Substance abuse policy and information
Furman University’s “values and character statement” emphasizes the development of the whole person as a central tenet of the university’s purpose. The university is committed to providing a campus environment free of the abuse of alcohol and the illegal use of alcohol and other drugs. The university affirms the abuse and illegal use of alcohol and other drugs are at odds with the mission of the institution.
As such, the university provides substance abuse education programs throughout a student’s matriculation at the university via on line resources, workshops, written materials and special programs, events and speakers focused on assisting students in enhancing their personal decision-making skills and assessing their values and actions related to the use of alcohol and illegal drug use.
The university recognizes that too many college students, both legally and underage, drink to excess. Such abuse can lead to serious health risks and behavioral problems, i.e. violence, sexual assault, accidents, vandalism and other dangerous acts. Furman’s alcohol policy, therefore, grows out of the commitment to maintain a campus environment that supports the educational program and promotes the general welfare of the university community. The university affirms the following ideals related to alcohol use:
- The university supports the decision of students not to use alcohol.
- Alcohol education is an important and on-going process which will be provided throughout the undergraduate experience.
- Students that drink alcohol and infringe on the rights of others
or disrupt the university community will be subject to student conduct
- The university upholds and supports all federal and state laws
related to the use of alcohol. Students who violate such laws may be
held accountable by local authorities and the university.
- The university emphasizes prevention education and low-risk
decision-making as cornerstones of the overall educational experience of
students at the university. As such, the university provides medical
and counseling assistance for individuals who experience alcohol related
- The university supports behavior and
social interactions that are legal, low-risk, healthy and reflective of
the university’s values and character.
The possession, use (without a legal prescription) and/or distribution
of controlled and illegal substances (consistent with federal, state or
local laws), encompassing on campus and including off-campus events and
activities sponsored by the university or student organizations, is
strictly prohibited. The possession or use of prescription drugs without
a valid medical prescription and use of substances for purposes or in
manners not as directed is prohibited.
The purpose of the alcohol policy is to outline Furman’s expectations of responsibility and accountability regarding the use of alcohol. Ultimately, decisions about the use of alcohol are the responsibility of the individual within the constraints of the law and university policy.
- Furman embraces the ideals of a healthy and balanced social
environment in which students model the character and values of the
- The university affirms all state and federal laws in regards to alcohol use.
- The goal of the policy is to encourage students to either
abstain from the use of alcohol or to make low-risk choices regarding
the use of alcohol.
- The residence halls are unique living units on the campus
intended for large groups of students to reside without undue peer
pressure related to the use of alcohol. As such, alcohol is not allowed
in any of the residence halls on campus.
- The North Village and Vinings apartment complexes are small
group living units in which those 21 years of age or older have the
option to drink alcohol in the privacy of the apartments themselves,
however alcohol is not allowed outside the apartments.
The regulations and practices governing the use of alcohol on the campus apply to all Furman students as well as their guests and visitors. As with all other student conduct policies, the responsibility for knowing and abiding by the policy rests with the student.
- All local, state and federal laws are in effect and violations
may result in student conduct action and/or local law enforcement
- Furman University prohibits the following:
- Possession and/or consumption of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21.
- Possession and/or consumption of alcohol in the residence halls regardless of age.
- Abusive, excessive and/or harmful consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- Public consumption and/or possession of alcohol in common areas
of buildings and outdoor venues unless approved by the university as a
- Alcohol in academic facilities.
- Public intoxication.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
- The possession and/or use of a fake identification (which is considered a violation of the Falsification of Records policy).
- Public display of alcohol and/or containers (i.e. unopened
containers, empty containers as decorations in public view, empty
containers in the residence halls, opened containers carried around
- Distribution and/or provision of alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
- Sponsorship of activities involving the use of alcoholic
beverages without written approval by the university. Specifically
parties are not allowed in any of the residential buildings or
- Common containers of alcoholic beverages or excessive amounts of
alcohol on university-owned property including but not limited to:
kegs, pony kegs, party balls, bulk containers or bulk amounts of
individual containers or other devices used for drinking games.
In addition, students and employees are subject to all federal, state and local regulations concerning the use of alcoholic beverages outside of campus facilities.
Through the formation of a coalition, Furman University conducts educational programs designed to prevent alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Educational efforts focus on the health hazards associated with alcohol abuse and the legal consequences of involvement with illegal drugs both within the University and in the greater community, together with the incompatibility of substance abuse with the full realization of educational, career and personal goals.
The coalition (FUSAC) meets several times a semester and welcomes program ideas from all facets of the university community - trustees, faculty, staff and students.
University personnel and students seeking assistance with drug-related problems are provided information about drug counseling and rehabilitation services available through Furman University and community organizations. The Counseling Center provides confidential counseling and referrals for Furman students and consultation and referrals for university employees. The Chaplain's office, Health Services, other student development professionals and the University Human Resources department are also available for confidential consultation, advice and referral. University employees and students who voluntarily avail themselves of services should be assured that all professional standards of confidentiality will be observed. The status of any student or university employee will not be jeopardized for seeking early assistance for a substance abuse problem.
Students and university employees are subject to all federal, state, local and university regulations concerning the use of alcoholic beverages. South Carolina state law requires that anyone possessing or consuming an alcoholic beverage be 21 years of age or older. In addition, the law states the following:
- It is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 to purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages.
- Consumption of any alcoholic beverage by a person under the age of 21 constitutes possession as defined in No. 1, above.
- It is unlawful to use identification fraudulently or to allow another person to use one's own identification fraudulently to obtain alcoholic beverages.
- It is unlawful for a person over the lawful age to purchase for or serve an alcoholic beverage to a person who is not 21 years of age or older.
- Driver's licenses will be suspended for 30 days for any driver under the age of 21 who has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher. A person under 21 with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher will be charged with DUI/DWI and have their driver's license suspended for ninety (90) days regardless of the outcome of the case. Both suspensions are immediate.
Under federal law persons convicted of the unlawful manufacture, distribution or possession with intent to distribute of any controlled substance can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned up to one year for:
Schedules I or II
- (e.g., cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, LSD, methamphetamine); depending on drug amount, sentences of up to life imprisonment, up to a $4,000,000 fine and supervised release of up to five (5) years. Penalties are enhanced for violations that are second or subsequent offenses and for violations that involve persons under the age of 21 or take place on school property.
Schedules III - Maximum sentence of five (5) years 21 U.S.C. Section 841.
Schedule IV - Maximum sentence of three (3) years
Schedule V - Maximum sentence of one (1) year
Possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription: Maximum possible sentence of one (1) year imprisonment for first offense; enhanced penalties for second or subsequent convictions; fine of up to $100,000 and supervised release of up to three (3) years.
Exception: Penalty for possession of crack cocaine is higher than for other controlled substances. 21 U.S.C. Section 844.
Students and uuniversity personnel are responsible, as citizens, for knowing and complying with provisions of South Carolina state law making it a crime to possess, sell, deliver or manufacture drugs designated "controlled substances."
- Under South Carolina state law, persons convicted of the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs can be fined and imprisoned for up to fifteen (15) years for the first offense, and as many as thirty (30) years for subsequent offenses. Depending upon the offense, the fines and imprisonment vary but are within the limits noted. Descriptions of offenses and punishments are contained in South Carolina Code Title 44, chapter 53.
- It is unlawful for a person to distribute, sell, purchase, manufacture or unlawfully possess with intent to distribute, a controlled substance while on or within a one-half mile radius of the grounds of a public or private elementary, middle, secondary school, a public or private college or university. Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned for not more than 10 years or both.
Any member of theuniversity community violating the law, on or off campus, may be subject to prosecution by civil authorities and will be subject to disciplinary or conduct
proceedings through the university. Sanctions imposed will be in accordance with procedural safeguards applicable to student conduct actions against students as outlined in the Student Conduct Code
section of the student handbook, THE HELMSMAN
. Sanctions imposed upon faculty and staff will be as outlined in File 850.1 of the UNIVERSITY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
Sanctions imposed on students by the university for a violation of the policy on possession or distribution of illegal drugs may include suspension for a period to be determined or immediate expulsion from the university.
The following minimum penalties are imposed for the particular offenses described:
- Trafficking in illegal drugs: suspension and possible expulsion from the university.
- Illegal possession of drugs: possible suspension and/or expulsion from the university.
As a general rule, the status of any student accused of violating the university regulations on the possession or use of illegal drugs will not be altered until a final determination has been made in regard to the charges against said student. However, an interim suspension may be imposed upon finding that the student's presence on campus constitutes a threat to the physical safety and well-being of the accused or of any member or guest of the university community, or that said student's presence threatens the orderly progression of university activities. A student conduct hearing will be scheduled within five (5) class days with the appropriate disciplinary body and the student will be notified of the hearing date, time and location.
The university will impose conduct sanctions on students who violate the alcohol policy regulations. The following minimum presumptive sanctions will apply for violations of the alcohol policy. Repeated violations of the alcohol policy may result in suspension or expulsion. It should be noted that alcohol violations which are also in conjunction with other student conduct code violations will result in stringent sanctions.
- Underage consumption and/or possession of alcohol: first offense-$100 fine, written warning, alcohol education, parental notification; second offense-$150 fine, alcohol education, parental notification.
- Distribution/provision of alcohol to underage individuals: $300
fine, risk management training, disciplinary probation, parental
- Public Display: $50 fine, written warning.
- Public Intoxication: first offense-$75 fine, written warning, parental notification; second offense-$100 fine, alcohol education, parental notification.
- Driving while impaired: $300 fine, alcohol education, parental
notification, disciplinary probation, parking privileges suspended for
- Alcohol abuse or harmful use: $200 fine, alcohol education, pay
for off campus alcohol evaluation, parental notification; two or more
abuse violations are grounds for suspension or expulsion.
- Underage purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol: $150 fine, alcohol education, parental notification.
- Possession of a common bulk container: $150 fine, risk management training, parental notification.
- Evidence of or participation in a drinking game: $100 fine, alcohol education, confiscate game, parental notification.
- Sponsorship/hosting of an unauthorized party: $300 fine, risk management training, parental notification.
Behavioral intervention (amnesty policy)
In response to the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, the university strives to maintain a balance between student support and accountability. While it believes strongly in addressing student health concerns directly and confronting dangerous behaviors, the university also encourages students to seek help in situations where a student's health is endangered. The university's first priority in these cases is to encourage student safety, and believes it is important for students to receive immediate attention in dangerous situations as well as follow-up support to encourage more healthy behaviors.
- Students who receive medical attention as a result of dangerous behaviors, such as but not limited to alcohol and/or other drug abuse, will be granted amnesty from the University's adjudication process, required to meet with a Behavioral Intervention Committee (BIC) member, and given an opportunity to comply with education-related recommendations. These incidents must have been reported to University officials, such as Student Life, Housing & Residence Life, University Police, or Health Services.
- Students who obtain medical attention for their peer(s) as a result of dangerous behaviors will also be granted amnesty from the university's disciplinary process, may be required to meet with a Behavioral Intervention Committee (BIC) member, and given an opportunity to comply with education-related recommendations.
- At this meeting, the BIC member will have a conversation intended to support student development through educational means and will recommend a specific course of action for that student to avoid being charged with disorderly conduct.
- This course of action may include notifying parents, attending an alcohol education program, or any other recommendation deemed appropriate by the BIC member. Should the student follow through appropriately, such a meeting will not be a part of their student conduct record, rather a "for information only" (FIO) record. Students who fail or refuse to follow through with these recommendations may be charged with failure to comply resulting in a disciplinary hearing for this additional charge.
- Students found responsible for violating policies for which they were previously granted amnesty, will be adjudicated for those violations. In addition, the FIO record will then become part of the student conduct record.
- This amnesty policy only applies to university policies and will not negate any criminal charges.
In the case of university employees, appropriate sanctions, up to and including termination, mandatory satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program, and/or referral for prosecution, will result from a violation of the substance abuse policy or a conviction for controlled substance or alcohol abuse occurring on campus or as a part of university activities. Conviction means a finding of guilt (including a plea of nolo contendere) or imposition of a fine or sentence, or both, by any local, state or federal judicial body. All divisions of the university will seek to identify students and employees who are experiencing problems because of substance abuse, and appropriate counseling and treatment options will be presented for dealing with the situation.
Authority to implement the policy resides with the President,who designates university officials to be responsible for overseeing and implementing all actions and programs relating to this policy. For students, that person is the Vice President for Student Life and for university employees that person is the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources.
All university employees and students are responsible for abiding by the provisions of this policy. In the case of employees,adherence with the provisions is a condition of employment.
Health risks associated with the excessive use of alcohol may include damage to the liver and heart; impairment of brain activity, digestion and blood circulation; impairment of judgment and memory. The use and/or abuse of illicit drugs can also lead to organ damage, impairment of physiological processes and impairment of mental functioning. The risk of hepatitis, AIDS and other infections increases if illicit drugs are injected. In excessive amounts or in certain combinations, alcohol and other drugs can be fatal.