Illegal Drugs and Illegal Use or Abuse of Alcohol
Formerly Executive Memorandum 88-90
Initially approved: November 1, 1988
Republished: July 16, 2007
Republished: May 25, 2009
Revised: November 13, 2012
Administering Office: Chancellor’s Office
I. POLICY STATEMENT
The use of illegal drugs and the illegal use or abuse of alcohol endanger the health
and safety of members of the Western Carolina University (the “University”) community.
Consistent with the requirements of the Code of the Board of Governors of the University
of North Carolina (the “Code”) and UNC Policy 1300.1, the University Board of Trustees
adopts this Policy to address such threats to the integrity of the University community
and to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and
Communities Act of 1989.
II. SCOPE AND APPLICATION OF POLICY
This Policy applies to all University students, faculty, and staff.
“Illegal drugs” means (1) any drug or substance whose use, possession, and manufacture
are regulated by the Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and
Substance Abuse Services pursuant to Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina
General Statutes (the “Controlled Substances Act”); or (2) a drug whose use is strictly
controlled by a physician’s prescription or other order.
“Alcoholic Beverage” or “Alcohol” means any beverage containing at least one-half
of one percent (0.5%) alcohol by volume, including malt beverages, unfortified wine,
fortified wine, spirituous liquor, and mixed beverages.
“Alcohol abuse” means a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health,
interpersonal relationships, or the ability to learn or work. Alcohol abuse manifests
in the failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work or school, among other things.
IV. EDUCATION, PREVENTION, COUNSELING, AND REHABILITATION
A. The University shall maintain a comprehensive drug and alcohol education program
available to all members of the University community. The activities of the program
shall be the responsibility of the Coordinator of Alcohol and Other Drug Education
in the Division of Student Affairs, who will work cooperatively with the Office of
Human Resources with regard to employee education and prevention programs. The coordinator
shall develop a program available to all members of the University community that:
1. annually notifies members of the University community about applicable standards
of conduct and the health risks associated with illegal drug use and the illegal use
or abuse of alcohol; and
2. emphasizes the incompatibility of drug and alcohol abuse and maximum achievement
of personal and educational goals, and that the use and possession of illegal drugs
or the illegal use or abuse of alcohol may jeopardize an individual’s present accomplishments
and future opportunities; and
3. provides annual descriptions of available treatment programs and encourages members
of the University community to make use of available campus and community counseling,
medical, and rehabilitation resources in dealing with illegal drug and/or alcohol
abuse problems; and
4. annually informs members of the University community of potential sanctions for
violations of this Policy, and that members also may be subject to criminal prosecution
for violating state laws relating to the illegal use, possession, delivery, sale,
manufacture or creation of controlled substances, or the illegal possession or use
B. The University shall provide information about drug counseling and rehabilitation
services to members of the University community through campus-based programs such
as the Employee Assistance Program, as well as community-based organizations. Persons
who voluntarily avail themselves of University services shall be assured that applicable
professional standards of confidentiality will be observed.
V. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES
A. The University shall take all actions necessary, consistent with state and federal
law and applicable University policy, to eliminate illegal drugs and the illegal use
or abuse of alcohol from the University community. The institutional policy on illegal
drugs and alcohol use/abuse shall be publicized in catalogues and other materials
prepared for all enrolled and prospective students and in materials distributed to
faculty and staff.
B. Students, faculty, and staff are responsible for knowing about and complying with:
(1) the provisions of this Policy; (2) North Carolina law that makes it a crime to
possess, sell, deliver, or manufacture those drugs designated collectively as "controlled
substances" in the Controlled Substances Act; and (3) North Carolina General Statutes
§18B-102 regarding the possession, distribution, and use of alcoholic beverages in
North Carolina. Local laws and ordinances and University policies are preempted by
state laws regarding regulation of alcoholic beverages.
Any member of the University community who violates applicable law(s) may be subject
both to criminal prosecution and to disciplinary proceedings by the University. It
is not "double jeopardy" for both law enforcement authorities and the University to
proceed against and punish a person for the same specified conduct. The University
shall initiate its own disciplinary proceeding against a student, faculty member,
or staff member when the alleged conduct is deemed to affect the interests of the
C. Penalties shall be imposed by the University in accordance with procedural safeguards
applicable to disciplinary actions against students, faculty, and staff: (1) as required
by Code Section 502D(3) in connection with student discipline; (2) as required by
Code Section 603 in connection with the imposition of faculty serious sanctions; (3)
as required by UNC Policies 300.1.1 and 300.2.1 in connection with EPA employee discipline;
and (4) as required by University Policy #78 in connection with SPA employee discipline.
D. The penalties to be imposed by the University will vary depending upon the nature
and seriousness of the offense, and may include a range of disciplinary actions up
to and including expulsion from enrollment or termination of employment. The University
may also refer matters to law enforcement for prosecution. For second or other subsequent
offenses involving illegal drugs and the illegal use or abuse of alcohol, progressively
more severe penalties shall be imposed.
A student, faculty member or staff member found to have violated applicable law(s)
or University policies concerning illegal drugs or the illegal use or abuse of alcohol
may be required to participate in a drug education and counseling program, consent
to regular drug testing, and accept such other conditions and restrictions, including
a program of community service, as the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee deems
appropriate. Refusal or failure to abide by such conditions and restrictions may result
in additional disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from enrollment or
termination from employment.
E. Suspension Pending Final Disposition. When a student, faculty member, or staff
member has been charged by the University with a violation of policies concerning
illegal drugs or the illegal use or abuse of alcohol, he/she may be suspended from
enrollment or employment before initiation or completion of regular disciplinary proceedings
if, assuming the truth of the charges, the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee concludes
that the person’s continued presence with the University community would constitute
a clear and immediate danger to the health or welfare of other members of the University
community; provided, that if such a suspension is imposed, appropriate notice and
hearing of the charges against the suspended person shall be held in accordance with
applicable University policies.
VI. COORDINATOR OF DRUG EDUCATION DESIGNATION
The designated coordinator of drug education shall be the Coordinator of Alcohol and
Other Drug Education who shall act under the authority of the Chancellor and be responsible
for overseeing all action and programs relating to this Policy. The coordinator will
conduct biennial reviews on the effectiveness of alcohol and other drug programs,
and maintain biennial review materials on file in accordance with the Education Department
General Administrative Regulations, Part 86.103(a).
VII. DRUG FREE WORKPLACE COMPLIANCE
As a condition of continuing employment, an employee must abide by the terms of this
Policy and must notify his/her immediate supervisor of any criminal drug conviction
occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after that conviction. The
University will notify federal granting or contracting agencies within ten (10) days
after receiving notice that an employee directly engaged in a grant or contract has
been convicted of a drug offense in the workplace. The University will take appropriate
personnel action, which may include the imposition of disciplinary sanctions and/or
requiring satisfactory participation in drug abuse or rehabilitation programs, against
an employee convicted of a drug related violation in the workplace no later than thirty
(30) days after receipt of notice of conviction.
VIII. POLICY REVIEW
This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every four (4) years.
IX. RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES
University Policy #78, Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for SPA Employees
University Policy #107, Employee Assistance Program
UNC Policy Manual: http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php
UNC Policy on Illegal Drugs, 1300.1: http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php?pg=dl&id=300&inline=1&return_url=%2Fpolicy%2Findex.php%3Fpg%3Dvb%26tag%3Dtoc%7CThe%2BPolicy%2BManual
Western Carolina University Code of Student Conduct: http://www.wcu.edu/WebFiles/PDFs/WCU_Code_of_Student_Conduct.pdf
University Programs on Alcohol and Other Drug Education
Counseling and Psychological Services