Drug and Alcohol Policy

Drug-Free Workplace

Stevenson University recognizes the health, social and emotional programs caused by the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol or prescription drugs. This policy is the University’s response to these problems. It applies to students, faculty, staff, and where relevant, guests on University property or at University-sanctioned events off campus.

This policy is also provided in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Standards of Conduct Regarding Unauthorized Drugs

The Stevenson University community affirms unauthorized drug use to be contrary to the goals of the University. The use, possession (including constructive possession), manufacture, distribution and solicitation of controlled dangerous substances, drug paraphernalia, look-alike drugs, unauthorized legal drugs, man-made or naturally occurring substances or inhalants used for the purpose of altering behaviors, mood, or for changing the brain or nervous system, and over-the-counter drugs/medications or prescription drugs in excess of the recommended or prescribed dosage(s) is strictly prohibited on Stevenson University property, Stevenson sponsored travel, or in connection with any program or activity sponsored or endorsed by Stevenson University.

Standard Sanctions for Unauthorized Drugs

Violations of the University’s Drug Policy are considered serious and may result in suspension, dismissal or expulsion from the University. Students who are found to be distributing drugs will be expelled from the University. Students who are found in possession of large quantities of drugs may also be expelled from the University as the large quantity, by itself, may be viewed as intent to distribute.

Standards of Conduct Regarding Alcohol

The health and safety of members of the Stevenson University community are the primary concerns of the University. It is the University’s policy to uphold the alcohol laws of the state of Maryland. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted only by those who are at least 21 years of age. Alcoholic beverages are not to be furnished to or consumed by minors.

Members of the Stevenson community and guests are expected to accept responsibility for their actions, to obey the law and to police their own behavior. Individuals who violate the law, in addition to being subject to criminal penalties, will be subject to University disciplinary measures. These specific policies that follow apply to Stevenson University events both on and off campus.

  • Except as permitted by the following paragraphs, the possession, use or distribution of alcohol by students, faculty, staff, and guests on university property or in connection with any University activity is strictly forbidden.
  • All University-sponsored events where alcohol is served, either on or off campus, must be approved by the Vice President, Student Affairs or Chief of Staff in the President’s office 30 days prior to the event. The Event Application Request for Service of Alcoholic Beverages will serve as a formal application for approval.
  • All individuals attending the event must be of legal drinking age. Student organizations may request an exception to this guideline if the primary purpose of the event is other than a social drinking party and the majority of the guests are of legal drinking age.
  • The organization’s adviser or an alternative faculty/staff member must be present for the duration of the event.
  • Security must be present for the duration of the event.

Alcohol may only be served by a licensed caterer trained to serve alcohol. Caterers must provide proof of license and training certification to the University prior to the event. A list of approved caterers is included with the Event Application Request for Service of Alcoholic Beverages.

Proper proof of age must be provided to the server.

Kegs, multi-liter containers and pitchers used for the serving of alcohol are not allowed at student-sponsored events.

At events where alcohol is served, substantial food and non-alcoholic drinks must be provided. During late night events, the service of alcohol will stop one hour prior to the ending time of the event.

It is recognized that this document cannot address, in specific fashion, all possible social situations that may occur. Where these procedures are not specific on a particular point, individual and organizational hosts are expected to conduct their social events and themselves in the spirit of social responsibility consistent with these procedures.

Rules Specifically Applicable to University Housing

Residents of legal drinking age may drink beer or wine in their residence hall only if they are not in the presence of residents or guests who are under 21 years of age. Absolutely no alcohol is permitted in the residence hall where underage students reside. Beer and wine may not be served or consumed in any common areas. No drinking is permitted in the common areas of the University residence facility (i.e., hallway, parking lot, etc.). Guests are expected to abide by the University’s rules while visiting SU housing. Students may be held responsible for the conduct of their guests. The Residence Life staff will confiscate or require underage residents to dispose of alcohol they observe being brought or having been brought into the residences and to stop consumption of alcoholic beverages in all common areas. Kegs, beer balls, and other multi-liter containers are not permitted in SU residence halls. The Residence Life staff will inform students of University policy, clarify if they are violating the University’s policy, and counsel them regarding the consequences of their behavior, both in terms of health and safety risks and legal consequences. Students in violation of the housing agreement or University policy will be held accountable. The Residence Life staff is to report offenders to the Assistant Director of Student Conduct. The students involved will meet with the Assistant Director of Student Conduct or a professional Residence Life staff member to determine appropriate sanctions if warranted. Any student failing to meet with a Residence Life staff member will be subject to termination of the housing contract for failure to comply with directions of a University official.

Standard Sanctions for Alcohol Violations

First time violators may be subject to:

  • Formal warning
  • $100 fine and/or discipline service
  • Participation in an alcohol education program designated by the University

Second time violators may be subject to:

  • $150 fine and/or discipline services Housing probation
  • Parental notification (official warning letter sent to the resident with a copy mailed to the student’s parents/guardians)
  • Participation in an alcohol education program or referral for treatment designated by the University

Students with subsequent alcohol violations will generally be subject to one or more of the following:

  • Increased fine, referral for treatment, removal from residence, and termination of the students’ Housing Contract and/or suspension and/or expulsion from the University

Reporting Use and Misuse

Each member of the Stevenson community is advised to report all suspicions of unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol or of alcohol abuse to the appropriate University authorities.


Stevenson University will impose sanctions on students, faculty and staff who violate the standards of conduct set forth above.

Stevenson students are governed by the policies, rules and regulations set forth in Stevenson University Policy Manual. Within these guidelines, students are subject to institutional discipline for violations of such standards of conduct and will be referred to the Dean of Students. The student will then be subject to sanctions in accordance with the Student Grievance Procedures in the Student Planner (Volume VI) and in this Volume II of the Stevenson Policy Manual. The specific penalty imposed will depend upon the nature of the violation. Students have the right to appeal any sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students to the University Hearing Board.

Staff of the Wellness Center are available to provide suggestions for securing drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation.

Annual Notice Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Policy

In order to ensure that members of the Stevenson community continue to be aware of this policy, a notice of this program will be distributed each year to all faculty, staff and students advising them to review the policy on the University’s intranet.

Biennial Review

At least every other year, Stevenson will review its drug-free workplace policy to:

  • Determine its effectiveness and implement any needed changes;
  • Ensure that the disciplinary sanctions described above are consistently enforced.

Federal Trafficking Penalties

Please see Federal Trafficking Penalties chart in Appendix II-E.

State of Maryland Sanctions for Drug and Alcohol Use Violations

Please see Maryland Sanctions for Drug and Alcohol Use Violations chart in Appendix II-F.

Health Risks Associated with Alcohol

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of the alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse.

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 effects just described.

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 the liver.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other of becoming alcoholic youngsters.

Controlled Substances – Use and Effects

Please see Controlled Substances – Uses and Effects chart in Appendix II-G.

Smoking Policy

Stevenson University is committed to a policy of creating a smoke-free environment in all its facilities and in providing a healthy, comfortable environment for students, faculty, staff, and guests. Smoking is not permitted in any building on the Greenspring or Owings Mills campuses. In order to create a healthier environment:

  • All areas within 15 feet of building entrances are designated smoke-free zones.
  • The space between the Dawson Academic Center and the Manuszak Center Buildings on the Greenspring Campus will be designated smoke-free due to the close proximity of these two buildings.
  • Cigarette receptacles will be placed 15 feet from building entrances.
  • Proper signage will be posted indicating “Smoke-Free Zones”.
  • Enforcement will be by self-governance of the campus community.

Smoke reduction and cessation education will be offered during the academic year by The Wellness Center.

(Updated March 2022)