Student Handbook

Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)

| Sanction Chart | Medical Amnesty | Alcohol | Drugs | Smoking

Skidmore College, in accordance with New York State Law, regulates the use and possession of alcohol and other drugs on campus. The College's main objective in this regulation of AOD is to provide a safe environment that promotes academic success as well as physical and psychological health on both the individual and community levels. Research has shown that as student alcohol use increases, academic success lessens. Furthermore, AOD use and abuse are associated with increased risk to physical well-being as instances of interpersonal violence, sexual violence, and unintentional injury increase with use of these substances. The College is particularly concerned with occurrences of DWI/DUI and alcohol overdose that are associated with alcohol abuse. At a psychological level, AOD use and abuse has been linked to suicide, depression, anxiety, interruptions in cognitive development in young adults, and addiction issues. Additionally, high rates of alcohol abuse often lead to heightened levels of vandalism and lessened participation in campus and community life. For these reasons, the College considers the abuse of AOD a public health problem and works to reduce AOD abuse among students.

The College understands that students make their own choices about AOD. However, the College also believes that students should also be held accountable for their choices. The College will not ignore violations of the law or the Skidmore regulations elaborated in this policy. The College will discipline students whose conduct undermines the vitality of the academic community.

AOD policy sanctions hold students accountable for breaking college policy and contain an educational component. If a student's conduct includes honor code violations in addition to AOD violation(s), they will be held responsible for those choices as well. From an educational standpoint, AOD sanctions provide students with information on AOD and encourage informed decision-making, offering students the opportunity for individual growth and empowerment. The College encourages students who are found in violation of the AOD Policy to discuss, reflect on, and receive support around issues that may contribute to AOD abuse and/or addiction and provides those students with the resources to do so. Ultimately, AOD sanctioning prepares students to be responsible citizens both at Skidmore and in their future communities.

The following table, "Actions and Sanctions for violations of Skidmore College's Policy on Alcohol land Other Drugs (AOD)"summarizes the range of possible sanctions for violations of the College AOD policy. The College generally interprets more than three violations of the AOD policy as indication that the student is unwilling to abide by College regulations. Violations of the AOD policy result in sanctions ranging from warning, censure, and fines, to participation in educational programs, and may include suspension from the residence halls. Repeated violations may result in suspension or expulsion from the College. Given the consequences that repeated violations of the AOD policy have on a student's standing with the College, the College notifies parents when students violate the AOD policy.

When appropriate, the College encourages students to work with a professional counselor to consider the impact of AOD use on their academic accomplishment and standing in the community and to resolve any developing drug or alcohol problems. If AOD abuse disrupts the academic or residential setting, the College may require the student to withdraw from school until he or she can document a successful resolution of the problem to the satisfaction of the College.

The College requires students to request emergency medical assistance for someone who may be suffering from alcohol poisoning. An EMT from Campus Safety or local emergency medical response will respond and evaluate the student. If medical assistance is deemed necessary, the College requires for the student to be transported to the hospital for medical attention. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning can include unconsciousness or unresponsiveness, slow breathing, vomiting, and cold or pale skin.


AOD Medical Amnesty Policy

Skidmore College is concerned about the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs in our community. Alcohol abuse and illegal drug use affect the entire College community. While the College expects students to abide by New York State Law and College policies, our primary concern with AOD use is the safety and well-being of our students.

Skidmore acknowledges there may be times when students may face medical emergencies involving AOD use. In these situations, the college requires students to request emergency medical assistance for oneself or someone who may be suffering from a serious medical condition, including alcohol poisoning. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning can include unconsciousness or unresponsiveness, slow breathing, vomiting, and cold or pale skin. Campus Safety must be contacted at 518-580-5566 (extension 5566 from campus phones) and an EMT from Campus Safety or local emergency medical response will respond and evaluate the student.  If medical assistance is deemed necessary, the College requires for the student to be transported to the hospital for medical attention. If the student does not cooperate with the College's request to receive medical attention, parental notification will occur at the time of the student's evaluation.

Because the safety and welfare of students is the College's priority, the College has instituted a Medical Amnesty Policy. This policy is applicable under the following circumstances and to the following parties: 

  1. A student requests medical assistance for oneself. Amnesty is provided to the student requesting assistance.
  2. A student requests medical assistance for another person. Amnesty is provided to the student(s) requesting the assistance and the student for whom medical assistance was provided.

Amnesty will not be provided in cases were student does not cooperate with College officials or the Emergency responders.

When responding to such AOD violations, the College will consider the student's decision to request medical assistance, and, in most cases, view the act of seeking medical assistance as good judgment, therefore not deserving of the typical range of AOD sanctions. Thus, if it is determined that the Medical Amnesty Policy applies to a situation, the students involved will not be subject to a monetary fine or a level, offense cited on the AOD Policy. Parental notification and referral for AOD education and/or evaluation still applies.

This policy does not protect students who repeatedly violate College policies. Once a student receives medical amnesty, future amnesty is at the discretion of the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee. The Dean also has discretion to determine this policy does not apply in more serious situations, including criminal possession of drugs, property damage, etc.



Law and Policy Relating to Alcohol

The discussion below identifies several provisions of New York State law especially relevant to student life. Although many of the behaviors prohibited in these laws are relatively common on college campuses, the College expects students to abide by these laws. The College will intervene with students who violate these laws.

New York State Law states that:

Students should also be aware of a Saratoga Springs ordinance prohibiting any person to "have in his possession any open bottle or container containing liquor, beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages while such a person is on any public highway, public street, public sidewalk, public parking area or in any vehicle or public place." The city enforces the policy downtown, and the College prohibits "open containers" in public spaces on campus.

Students should also be aware of New York State law governing the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The College is especially concerned about the potential consequences of students driving with their ability impaired. The College will intervene with students ticketed--on or off campus--for driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol.

Beverage Control Policies

  1. The College permits alcohol in the Spa, Falstaff's, and at official all-College events only when a College-approved vendor provides the alcohol. Students may not bring alcohol to any event. The College will consider canceling for one year any event, even an alcohol-free event, disrupted by illegal or inappropriate drinking.     
  2. Alcohol is available only to those 21 years or older. A valid state or federal identification card (driver's license, non-driver identification card, etc., as per the ABC Law of New York State) and Campus Event card shall be the only forms of accepted proof of age for Skidmore students. Guests must show two forms of ID, at least one of them being a valid state or federal identification card (driver's license, non-driver identification card, etc., as per the ABC Law of New York State).      
  3. When alcoholic beverages are available at an event, the sponsors may sell the alcohol on a cash-per-drink basis only and at a cost consistent with current alcohol beverage pricing. Sponsors who intend to sell alcohol at an all-College event must submit the all-College event notification form and obtain the approval of the Assistant Director of Leadership Activities at least three weeks in advance of the proposed event.     
  4. With the exception of Falstaff's, alcoholic beverages must be served and consumed within a designated area ("beer garden"). Only students who have shown proper proof of age may enter the beer garden.
  5. At all events serving alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available in an adequate amount, throughout the event.
  6. The College does not tolerate drinking games (i.e. beer pong) in residential buildings, college events, or student parties. The College will discipline students who permit drinking games in their rooms, apartments, events, or at parties. Additionally, the College is concerned about the presence of “empties” (empty and/or discarded beer bottles/cans and liquor bottles) in residence halls and in underage students’ apartments. In the spirit of the AOD policy, the College reserves the right to respond when there is a concern for health and wellness and/or violation of College policy (students may be cited with a Level I AOD violation).   
  7. The College does not permit mass-consumption containers at informal (as opposed to formal College-sponsored) events in the dining halls, Case Center, academic buildings, or residential buildings.     
  8. At private, invitation-only functions alcoholic beverages may be available on an open-bar basis. Individual sponsors of and guests at private functions must comply with New York State ABC laws. 
  9. With the approval of the Office of Residential Life, students over 21 residing in Scribner and Northwoods Village may serve alcohol at parties. The Event Authorization Form details expectations and requirements.  This    form is available in the Office of Residential Life.

Student Bartenders

Skidmore College utilizes TIPS-certified student bartenders and individuals who check identification for legal age verification at all Student Government Association-sponsored events. The College expects these individuals to abide by and enforce the Skidmore College alcohol and drug policy.

Guidelines for Marketing Alcoholic Beverages

  1. Advertising of alcoholic beverages at College events is for informational purposes only. Alcohol may not be the primary focus of a banner, poster, flyer, or other event promotion. Alcohol advertising contained on posters, banners, flyers, etc., shall be limited solely to stating what alcoholic beverages will be sold, that a driver's license or passport and the Skidmore College campus event ID is required for purchase and consumption, and that alternative beverages will be available.
  2. Alcohol beverage marketing programs specifically targeting students or held on campus shall conform to the code of student conduct of Skidmore College and avoid sexually demeaning or discriminatory portrayal of individuals.      
  3. Advertising must encourage informed and responsible decisions about the use of alcohol.
  4. Alcohol marketing programs directed at students, held on or off campus, may include sampling or other promotional activities only when time and quantity are limited. As with all events, sponsors must observe all other relevant regulations including the availability of alternative beverages, food, and planned programs.
  5. Campus events or programs cannot include corporate promotional materials without approval of the Leadership Activities Office.
  6. Students promoting local off-campus activities that involve the sale of alcohol must obtain approval from Leadership Activities before posting the marketing materials.



Law and Policy Related to Drugs

Skidmore College prohibits the use, possession, and sale of illegal drugs or unauthorized prescription medications. All members of the Skidmore community are required to abide by federal, state, and local laws regarding these substances.

Skidmore College does not provide students protection from the law. Students found possessing or selling illegal drugs are subject to disciplinary action and criminal liability. The College may submit the names of students it believes to have supplied or sold drugs to local law enforcement authorities.

Under the New York State Penal Law:



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