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Skidmore College
 Skidmore College Student Handbook

Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)


Skidmore College, in accordance with federal and 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. The College understands that students make their own choices about AOD and, when appropriate, utilizes a harm reduction framework to encourage responsible choices and safety. However, the College also believes that students should be held accountable for their choices. AOD sanctions are designed to educate students about AOD use and encourage informed decision-making while deterring illegal and unsafe behavior. Specifically:

  • Education encourages students to discuss, reflect on, and receive support around issues that may contribute to AOD abuse and/or addiction.
    • Educational fees cover the cost of evidence-based educational programming for individuals as well as for the entire Skidmore community. In the event that a student is required to complete an off-campus AOD assessment, additional fees, payable directly to the provider, will apply.
  • Parent/guardian notification aims to establish a partnership with parents/guardians in reducing high-risk drinking and drug use. The College notifies parents/guardians because repeated violations of the AOD policy indicate risk both to the student personally and to the student’s academic career at Skidmore. When the College contacts parents/guardians, tips are provided for beginning a non-judgmental, open, helpful dialogue between parents/guardians and students. This sanction may be levied when the responsible student is under 21 years of age, or a dependent for tax purposes.
  • Points are designed to discourage high risk AOD use. The number of points assigned correlates with the riskiness of the behavior in which the student was engaging.  Click here for more information about points.
  • Meeting with College Administrator aims to foster a supportive relationship between students and administrators on campus. Administrators can help students articulate their goals, and identify opportunities for positive engagement with the community in pursuit of those goals. Further, administrators can make referrals to resources on and off campus.

New York State Law states that:

  • No person under the age of 21 years may possess or consume alcohol
  • No person shall sell, deliver, or give away alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated person
  • Providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21 is against the law
  • Possession of a forged driver’s license is a felony
  • Possession of forged college ID is a misdemeanor

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 pursue student conduct charges with students ticketed—on or off campus—for driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol.

Beverage Control Policies

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Director or Assistant Director of Leadership Activities at least three weeks in advance of the proposed event.
  • 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.
  • At all events serving alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available in an adequate amount, throughout the event.
  • The College prohibits drinking games (i.e. beer pong) in residential buildings, College events, or student parties. The College will adjudicate alleged incidents of students permitting drinking games in their rooms, apartments, events, or at parties. Empty and/or discarded beer bottles/cans and liquor bottles in residence halls shall be disposed of immediately. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • With the approval of the Office of Residential Life, students over 21 residing in Sussman Apartments or Northwoods Village Apartments may serve alcohol at parties, but no recipients shall be under the age of 21. The Party Request Form details expectations and requirements. In order to be eligible to host apartment parties, students must attend the required social host training. Details about training are made available on the Office of Residential Life website each semester.

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

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.

Alcoholic beverage marketing programs specifically targeting students or held on campus shall conform to Code of Social Conduct of Skidmore College and avoid sexually demeaning or discriminatory portrayal of individuals.

  • Advertising must encourage informed and responsible decisions about the use of alcohol.
  • 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.
  • Campus events or programs cannot include corporate promotional materials without approval of the Leadership Activities Office.

Students promoting local off-campus activities that involve the sale of alcohol must obtain approval from Leadership Activities before posting the marketing materials.

Laws 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:

Unlawful possession of any controlled substance is a crime

  • Giving another person an illegal drug or prescription controlled substance is the same as selling it
  • The sale (or giving) of any controlled substance is a felony (this statute also includes legally possessed prescription drugs that are controlled substances)
  • Possession of marijuana is against the law; the charges and sanctions vary according to the amount possessed
  • The sale of marijuana is a more serious crime than simple possession
  • Possession of gelatin caps, glassine envelopes, other packaging materials, or scales under circumstances evincing intent to use is a crime

Medical Marijuana Policy

The use, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes is not allowed in any Skidmore housing or at any other Skidmore property; nor is it allowed at any College sponsored event or activity off campus.

Students’ use of marijuana (or any other drug) on College premises is strictly forbidden and subject to action under the Code of Social Conduct. Students may also face criminal sanctions for the unlawful possession, use or sale of marijuana under the NYS Penal Law.

Recognizing that New York State law permits the use of medical marijuana, students who have valid medical marijuana prescriptions may petition the College for a waiver of their requirements to live on campus. Federal laws (including the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act) prohibit marijuana use, possession and/or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. Therefore, even students with medical marijuana prescriptions will not be able to possess or use marijuana on the Skidmore campus. Students who are seeking information about accommodations related to medical marijuana can contact Student Academic Services.