Campus Policies and Guidelines to Assist Students Who Abuse Alcohol

Each member of our community has a personal responsibility to provide the most immediate support for our students who abuse alcohol. This responsibility comes in many forms-by providing personal support and understanding, by facilitating a referral, by reacting appropriately in the face of an emergency, and through other ways demonstrative of a caring and professional campus community.

These general guidelines provide helpful information for response to alcohol emergencies such as an unconscious student or a student with symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Also included is information that addresses working with minors, confronting a student who is intoxicated, and other significant situations that you might encounter.

These guidelines are intended to serve as a reference as each campus formulates and develops individual campus procedures in coordination health, law enforcement, and legal departments. A special Reference section (p. 6) allows readers a quick view of special sections of the CSU Alcohol Policy.

Alcohol Policies

The number of policies on alcohol use varies widely depending on area, location, and population. The following page provides Fresno State students and the general population with quick and easy access to these policies.

For further questions on policy, contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (559.278.2541).

Alcohol Policy Links

CSU Guidelines to Assist Students who Abuse Alcohol

Addressing Student Alcohol Abuse

  1. Faculty, staff, and administration should participate in learning opportunities regarding alcohol abuse education.
  2. Administration should ensure that educational opportunities are available to faculty and staff.
  3. Administration should ensure adequate distribution of on and off campus resources available to staff to address issues involving students with alcohol abuse problems.
  4. Staff, faculty, and administration should be aware of personal and professional liability and not attempt to personally engage in counseling or other interventions unless licensed to do so. Referral to appropriate health professionals is a more appropriate action to take...
  5. Student workers should be trained to inform a professional staff member of student alcohol issues or behaviors observed.
  6. Phone numbers of AOD contacts and referrals should be made available to professional staff.
  7. Staff, faculty, and administration should maintain appropriate personal and professional boundaries when helping students with their alcohol problems. They should attempt to find a way to link the student with trained professionals that can provide the medical and psychological treatment and support the student needs.
  8. Regardless of the point of entry (campus police, Judicial Affairs, faculty referral, etc.), campus protocol should include specific guidelines for follow-up to alcohol interventions (counseling, entry into alcohol program, sanctions, etc.). A "central campus contact" should be designated (See 2D).

Handling Alcohol Emergencies

  1. Transport of intoxicated students should be handled by Campus Police, Professional Ambulance company, Public Safety Office official, etc. only.
  2. Calls to a student's emergency contacts (as listed in DOSA Offices) should be handled by Campus Police or a designated University professional.
  3. Refer to individual campus protocol to ensure all steps are taken in the notification of key campus personnel (Housing, Greek Affairs, etc.).
  4. One person or office should be designated as the central contact for reporting all alcohol abuse incidents and alcohol emergencies.

    Note: This central contact person would also be responsible for engaging the follow-through process (with Housing, Health Center, Judicial Affairs, for example). Information from this designee could include on and off campus resources and referrals, explanation of the process of arranging time off from classes for a medical emergency and/or long term medical withdrawals, and other advice as deemed appropriate.

Caring for Unconscious Students

  1.  If a student is unconscious, alert Public Safety or call 911 immediately. A person who cannot be awakened due to an intoxicated state should not be presumed to be able to "sleep it off." The condition could be life threatening.
  2. Try your best to prevent others from removing the student while help is on the way.
  3. In most cases it is best not to try and move the student until first responders arrive.
  4. Stay with the student until help arrives.
  5. Each campus should design a specific action plan to inform staff and students of the signs and emergency procedures associated with alcohol poisoning.

Working with Intoxicated Students

  1. When a student is presently incapacitated due to alcohol use/abuse, staff should focus on reducing risk to the student or members of the community. Note: Although there is a danger in allowing an intoxicated student to depart without accompaniment, staff members are advised NOT to drive an intoxicated student anywhere-including to the student's home.
  2. If a student becomes combative if he or she knows you are calling Public Safety, excuse yourself and call from another room or ask someone to contact Public Safety for you.
  3. If a student becomes agitated, staff should remain at a safe distance and with access to an escape route so that they are not injured. Do not try to protect the student from injuring him or herself-call 911 as soon as possible and wait in a safe location for Public Safety.
  4. Staff should not try to take the car keys or block an intoxicated student from leaving. Instead, it is recommended to call for emergency help from Public Safety.


Working with Students Who are Minors

  1.  Disclosure to parents of students under 21 of the fact that their child may have violated "Federal, State, or local law, or any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance." (34 C.F.R. Section 99.31(a).15. No hearing to establish that "the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to the [alcohol or drug] use or possession," is required. A more formal process is sufficient. The decision to contact a parent is made by the Dean of Students and/or Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or a representative after reviewing the situation. Determinations are on a case by case basis.

FERPA can be found at the following URL:

Addressing Clubs and Organizations that Abuse Alcohol

  1. University departments responsible for recognition of student organizations/Greeks in consultation with the Dean of Students and/or Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management review situations involving organizations and the improper use of alcohol or involvement of drugs. Organizations can be reviewed through a student organization discipline process and are subject to a number of sanctions if found responsible, including:
  • Loss of campus recognition permanently or temporarily.
  • Permanent removal of a charter or dissolution of the chapter.
  • Community service, education program for its members, or other educational sanctions.

2. In all cases, club advisors should be contacted, and in the case of       fraternities and sororities, the national headquarters will be             notified.

3.  Individual student members of recognized organizations may also      be held accountable for their personal behavior through the          student code of conduct and student discipline process.

Also see References, CSU Policy Recommendations for Clubs and Organizations, p. 6

Disciplinary Issues (Alcohol Violations)

  1.  Each campus should have a specific protocol designed to respond to student alcohol-related problems such as DUI, alcohol overdose, incidents and violations.
  2. In most instances, issues/problems are attended to by Campus Police, Student Health Services, Housing staff, etc. A report is then generated and forwarded to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and/or the campus Judicial Affairs Officer (JAO).
  3. The JAO sends a letter (can be certified) to the student involved requesting an appointment to discuss the possible infraction with the JAO. During the meeting with the student, the JAO conducts a thorough investigation of the incidents, and if appropriate, may impose restrictions, educational sanctions, and/or strongly encourage the student to meet with the campus appropriate campus professionals to discuss ways of managing their drinking behaviors.
  4. When students are found to have chronic or severe behavioral issues related to alcohol abuse, parents may be contacted by the Dean of Students to allow for family intervention.
  5. Students who are assigned Alcohol 101 or another software package as a sanction could be required to pay the cost of its administration.

Also see CSU Policy Recommendations (Enforcement and Legal Issues), p. 7, and Executive Order 970, p.6

CSU Guiding Principles Addressing Student Alcohol Abuse

Each member of the community has the responsibility to prepare for alcohol abuse incidents involving our students by engaging in the following activities:

Principle #1

Provide a safe and secure environment for all students.

Principle #2

Encourage student health and wellness in an environment supportive of learning.

Principle #3

 Promote healthy choices for students.

Principle #4

 Enforce laws and policies consistently concerning the use of alcohol.

Principle #5

Support safe, legal, responsible, moderate consumption of alcohol for those who choose to drink; do not punish responsible, legal behavior.

Principle #6

Encourage students to take responsibility for each other; Good Samaritan behavior should be supported and recognized, and students should be supplied with the tools to help others practice safe and responsible behavior.

Principle #7

Provide assistance, if appropriate, to those students who need support, treatment, and service.

Principle #8

Involve students in all steps of the process and program development.

Principle # 9

Focus alcohol abuse prevention efforts on campus and community environments since the university is part


The Six General Alcohol-Related Recommendations of the CSU (2001)

Recommendation #1

 The Chancellor should require campuses to develop comprehensive alcohol policies and programs which include, at a minimum, policies which are consistent with the campus mission, a commitment to holding individuals and student organizations accountable for their behavior, and a commitment to offering effective education programs which are assessed on a regular basis.

Recommendation #2

Each campus should communicate alcohol policies to new students and their parents before and when they arrive on campus

Recommendation #3

Each campus should create a university-wide alcohol advisory council, including community membership, which annually develops and reviews goals, assesses the effectiveness of the campus program, and makes recommendations to the president. These councils should be under the direction of the vice presidents for student affairs.

Recommendation #4

Each campus should gather data every two years to determine if its policies and programs are achieving the desired outcomes. Findings should be reported to the Chancellor and the Trustees.

Recommendation #5

The CSU should sponsor conferences in which campuses share best practices, policies and programs as well as feature state and national experts. As a first step, the CSU should co-sponsor the National Social Norms Conference with the BACCHUS and GAMMA Peer Education Network on July 18-20, 2001, in Anaheim, California

Recommendation #6

State laws should be reviewed by the campus alcohol advisory councils and recommendations made to trustees and presidents for any changes that can enhance and support campus policies.


CSU Policy Recommendations for Prevention Programs and Committees

Recommendation #1

First and foremost, CSU Presidents must make this issue a priority in a demonstrable manner. The "Be Vocal, Be Visible, Be Visionary" statement from the Presidents' Leadership Group formed by the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention is an example of what the committee envisions;

Recommendation #2

All campuses should develop comprehensive policies that are consistently enforced;

Recommendation #3

Prevention and education programs must be offered by a well-trained staff;

Recommendation #4

Students must be involved in policy planning and execution to a significant degree;

Recommendation #5

Treatment programs must be available for those students who need this assistance; and

Recommendation #6

Data must be gathered systematically to determine the nature and extent of the problem as well as the success of policies and programs

CSU Policy Recommendations for Clubs and Organizations

Recommendation #1

Institute annual orientation programs for organization advisors and for student officers that outline expectations, information on alcohol use/abuse, as well as other policies and issues.

Recommendation #2

Include expectations of members, officers and advisors in the annual student organization registration documents that must be signed by both student organization officers and the faculty/staff advisor.

Recommendation #3

Develop alcohol and risk management education programs for student organization officers.

Recommendation #4

Develop a roster of faculty/staff with interests, expertise and who are available to provide in-class discussions/lectures or meet with groups of faculty, staff or students regarding alcohol use/abuse and related issues.

Recommendation #5

Train all those who regularly interact with students, such as faculty advisors, resident advisors, coaches, peers, faculty and student affairs professionals, to understand and identify alcohol related problems and to link students with intervention services.

Recommendation #6

Assess existing counseling/psychological services, campus wellness centers, peer education programs and health education programs and determine how best to provide enhanced alcohol-related services.

Recommendation #7

Develop a source and distribution means for alcohol education materials.

Recommendation #8

Include alcohol use and abuse information in the training of all campus peer advisors and residential staff.

CSU Policy Recommendations (Enforcement and Legal Issues)

The primary objectives of alcohol enforcement should center on the health and welfare of members of the campus community; the promotion of legal and responsible behavior; an environment supportive of learning; and should facilitate the prevention, assessment, early intervention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems.

Recommendation #1

Provide an educational program to make students aware of the risks attendant on illegal and irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

Recommendation #2

Inform and distribute to students all campus alcohol-related regulations and policies.

Recommendation #3

 Reinforce legal and responsible student behavior.

Recommendation #4

Enforce campus rules as well as state and local laws and regulations. For example, post the most relevant penal code sections on campus websites.

Recommendation #5

Inform students that being under the influence of alcohol is no excuse for inappropriate behavior. All sanctions will apply.

Recommendation #6

Develop campus rules and policies through appropriate governance procedures.

Recommendation #7

Partner with the community and law enforcement agencies to provide a safe off-campus environment, to enforce applicable legal sanctions, and to encourage legal and responsible behavior among students.