Drug and Alcohol Policies

The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcoholic beverages by students and employees on its campus. Further, any possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages of any kind in plain view shall be considered in violation of campus policy.  Privacy rights of students in their residential space will be respected, but any public nuisance coming from private space related to the consumption of alcohol shall bring the full force of this policy and applicable state law into play. The concealment of illegal alcohol consumption from plain view does not preclude the enforcement of state laws or this policy for other just cause. Students who violate this policy may be criminally prosecuted and be subjected to disciplinary actions ranging from probation with educational sanctions to suspension to expulsion.  Students accused of violating these policies are afforded full due process under the university Code of Student Conduct.  The university reserves the right to assign special circumstances to each individual case. The Office of the Dean of Students reserves the right to notify the parents of students under the age of 21 who violate alcohol and other drug provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, or who in our professional judgment are considered to be a danger to themselves or others. Upon receipt of an alcohol or other drug violation by a student under the age of 21, the dean of students will staff the case and make a decision regarding parental notification based on the particular circumstances of the offense and the student’s history.  Parents will be notified by letter or phone, depending on the circumstances of the case. Sanctions against university employees range from a letter of reprimand to termination of employment.  The university may also refer cases for criminal prosecution.

Purpose

It is the goal of The University of Southern Mississippi to provide a positive environment that is conducive to the developmental and educational experience. The university understands the potential for the misuse and abuse of alcohol. The university expects that students, faculty, staff and visitors to its campus will act responsibly and follow the university’s policy on alcohol.

Policy

The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits the unlawful possession, consumption and distribution of alcoholic beverages by students, employees and visitors on its campus. Any possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages of any kind in plain view shall be considered in violation of campus policy. Further, consumption or possession by underage individuals shall be in violation of applicable state law and university policy. In accordance with residence life and housing policy, alcohol is not permitted inside student housing. Alcohol consumption may lead to behaviors that are considered a nuisance or present a threat to others. Such behavior is subject to the enforcement of applicable state law and university policy.

Alcohol Violation Procedure

A student who is found responsible for an alcohol policy violation, and who has not been found responsible for a previous alcohol- related violation, may face the following sanctions

A.         First Offense – The student will receive a campus citation issued by the University Police Department. The ticket must be paid within the semester in which it was issued, or it will be assessed to the student’s account. The student will also be required to complete a Web-based alcohol education program and/or complete a community service assignment. Finally, the Dean of Students office reserves the right to notify the parents of students under the age of 21 who violate alcohol and other drug provisions of the Student Code of Conduct or who, in our professional judgment, are considered to be a danger to themselves or others. Upon receipt of an alcohol or other drug violation by a student under the age of 21, the dean of students will staff the case and make a decision regarding parental notification based on the particular circumstances of the offense and the student’s history. Parents will be notified by letter or phone, depending on the circumstances of the case.

B.  Second Offense - The student will be issued a campus citation and will also complete an alcohol assessment at the University Counseling Center (at the expense of the student). The goal of the program is to identify the possibility of an alcohol and substance problem. The student will be placed on disciplinary probation for a minimum of two semesters and may be assigned a community service project. The student may also face a monetary fine in the amount of $500, which will be used for campus alcohol education. The student will also go before the Student Judicial Board and, if adjudicated as “responsible,” could face the following:

1.   Possible suspension from the university

2.   Prohibited participation in campus activities, student government and the representation of the university or its organizations in any capacity

C.Additional Offenses – The student will receive a state citation. The student may be suspended or required to seek mandatory counseling services that may or may not duplicate those required for earlier violations. The student may also be required to register for the alcohol education program. Parental involvement in the form a parent-student meeting with the Dean of Students office may also be required.

FRATERNITY/SORORITY OROGANIZATIONAL ALCOHOL POLICY

The Office of Greek Life at The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits the unlawful possession, consumption and distribution of alcoholic beverages by students, employees and alumni in fraternity houses and The Village.  Any possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages of any kind in plain view shall be considered in violation of campus policy.  Furthermore, any preponderance of evidence or presence of community alcohol including, but not limited to, drinking games and rapid consumption techniques and devices (e.g., flip cup, beer pong, quarters, funnels, power hour, whoop  juice, card games, shots, etc.) violate this policy as well as the University Alcohol Policy. All individual student violations of the University Alcohol Policy will be handled by the Office of the Dean of Students and follow their sanction process for alcohol violations, while fraternities and sororities found in violation of community alcohol will receive the following minimum sanctions:

A.  First Offense: Required alcohol/drug education program and community service for the entire chapter, including associate members, and probation for the remainder of the current semester and the following fall or spring semester.  Probation extends through any intervening terms or institutional breaks.

B. Second Offense While on Probation: Suspension of the organization’s social activities to take place immediately and to remain in effect for at least one complete fall or spring semester following the effective date of the suspension, including any intervening terms or institutional breaks.

The minimum sanctions are not appealable. Prior issues or citations concerning alcohol will be considered in making additional sanctions.