Ram's Eye View

West Chester University

West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-1000





Drug-Free Campus: Policies, Guidelines, and Resources

To All Members of the University Community

West Chester University is a learning community that values diversity and individuality and encourages community responsibility. The University strives to create a campus environment that is safe for the individual - free of violent crime, free of the use of illegal drugs, and free of the abuse and misuse of alcohol and prescription drugs. Those acts threaten not only the individual user but also the entire University community.

Out of concern for the campus environment, the federal government enacted the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment (Public Law 101-226) in 1989. This law requires institutions of higher education to inform the campus community about issues related to substance use and abuse, including information describing the resources available to assist students, faculty, and staff in combating alcohol and drug problems and listing the appropriate regulations and laws.

I ask you to review the following information carefully. I urge you to act responsibly and seek additional knowledge about our educational programs, support services, and current laws from the University resource personnel listed. West Chester University is committed to providing a safe and drug-free campus. Please join me in this quest.

Sincerely,

Greg R. Weisenstein
President

Do you know someone who has a drug or alcohol problem? Do you have questions of your own? There are people within the University community to help with private, confidential counseling, referral, and information. Please seek assistance from the following University offices:

The Student Health Services Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) Programs. The ATOD staff is available for confidential discussion about alcohol- or other drug-related concerns, and assistance with referrals to community resources.

The Department of Counseling and Psychological Services (Counseling Center) has a staff of psychologists who are available to counsel enrolled students regarding vocational choice and personal concerns. The Counseling Center faculty are also available to help students deal with issues of substance abuse, including referrals to community resources.

The Office of Judicial Affairs and Student Assistance can assist with clarification on the current laws related to drugs and alcohol. The director is available to explain existing regulations and the range of sanctions for violations.

Resources:
If you have questions or need more information please contact:

Student Health Services
Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Programs
230 Wayne Hall
610-436-2509 or 610-430-4194

Counseling and Psychological Services Department
241 Lawrence Center
610-436-2301

Assistant Dean of Students
Student health Services, Wayne Hall
610-436-2509

Office of Judicial Affairs and Student Assistance
238 Sykes Union
610-436-3511

Public Safety
Peoples Building
610-436-3311

YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO GET THE FACTS

PLEASE CONSIDER...

Your Health:

Too much alcohol, too fast, can kill you. To reduce impairment, health and legal problems, use the 0-1-3 guideline for making low-risk choices.

ZERO - zero alcohol: If You are under 21 years of age, are sick (using medication on other drugs, pregnant, chemically dependent) driving, or have a strong family history of alcoholism

ONE - one drink per hour: Your body can only metabolize one average drink per hour

THREE - no more than three drinks on any day

In general, low-risk drinking is defined as two drinks per day for men (maximum 14 per week) and one drink per day for women (maximum seven per week).

Remember: An average drink is 1 oz. of 100 proof liquor, 1 1/2 oz. of 80-proof liquor, a 12-oz. beer, or a 4-5-oz. glass of wine.

It is always okay not to drink. If you do choose to drink, make healthy choices and follow 0-1-3.

For new information and interactive feedback, link to Rethinking Drinking.

New research tells us that the human brain continues to develop through age 25. Drinking during this critical developmental period, especially to the point of intoxication, may lead to life-long impairments in brain function, particularly as it relates to memory, motor skills, and coordination. Young adults are particularly likely to binge drink and to suffer repeated bouts of withdrawal from alcohol. This repeated withdrawal may be a key reason for alcohol's harmful effects on the brain.

The Risk of Using Other Drugs

Any drug, even if it's over the counter or a legal prescription, has possible side effects that can cause impairments for some people. However, these drugs are regulated, and risks are written on the packaging. With illegal drugs, there are no guidelines, and you can never be sure of their strength or purity. Here are some things to consider:

  • Most, if not all, illegal drugs are mixed with impurities. You may not always get what you believe you are getting!
  • Cocaine is a highly addictive drug. It is both psychologically and physically addictive.
  • Alcohol is a depressant drug; it slows the central nervous system.
  • THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, remains in your body for one month following use. Marijuana smoke produces all of the harmful effects of tobacco smoke and contains 50 percent more of the cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Alcohol and illicit drugs, as agents that dull the senses and impair judgment, are major factors in a large proportion of unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, date rape, accidental injury, and death.
  • Aside from the psychosocial implications of long-term use and addiction, permanent physical damage can develop in every bodily organ system, being most pronounced in the heart, liver, and brain.

For a complete list of health effects of illegal drugs, click here

Your Knowledge of the Law:

West Chester University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on its property or as part of any of its activities. The University vigorously enforces all local, state, and federal laws as they pertain to the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. Conviction under such laws provides for punishment that includes fines and/or imprisonment. The specific codes are described in detail in the Student Code of Conduct.

The links below show summaries of the legal consequences of alcohol-related violations in Pennsylvania, the state Marijuana Crime Code, and legal sanctions for drug violations under federal government law:

I. Legal sanctions for underage alcohol law violation under state law and also DUI laws.

II. Legal sanctions for marijuana law violations under state law.

III. Legal sanctions for drug violations under federal law.

Your Education

Your status as a student at the University could be affected. Students are held accountable for their behavior both on and off campus. Students who are found guilty of violations of the Student Code of Conduct face a full range of sanctions. The standard penalty for those who possess or sell drugs and who sell alcohol to minors is suspension or expulsion. Ask yourself, is it worth it?

Your Future

Many employers, including those in education and government, require a background check that includes University judicial records as well as criminal records. In addition, many graduate schools also require a clearance from the Dean of Students Office, which includes any judicial records.

A single use of marijuana can show up on a drug test 20 days later (and in some cases even longer). One in ten drinkers develops severe drinking problems. And if you are the "adult child of an alcoholic" (ACoA), you are three times more likely than others to develop an alcohol problem.

This information was prepared as part of the educational efforts associated with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.