Substance and Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Program Policy

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Claremont McKenna College is committed to providing a safe, healthy and productive environment for all students and employees. The purpose of this policy is to communicate the College's concern and desire to provide an efficient and effective campus environment and to articulate its intent to comply with all appropriate federal, state and local regulations regarding illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol in the workplace.


This policy shall apply to all students, faculty and staff of Claremont McKenna College either on the CMC campus or its offsite locations, or as any part of its activities. In addition, employees shall not use or abuse illegal substances that impair performance of assigned tasks.


The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 requires that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal program, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol by students and employees. The Federal regulations require annual notification to each employee and student that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of illicit drugs or alcohol is prohibited.

Claremont McKenna College seeks to maintain a work and educational environment that is safe for our employees and students and conducive to hard work and high educational standards. The College intends to comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act and other regulations regarding drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace.

As a condition of employment, all employees of Claremont McKenna College (this includes faculty, staff and student employees) are required to comply with this policy.

An employee who is convicted (including a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) of a criminal drug statue violation occurring in the workplace must, within five (5) days after the conviction, notify CMC of such conviction by informing the director of personnel, the dean of the faculty or the director of financial aid.

Members of the Claremont McKenna College community are expected to act lawfully with respect to the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Consumption of alcohol by individuals under 21 is prohibited.

Persons who are not employees of the college, but who perform work at the college for its benefit (such as contractors and their employees, temporary employees provided by agencies, visitors engaged in joint projects, etc.) are required to comply with this policy. Violation of this policy by such persons is likely to result in their being barred from the workplace even for a first offense.

Health Risks

All drugs are toxic or poisonous when abused. Health risks of drug abuse include but are not limited to sleep disorders, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, deep depression, malnutrition, liver and kidney damage, cardiac irregularities, hepatitis, and neurological damage.

Alcohol is a depressant. It depresses the central nervous system and can cause serious physical damage. Excessive drinking damages the liver, resulting in cirrhosis; chronic alcohol abuse also causes hypertension, cardiac irregularities, ulcers, pancreatitis, kidney disease, cancer of the esophagus, liver, bladder or lungs; memory loss, tremors, malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies and possibly sexual dysfunction.

Abuse of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects, spontaneous abortion and still births.

Local, State and Federal Legal Sanctions

Local, State and Federal laws establish severe penalties for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. These sanctions, upon conviction, may range from a fine to life imprisonment. In the case of possession and distribution of illegal drugs, these sanctions could include the seizure and summary forfeiture of property, including vehicles. It is especially important to know that recent Federal laws have increased the penalties for illegally distributing drugs to include life imprisonment and fines in excess of $1,000,000.

The denial of Federal benefits, such as student loans and grants up to one year for the first offense, up to five years for second and subsequent offenses.

Examples of the law include:

  • Unlawful possession of any controlled substance is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.
  • The purchase, possession, or consumption of any alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
  • It is not permissible to sell or give alcohol to an intoxicated person regardless of age.
  • It is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 to present fraudulent identification for the purpose of purchasing alcohol.
  • Selling, either directly or indirectly, any alcoholic beverages except under the authority of a California Alcoholic Beverage Control License is prohibited. This includes selling glasses, mixes, ice, or tickets for admission.
  • Possession of an alcoholic beverage in an open container in a motor vehicle or on a bicycle is unlawful, regardless of who is driving or whether one is intoxicated.
  • Driving a motor vehicle or bicycle while under the influence of alcohol is unlawful.

A description of state and local laws is available in the Dean of Students office. California State Laws are also available at the Honnold/Mudd Library in the annual publication of West Annotated California Codes. A copy of the Federal Register, Vol. 55, No. 159 with the rules and regulations included in the Drug Free School and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 may obtained from the Director of Personnel or the Dean of Students.

Assistance for Alcohol Abuse and/or Drug Abuse Problems


Claremont McKenna College is committed to education and counseling as the primary focus of its substance abuse program and will provide confidential, professional assistance for any students who want it. Students are urged to seek information and help regarding substance abuse for themselves or their friends. A variety of services including counseling, educational materials, and/or referral are available at the following offices as a part of the overall Claremont Colleges' program.

Alcohol and Drug Education Program - Bridges Auditorium (north side) ext. 8471 or 4310

Health Education Outreach Office - McAlister Center, ext. 3602 or 3465

Monsour Counseling Center, 735 N. Dartmouth, ext. 8202

Baxter Student Health Services, 175 E. 6th Street, ext. 8222

Dean of Students Office, Heggblade Center, CMC campus.

In particular, the Alcohol and Drug Education Program will provide ongoing, student-centered education and prevention programs including a peer education and training program, health promotional materials, and activities throughout the academic year. For more information, contact the dean of students office at extension 8114 or The Alcohol and Drug Education Coordinator at extension 8471 or 4310.

To protect students' privacy, information regarding a student during participation in any related program will be treated confidentially.

Faculty, Staff, Others

Claremont McKenna College recognizes drug and alcohol dependency as treatable conditions. Programs for substance and alcohol abuse are offered through the health maintenance organization insurance that is offered eligible employees and their dependents. Employees who are concerned about problems related to substance use, abuse and rehabilitation should be aware that The Claremont Colleges sponsor and present seminars and workshops on these topics, from time-to-time, for all members of the college community. Employees desiring assistance are encouraged to seek assistance for drug and alcohol related problems through community organizations. The benefits section of the Personnel Services office offer confidential, professional counseling and referral service, providing a constructive way for employees to deal voluntarily with drug or alcohol related and other problems.


Claremont McKenna College will impose sanctions on individuals and/or organizations who violate this policy. These sanctions will be consistently enforced and penalties will depend upon the severity of the offense. Penalties can include termination from employment and referral for prosecution of the most serious violations.

A student may be suspended from the College and referral for prosecution for violations of the laws. A student who is found to be selling illegal drugs may be suspended or expelled, even for the first offense. Sanctions for less severe offenses may include the following: verbal and written warnings, community service, the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program, social probation for an individual, persona non grata status, and suspension for the repeat offender. Disciplinary action may be invoked entirely apart from any civil or criminal penalties.

Events may be closed immediately or other intervention may be taken to correct the violation.

The College appreciates your cooperation in complying with this policy and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Working together we can make CMC a healthy and productive environment for all members of the college community.