Drug and Alcohol Policies and Education

What is the SU policy on possession, use or sale of alcohol and illegal drugs?

The university complies with federal, state, and local laws, including those that regulate the possession, use, and sale of alcoholic beverages and other controlled substances. Shippensburg University students who use, sell, exchange, consume, or possess alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia on university property or at university functions will be dealt with in accordance with state, federal, and local laws as well as the university’s Student Code of Conduct. As Shippensburg University is a dry campus, even students who are 21 years of age or more are not permitted to possess or consume alcohol on campus property.

Non-students who violate the university’s policies and whose actions are not in compliance with the orderly operation of the university will be prosecuted in accordance with state, federal, and local laws. Non-students involved in on-campus violations of these policies may be banned from university property.

PA Act 31 concerns underage drinking, including misrepresentation of age to secure liquor, purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of intoxicating beverages, carrying a false identification card and using same to obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages, and providing alcohol to minors. In addition to fines for conviction of these offenses, the court will order the motor vehicle operating privileges of the person suspended, and a copy of the order will be sent to the Department of Transportation.

What types of drug and alcohol abuse educational programs are offered at SU?

Drug and alcohol prevention, education and intervention programs are available for students through the Division of Student Affairs and the Dean of Students Office at 210 Old Main. Programs for employees are available through the Human Resources Office at 109 Old Main. Programs involving counseling professionals, guest speakers, and extensive literature on these subjects are available through these offices. The Connection Program is a comprehensive program including prevention, education, and intervention support services. It was developed at Shippensburg University in coordination with the Cumberland-Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission to address the university community’s alcohol- and drug-related concerns. The Connection Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Program is designed to cultivate within students a sense of personal accountability and empowerment to make healthy choices and responsible decisions regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Involvement in and referrals to the Connection Program are confidential. The program provides individual and group programs held during the academic year for university students. These programs are scheduled and conducted by trained staff members in cooperation with the Dean of Students Office. The group meetings focus on testing the accuracy of drug and alcohol information; examining each individual’s own use of alcohol or other drugs; establishing ways of dealing with alcohol and other drugs; establishing ways of dealing with alcohol- and other drug-related concerns; discussing issues related to children of alcoholics; and recognizing and helping someone close who has a drug or alcohol problem.

A student involved in the Connection Program may be referred to one or more of the following: a two-part meeting with a trained Connection staff member; enrollment in a closed, psychoeducational peer group that meets once a week for five weeks; an assessment with an alcohol/drug professional; referral to personal counseling through the Counseling Center; referral for support from the Women’s Center; referral to Etter Health Center for medical needs; and outpatient/inpatient treatment.

Individuals may contact the Connection Program at (717) 477-1164 for further information and assistance. All involvement in the Connection Program is confidential.

What are the penalties for those criminally charged with the abuse of drugs and alcohol?

Shippensburg University students need to be aware of local, state, and federal laws as violations may have long-term effects on their lives. Anyone in possession of illegal drugs or paraphernalia can be charged under PA Title 18 (Crimes Code) with a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the illegal substances found. Penalties for a first offense upon conviction can include fines of no less than $500.00 and possible imprisonment up to 15 years.

Anyone who purchases, consumes, possesses, or transports alcoholic beverages while being under the age of 21 can be charged under PA Title 18 (Crimes Code) with a summary offense. Penalties upon conviction of a first offense can include fines up to $300.00 and will involve the suspension of driving privileges for 90 days. Anyone found to be furnishing alcohol to minors can be charged under PA Title 18 (Crimes Code) with a misdemeanor offense. Penalties upon conviction can include fines of no less than $1,000.00.

In addition to the above criminal penalties, any student charged with these types of violations will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary action through the university judicial process. Referrals to the Connection Program may be made through faculty, administrators, residence hall staff, and students. Students who are involved in violations of the university’s alcohol and drug policy and related behavior problems may be referred to the Connection Program. The Dean of Students Office may require attendance and participation in this program as a sanction for students referred through the disciplinary process. Shippensburg University upholds Pennsylvania laws as well as its own policies and procedures for alcohol and other drug use, which can be found in our Swataney student handbook. The Shippensburg University community is encouraged to read and become familiar with this section.

Individuals may contact the Connection Program at (717) 477-1164 for further information and assistance. All involvement in the Connection Program is confidential.