Earlier this month, the University of Connecticut’s Department of Wellness and Prevention approved a drug-free campus act that details the university’s drug and alcohol policies, as well as the consequences for students who do not adhere to the policies.
“As an institution of higher education, the University of Connecticut strives to support the scholastic, physical and mental development of our students,” the act said. “The University’s principal role is to engage in education that leads to high standards, respectful conduct and a healthy, productive environment.”
The act seeks to address substance abuse and keeping alcohol on campus through statistics about college substance abuse. It also aims to educate students about underage drinking and drug use with the statistics.
1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including car crashes and collisions, according to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism statistics. 25 percent of students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, doing badly on papers and receiving lower grades overall, according to the statistics.
The act includes information about support systems for students as well. It encourages them to go to Wellness and Prevention Services or seek counseling, and emphasizes that although the university will hold students accountable for breaking the policies, its priority is keeping students safe.
“There are several resources available to students concerned about substance abuse. The Department of Wellness and Prevention Services (WPS) has one-to-one facilitated educational sessions available to students – Brief Alcohol Screening and Interventions for College Students (BASICS) and Marijuana Abuse Prevention Program (MAPP), as well as group educational sessions called CHOICES for alcohol and ‘Weeding Through the Facts’ for marijuana,” director of Department of Wellness and Prevention Services Eileen Stone said.
Stone said there is no charge for students who make self-referred appointments.
The act also lists the university’s policies on drugs and alcohol, which come from the student code and prohibit the possession of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21, alcohol consumption in public areas and the possession of any illegal drugs.
The act additionally describes support systems for the university’s employees, including a confidential counselor service.
The act outlines Connecticut laws and penalties for possession of illegal drugs as well, stating that convictions could lead to over a year of jail time and more than $1,000 in fines.
“The State of Connecticut is committed to fighting the problem of substance abuse. Substance abuse jeopardizes a stable family structure, increases crime, impacts worker productivity and presents a continuing and growing drain of government funds,” the act said.
WPS will host an Alcohol Screening day on Oct. 25.
Molly Desrochers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.