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Alcohol and Drugs


The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 requires Colleges who receive federal financial assistance to certify the United States Department of Education documentation of a prevention program on the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by members of the College community.

Union College Policy on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Union College prohibits the unlawful use, possession, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on the Union College campus, or while engaged in Union College-sponsored activities or employment. This includes all paraphernalia associated with the use of drugs and/or alcohol abuse.  Union College observes all laws governing the use of alcoholic beverages within the State of New York and prohibits any violations of these laws. Students will be held personally responsible for complying with all aspects of federal, state, and local laws as well as the College’s Code of Conduct and any other rules governing alcohol and drug use. In its enforcement of the College policy, Union will act neither as a police agency enforcing the law nor as a sanctuary protecting those who violate laws regarding alcohol or other drugs.

Standards of Conduct

Individuals whose ability to reason and control their actions are impaired by excessive consumption of alcohol or illicit use of controlled substances put their lives at risk. Ultimately, such students endanger the well-being and safety of others. The College maintains that inebriation and/or ignorance of applicable laws governing the use of alcohol and drugs are not acceptable or justifiable excuses for disruptive or dangerous behavior. Such excuses do not release the individual from responsibility to the residential community and the College at large. Behavior that endangers mental and/or physical health creates legal liability, or puts lives at risk, will not be tolerated.

Students and officers of fraternal organizations who assume the role of Responsible Persons in accordance with the Social Events with Alcohol Policy are expected to fully comply with the requirement for hosting an Event. Their failure to assume these duties and obligation in good faith may endanger the mental and/or physical health of others, create legal liability, and put lives at risk and will not be tolerated. Students who are members of fraternal organizations will be subject to the College’s Alcohol and Drug Policies in the same manner as students residing in residence halls.


Irresponsible distribution of alcohol is prohibited. Such distribution includes, but is not limited to, any occasion when the atmosphere or circumstances are such that the intended or likely outcome is either abuse of alcohol or to become intoxicated. Examples of irresponsible distribution of alcohol include, but are not limited to: funnels, shot parties, beer pong, chugging contests, or other organized drinking games.  Empty alcohol containers represent a health hazard, and students may not possess empty alcohol containers in their rooms in the residence halls. If found, empty containers may be considered evidence of alcohol consumption.

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:

  • 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 or selling any alcohol 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 bedroom or suites within the residence halls.
    • Collecting, displaying or strong 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. Exceptions may apply during registered social events (see Alcohol with Social Events Policy).
    • 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 shot parties, beer pong, or any other organized amount for personal consumption. Amount for person 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


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 = 750ml or 2 pints


 As a matter of personal safety and well-being, the College regards the use of illegal drugs and alcohol as a health concern, a hindrance to academic performance and a disciplinary matter. Union College encourages its students to comply with local, state and federal laws regarding alcohol and drugs. The College will hold individuals responsible for violation of the College Alcohol and Drug policy. Sanctions consist of disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the College and referral to law enforcement officials for investigation and criminal prosecution where applicable.

Students found selling, manufacturing, or possessing drugs in amounts that indicate drug sales or distribution will face penalties ranging from suspension to expulsion. Students or organizations found illegally selling, manufacturing, or distributing alcohol will face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Possession of drug paraphernalia that has been used, whether at the time of confiscation or not, is against the law and students who violate the law are subject to College discipline.

While each disciplinary case is evaluated individually, students who put themselves at risk or who violate the Alcohol and Drug Policy or the Conduct Code while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can expect to face disciplinary charges through the student judicial system and the criminal justice system where applicable.  If found in violation of the Conduct Code, disciplinary sanctions may range from a formal warning with applicable points to expulsion. Students will be required to complete an educational experience. The educational experience may involve assessments, Campus service, parental notification, and meeting with The Health Educator to discuss personal alcohol and other drug use and abuse. Repeat violators of the Alcohol and Drug policy can expect an increased disciplinary sanction which may include progressive educational experiences, suspension, or expulsion.

The Counseling Center and Student Health Services can provide confidential consultation and referral to students with problems or concerns related to alcohol and/or drug use.  Information about substance abuse and treatment programs is also available in the Office of the Dean of Students.

This policy implements the Drug Free School and Communities Act (20 U.S.C. 1145g)


The “ABC” Law (The 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.

Section 65

Section 65.1 Prohibited  Sale -No person shall sell, deliver or give away an 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
  • Valid Passport or
  • U.S. Military ID

Section 65-a- Procuring Alcoholic Beverages for Persons Under the Age of Twenty-One-Years

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 passion of an Alcoholic Beverage with Intent to Consume by persons Under the Age of Twenty-One Years

The Penalties of Drinking & Driving

Driving While Ability Impaired DWAI Violation

(More than.05 to .07 Blood Alcohol Content)




Jail Sentence

License Action


Minimum $300

Up to 15 days

90 Day Suspension***


Maximum $500







2nd(within 5yr)

Minimum $500

Up to 30 days

Minimum 6 months***


Maximum $750




Chemical Test

Implies Consent-Any person who operates a motor vehicle in New York Stat has given consent to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the alcoholic and/or drug content of the blood.

** 1 Year revocation for persons under 21 years of age

***1 Year or until person reaches the age of 21 years.


Driving While Intoxicated-DWI                                           Misdemeanor

Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs                            Misdemeanor


Driving While Ability Impaired by the Influence of Alcohol and any Drug



Jail Sentence

License Action


Minimum $500

UP to 1 year

Minimum 6 months**


Maximum $1,000







2nd Felony

Minimum $1,000

Up to 4 years

Minimum 1 year***


Maximum $5,000




Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated Enhanced 

(.18 and over Blood Alcohol Content)                                Misdemeanor



Jail Sentence

License Action


Minimum $1,000




Maximum $2,500

Up to 1 year

Up to 18 months





Ignition interlock with Probation




1st Offense


1 year revocation**




2nd Offense


18 months revocation



( or until 21years old)


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 ca be returned.  Its return or reinstatement, based on stat 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, which a waiver request permitted after at least five years.

Mandatory Screening
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.

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.

Medical Marijuana

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 be distributing medical marijuana nor will representatives be writing 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:

First Offense

1 year

Second Offense

2 years

Third Offense



If convicted of an offense involving the sale of a controlled substance, the ineligibility period is:

First Offense

2 years

Second Offense



Drug Laws

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:



Potential Sanctions


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.




Health Risks of Drug and Alcohol Use

Alcohol Effects

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.

Available Resources, Services, and Referrals

Information on local resources is printed for general information only and does not constitute endorsement of such services by the College. Students are encouraged to consult with their parents or guardians and/or their health care provider in making an informed decision on the appropriate type and location of an alcohol and/or drug assessment, counseling, or treatment facility.

College Resources:

Counseling Center, Wicker Wellness Center (388-6161)

Dean of Students Office, Reamer Campus Center (388-6061)

Amanda Tommell, Health Educator

Union College Counseling Center

Wicker Wellness Center

807 Union Street

Schenectady, NY 12308

Phone: (518) 388-6161

Fax: (518) 388-6147

Email: tommella@union.edu 


Local Resources:

Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings in Schenectady County



Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council of Schenectady County, Inc.

            302 State Street

            Schenectady, NY 12305

             (518) 346-4436


Conifer Park (Inpatient Treatment)

            79 Glenridge Road

            Glenville, NY 12302

             (518) 399-6446


Conifer Park (Outpatient Treatment)

            600 Franklin Street

            Schenectady, NY 12305

            (518) 372-7031


St. Peter’s Addiction Recovery Center (Outpatient Treatment)

2925 Hamburg  Street

Schenectady, NY 12303

(518) 357-2909

Illicit Drugs Effects

Drugs Physical Dependence Psychological Dependence Possible Effects Effects of Overdose Withdrawal Syndrome


Hydromorphoe High High Respiratory depression Convulsion Panic 
Oxycodone High High Constricted Pupils Coma Nausea
Methadone and LAAM High High Nausea Possible death Runny nose
Fentanyl and Analogs High High Chills and sweating
Other Narcotics High-Low High-Low Watery eyes


Chloral Hydrate Moderate Moderate Slurred speech Shallow respiration Anxiety
Barbiturates High-Moderate High-Moderate Disorientation Clammy skin Insomnia
Benzodiazepines Low Low Drunken behavior without odor of alcohol Dilated pupils Weak and rapid pulse Tremors Delirium
Glutethimide High Moderate Coma Convulsion
Other Depressants Moderate Moderate Possible death Possible death


Cocaine Possible High Increased alertness Agitation Apathy
Amphetamine/ Possible High Euphoria Increased body temperature Hallucinations Convulsions Long periods of sleep 
Methamphetamine Increased pulse rate and blood pressure Excitation Irritability Depression
Methylphenidate Possible High Insomnia Possible death Disorientation
Other Stimulants Possible High Loss appetite  


Marijuana Unknown Moderate Euphoria  Fatigue  Occasional reports of insomnia
  Relaxed inhibitions Paranoia  
  Increased appetite  
  Disorientated behaviors   
Tetrahydrocannabin Unknown Moderate Increased appetite Possible psychosis Hyperactivity
Harshish and Hashish Oil Unknown Moderate Disorientation Decreased
LSD None Unknown Illusions and hallucinations Longer Unknown
Amphetamine Unknown Unknown Psychosis  


Phencyclidine (PCP) and Analogs Unknown  High Liver and kidney dysfunction Testicular atrophy Premature closure of bone growth, hair loss, acne, heart failure  
Testosterone Unknown Unknown Virilization Unknown  
(Cypinoate, Enanthate) Acne  
Nandrolone Unknown Unknown Testicular atrophy Gynecomastia   
(Decanoate, Phenpropionate) Aggressive behavior  
Oxymrtholone Unknown Unknown Edema  
Inhalants Unknown High Nausea Loss of consciousness Damage to organs and nervous systems  
Caffeine Unknown High Nausea  
  Diarrhea Sleeplessness Headaches   
Nicotine High High Cancer of lungs larynx, mouth