding possession, use, or sale of illicit drugs.

Any student or employee who unlawfully possesses, uses or distributes illicit drugs or alcohol will be subject to criminal sanctions provided by federal, state, and local law in accordance with the Controlled Substance Act. The sanctions under the federal Controlled Substances Act include imprisonment of up to life and fines for each violation. Under the Pennsylvania Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act, a person may be imprisoned for up to 15 years or fined up to $250,000 for each violation.

For updated information regarding the federal Controlled Substance Act, and penalties for the possession and trafficking of illicit drugs, please visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s website http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/ftp3.shtml. For information regarding the Pennsylvania Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device and Cosmetic Act, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health's website http://www.health.state.pa.us/pdf/ddc/ddcAct.pdf

The seminary considers a violation of the drug and alcohol policy serious and, subject to applicable law, will take the following appropriate actions itself in response to a violation:

  1. Any student or employee convicted by a court of law of being under the influence of alcohol, on- or off-campus, shall be given an immediate warning. A subsequent offense of the same nature, at any time, is sufficient cause for a three-year probation. Counseling may be required as a condition of continuing enrollment/employment. A subsequent offense of any nature, whether described or not described in this Policy, warranting probation which coincides with the probation described for this offense, is sufficient cause for termination of enrollment/employment after due process.
  2. Any student or employee convicted by a court of law of being under the influence of illicit drugs or of illicit possession or distribution of alcohol, on- or off-campus, shall be immediately placed upon a three-year probation and may be required to seek counseling as a condition of continuing enrollment/employment. A subsequent offense of the same nature, or of another nature, described in this section or not described in this section, warranting probation which coincides with the probation prescribed for this offense, is sufficient cause for termination of enrollment/employment after due process.
  3. Any student or employee observed, by two or more witnesses, to be in possession of alcoholic beverage in any seminary building or consuming alcoholic beverage on seminary property shall be given an immediate warning. A subsequent offense of the same nature, at any time, is sufficient cause for a three-year probation and counseling may be required as a condition of continuing enrollment/employment. A subsequent offense of any nature, described in this section or not described in this section, warranting probation which coincides with the probation prescribed for this offense, is sufficient cause for termination of enrollment/employment after due process.
  4. Any student or employee observed to be in possession of illicit drugs, on- or off-campus, shall be reported to law enforcement authorities. The seminary will cooperate fully in lawful prosecution, including testimony with regard to any accused in a court of law. Any student or employee arrested for such an offense may be suspended until proven guilty or innocent by a court of law. Any student or employee subsequently convicted of possession of illicit drugs shall have his or her enrollment/employment immediately terminated upon due process.

All employees of Westminster Theological Seminary must, as a condition of employment, abide by the terms of this policy, submit to drug and alcohol testing as requested, and report any conviction under a criminal drug statute for violations occurring on or off seminary premises while conducting seminary business. A report of a conviction must be made to Campus Life within five days after the conviction. This requirement is mandated by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

Please see the health risk information the following websites:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/health-effects

http://www.ifap.ed.gov/regcomps/doc0305_bodyoftext.htm

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Education and Prevention Programs

The seminary annually distributes to all students and employees information about the physical and psychological dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as a summary of legal sanctions. If an employee recognizes a personal addiction or abuse problem, he or she is encouraged to use the seminary’s health insurance plans, as appropriate, to address his or her problem. Conscientious efforts to seek help for an alcohol or substance abuse problem will not be noted in personnel records. In addition, the confidential nature of the employee’s counseling and rehabilitation for drug and/or alcohol abuse will be preserved. The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) is available to counsel and refer resources to anyone with need in this area. 

Westminster Theological Seminary will pay the cost of an initial counseling session at CCEF for any student or employee who needs help to overcome drug/alcohol abuse/addiction. CCEF may refer the student or employee to another provider of services for inpatient or outpatient treatment. Most services are provided by social workers, psychologists or psychiatrists at private offices, and clinics or hospitals. Services generally fall into one or more of the following categories: (1) counseling/therapy; (2) detoxification/treatment; and (3) rehabilitation/re-entry.  Some of these services may be at least partially covered by one’s health insurance.

Biennial Review

Biennially, the Student Development Office will review the drug and alcohol policy and seminary prevention of drug and alcohol abuse. As part of the review, it will do the following:

  1. Review the effectiveness of the drug and alcohol policy and seminary prevention of abuse and implement needed changes
  2. Review the number of drug- and alcohol-related violations and fatalities that occur on the seminary campus, at the seminary bookstore, and as part of seminary activities and are reported to seminary officials
  3. Review the number and type of sanctions imposed
  4. Ensure sanctions are consistently enforced.

This review will be provided upon request to the public.