Alcohol in Residential Spaces
Union is primarily a community of underage students, and experience teaches that the abuse of alcohol can often interfere with the productive pursuit of a College education. Students who are under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcohol anywhere on campus including the residential spaces. Residential spaces are defined as all College-owned and administered living units. The following actions relating to alcohol are prohibited:
- Possessing, consuming or distributing alcoholic beverage by student under the age of 21 years.
- Furnishing any alcoholic beverages to any person under 21 years of age.
- Possessing or consuming alcohol in any public area outside the residence halls.
- Possessing or consuming alcohol outside individual bedrooms or suites within the residence halls.
- Collecting, displaying or storing empty alcohol containers.
- Being incapacitated by alcohol or drugs whether under or over the age of 21 years.
- Possessing or consuming alcohol from common sources including, but not limited to kegs, beer balls, wine boxes, and punch bowls.
- Possessing or using a tap system or “regulator.”
- Possessing any binge-drinking device including, but not limited to, funnels or beer pong tables.
- Participating in flip cup, beer pong, or any other organized game intended for rapid personal consumption.
Amount for personal consumption are:
- One 12-pack (twelve 12 oz. bottles/cans) of beer OR
- Two 750 ml bottles of wine OR
- One 750 ml bottle of hard alcohol
Evidence shows the irresponsible use of hard alcohol (liquor) by Union students greatly increases the risk of harm to themselves and others. Therefore, more severe sanctions will be imposed upon any student found to have distributed hard alcohol or consumed it in excess. Students age 21 and older may possess moderate amounts of hard alcohol.
Moderate = 750 ml or 2 pints
The "ABC" (Alcohol Beverage Control) Law
The ABC Law addresses the issues pertaining to those under the age of twenty-one years who possess or attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages, as well as those who assist them.
No person shall sell, deliver or give away or cause or permit or procure to be sold, delivered or given away any alcoholic beverage to any person, actually or apparently, under the age of twenty-one years.
If you are working in a store/restaurant that sells alcoholic beverages, the only acceptable identifications are
- Valid Driver’s License or Non-Driver Identification Card issued by a governmental agency
- Valid Passport
- U.S. Military ID
It is a criminal offense to misrepresent the age of a person under twenty-one years to induce the sale of any alcoholic beverage.
- Penalty - $200.00 fine and /or five days in jail
Section 65-b Offense for One Under the Age of Twenty-One Years to Purchase or Attempt to Purchase an Alcoholic Beverage Through Fraudulent Means
It is an offense for one under age of twenty-one years to purchase of attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage through fraudulent means.
- First violation: Fine up to $100.00, and/or up to 30 hours of community service, and/or completion of an alcohol awareness program. In addition, if a New York State driver’s license was used as identification, the court may suspend your license for three months.
- Second violation: Fine between $50.00 and $350.00 and/or up to 30 hours of community service, and/or completion of an alcohol awareness program. In addition, if a New York State driver’s license was used as identification, the court may suspend your license for six months.
- Third and subsequent violations: Fine between $50.00 and $750.00 and/or up to 30 hours of community service, and/or evaluation by an appropriate agency to determine whether the person suffers from alcoholism or alcohol abuse. In addition, if a New York State driver’s license was used as identification, the court may suspend your license for one year or until you reach twenty-one.
Section 65-c Unlawful Possession of an Alcoholic Beverage with Intent to Consume by Persons Under the Age of Twenty-One Years
No person under the age of twenty-one years shall possess any alcoholic beverage with the intent to consume such beverage, with a few exceptions.
- Penalty – Fine up to $50.00 and /or five days in jail, and/or up to 30 hours of community service, and/or completion of an alcohol awareness program.
Drinking & Driving
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) Violation
(More than .05 to .07 Blood Alcohol Content)
Up to 15 days
90 day suspension***
2nd w/in 5 years
Up to 30 days
Minimum 6 months ***
*** 1 Year revocation for persons under 21 years of age
*** 1 Year or until person reaches the age of 21 years.
Implies Consent - Any person who operates a motor vehicle in New York State has given consent to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the alcoholic and/or drug content of the blood.
Up to 1 year
Minimum 6 months** revocation
Up to 4 years
Minimum 1 year ***
Up to 1 year
Up to 18 months
1 year revocation**
18 month revocation (or until 21 years old
If you are charged with or convicted of certain alcohol-related offense, the courts will order alcohol screening and/or alcohol evaluation, prior to sentencing.
Zero Tolerance Law
Applies to a person under 21 years of age. (More than .07 up to .20 BAC)
- First Offense includes a fine $125 and a 6 month Suspension
- Penalties: Fine up to $50.00 and/or up to 30 hours of community service, and/or completion of an alcohol awareness program.
- Conviction fine only. Does not include mandatory conviction surcharge or crime victims assistance fee.
**For license revocations, the Department of Motor Vehicles determines when your license can be returned. Its return or reinstatement, based on state law or regulation, is not automatic. You must reapply for your license and may have to take a test. Three or more alcohol or drug-related offenses within 10 years can result in a permanent revocation, with a waiver request permitted after at least five years.
Drugs and Drug Abuse
The Union College campus is not a sanctuary from the law in matters of illicit drug use. The use of illicit drugs, synthetic drugs and marijuana can adversely affect the academic and personal life of the individual, and has the potential to disrupt the academic and residential community of the College.
Thus, the possession, distribution, or the use of illegal drugs, synthetic drugs and narcotics, including but not limited to amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and LSD, Synthetic drugs and any associated paraphernalia is strictly prohibited. Violations will result in disciplinary action which may include assigning of applicable points, campus/community services, referral to Health Educator, suspension, or expulsion.
Growing and using marijuana remains a crime under federal law, and federal legislation also prohibits any institution of higher education that receives federal funding from allowing the possession and use of marijuana. The College receives monies in federal grants and contracts and in financial aid for students.
The College continues to enforce its current policies regarding controlled substances and any students or employees who violate College policy prohibiting the use or possession of illegal drugs on campus will be subject to disciplinary and criminal action.
The College’s statutory obligations under federal law, which prohibits the possession and use of marijuana, prevails over New York State law, rules, or regulations that allow the use of medical marijuana under limited circumstances. The College Health Services will not distribute medical marijuana nor will representatives write prescriptions for it.
New York State Law
The present prohibitions of the New York law include but are not limited to the following:
The distribution of any type of illicit or controlled substance and most particularly, the possession of illicit drug substances with the intent to distribute, can result in severe criminal prosecution which ranges in severity from a minimum of 8-25 years imprisonment up to and including a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The gradation of sanctions for the illegal use, distribution, or possession of illegal drugs and narcotics varies greatly.
The Penal Code of New York State on illicit use of drugs, controlled substances and marijuana is extensive. However, students should be aware that legal sanctions related to the illicit use, possession or distribution of drugs will be severe in nature and are determined not only by the type and amount of drugs in question, but also whether or not the individual has any record of prior convictions.
Loss of Eligibility for Federal Assistance
A student who is convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance while enrolled in an institution of higher education and receiving any federal financial aid (e.g. grant, loan, or work assistance) will lose his/her eligibility for such federal assistance according to the following schedule:
- If convicted of an offense involving the possession of a controlled substance, the ineligibility period is:
- If convicted of an offense involving the sale of a controlled substance, the ineligibility period is:
Federal and New York State laws provide many legal sanctions for the unlawful possession or distribution of controlled substances. These sometimes include severe criminal penalties such as fines and/or imprisonment. The severity of the penalty depends upon the nature of the criminal act and the identity and amount of the illicit drug involved. Some examples are:
Possession of even 500 mg. of cocaine can result in a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
Possession of as little as 1 mg can result in up to 15 years in prison.
Possession of as little as 25 g. can result in a maximum of three months in jail or a $500 fine.
Smoking & Tobacco Use
Effective July 1, 2016, the Union College campus was officially designated tobacco / smoke free. Individuals needing to smoke must go off campus property to the public sidewalks or streets. This policy include e-cigarettes and vaporizers of any kind. Please see the Tobacco/Smoke Free Union Initiative for more information about this policy.
In an effort to maintain a healthy environment for all its students, faculty, staff and visitors, Union College is a tobacco/smoke-free environment. The initiative, which bans tobacco use within the buildings and/or on the ground owned or leased by the College, is the product of a combined student, faculty and staff task force.
Union College recognizes that smoking, breathing second hand smoke, or using tobacco products constitutes a significant health, safety, and environmental hazard for students, employees, visitors and campus facilities. The College is committed to promoting health, wellness, and prevention within its community, as well as providing a healthy learning and working environment for administration, faculty, staff, students, visitors, contractors, and vendors.
All areas of the College campus, all campus properties, and all campus vehicles are designated as smoke/tobacco free.
For the purpose of this policy, smoking and tobacco use is defined as using any type of tobacco product including, but not limited to, cigarettes (commercial, handmade, or electronic), cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs, vape pens, oral tobacco (spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff), or any other similar smoking material or delivery device including anything that simulates smoking.
The Smoke/Tobacco Free Policy strictly prohibits:
- Smoking or the use of any other tobacco product in all College campus buildings, on the College grounds, and on properties owned, leased, or rented by the College.
- Smoking and the use of any tobacco product in all College owned, leased, or rented vehicles.
- The sale of tobacco products on campus.
- The free distribution of tobacco products on campus.
- Tobacco advertisements in College-produced (run) publications.
Organizers and attendees at events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social and sporting events, using College facilities, will be required to abide by the College’s Smoke/Tobacco Free Policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating and enforcing this policy.
Health Risks of Drug and Alcohol Use
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair judgment and coordination. Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on college campuses, including, sexual assault, vandalism, physical and verbal fights and incidents of drinking and driving. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effect just described. Alcohol combined with other drugs, even over- the -counter and prescribed medication, can cause a variety of effects including, but not limited to, respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, and death.
Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver.
Drug and Alcohol Awareness and Education
Union College provides educational programs and activities that are designed to provide information about the effects of alcohol and illicit drug use on the individual and on the life of the community. Personal responsibility and accountability as well as familiarity with New York State law on alcohol and drug abuse is emphasized. Every student who intends to serve as a designated server at Chet’s or any other event on campus is required to participate in a social host training program. Educational programming begins with New Student Orientation and is further promoted by joint programming (lectures and speakers in a variety of venues) sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students and various student organizations as well as the Office of Residential Life. Students found in violation of the Alcohol and Drug Policy may be required to meet with the Health Educator to discuss the student’s use and abuse of substances.
In addition to the information found in this publication, additional information on the potential hazards of illicit drug use and alcohol abuse can be obtained in Health Services and the Counseling Center.