UConn sees changes in drug and alcohol prevention policies

A letter was issued last Friday stating that UConn's Dining Services department obtains the only liquor permit holder on campus. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s Dining Services department is the sole liquor permit holder on the school’s campuses, UConn’s drug and alcohol policies letter distributed last Friday reminded students.

“The Department of Dining Services… is responsible for ensuring the proper service of alcohol at official university events. The Department of Dining Services must be used to serve alcohol on campus locations where they have a permanent installation,” said the updated notification.

UConn announced this and other changes through its semesterly Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act notification letter on the Daily Digest, including minor changes.

The most significant change was the inclusion of the holder of the liquor permit, Dining Services as emphasized by Eileen Stone, the director of Wellness and Prevention Services.

The Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act is a federal law that requires any form of higher education with federal funding to outline and implement a drug and alcohol prevention plan which must be distributed annually and reviewed for revision every two years.

This notification of the prevention plan is tailored to the university’s own policies and services, including the law’s requirements of standards of conduct, possible legal sanctions and penalties, statements of health risks with Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) abuse, AOD programs available to students and faculty and disciplinary sanctions for any violations.

UConn’s notification included health risks of abuse of several different drugs and violations of possession of prohibited drugs like marijuana, medical marijuana, cocaine and heroin, most of which include penalty fees starting at $150 for marijuana specifically and can reach up to $50,000 for all. There is no mentioned penalty fee for possession of medical marijuana.

It also describes forms of misuse of alcohol and drugs such as forbidden use of public consumption and prohibition of drinking games and paraphernalia.

Resources specific to UConn campuses are also mentioned, including the UConn Peer Drug and Alcohol Wellness Group (UP DAWG), Marijuana Abuse Prevention Program (MAPP) and Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Although it is a live document on various websites, it is sent out every year not only as a part of federal compliance, but to highlight information and resources UConn students and faculty need to be aware of.

The letter is distributed every semester through UConn’s Daily Digest. Due to its long length, “the Daily Digest is the only avenue we have,” Stone said about distributing the letter.

It is also given to new employees as well as supervisors to hand out to employees without internet access.

“It’s just another source to make sure that they [students and faculty] know we’ve adopted a prevention plan,” Stone said.

A committee has been recently formed to review and revise future notification letters, so UConn can stay current with federal standards and trends, according to Stone.

The committee consists of representatives of Student Affairs, the Office of Audit and Compliance, Labor Relations, Human Resources and Dining Services at UConn. It met for the first time last week.

Recognizing that a number of students may be unaware of or have not read the letter, Stone reminds these individuals that they have a responsibility to know the policy UConn holds.

If the notification letter does go by unnoticed, the information certainly does not.

“There are various ways this is talked about,” Stone said, including the Student Code which is shared at orientation, the consequences stated on many different platforms and the state and federal law itself.
The notification letter can be found at policy.uconn.edu.


Daniela Doncel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at daniela.doncel@uconn.edu.