2016-2017 Student Handbook

Drugs and Alcohol Policy

The following policy on drugs and alcohol is designed to address the University’s concerns for the health and safety of its community, to prevent alcohol and substance abuse, and to ensure Lesley’s compliance with applicable laws, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.  

Standards of Conduct  

Lesley University is committed to encouraging and facilitating responsible student decision-making. The University recognizes that responsible decision-making concerning alcohol and drugs is crucial to the health and safety of students and the educational mission of the institution. The University requires all students to abide by federal, state, and local laws concerning alcohol and drugs.  

Lesley University prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of drugs or alcohol in the workplace, including misuse of prescribed medications.  This prohibition is in effect on Lesley’s property, at University events, in University vehicles, and while conducting University business at any location on or off campus.  

Lesley University also prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of drugs and alcohol by students and employees anywhere on campus, in University vehicles, and as part of University activities.   

The use of alcohol is prohibited at any time in the workplace, with the exception of approved department or University social functions, and then only by those 21 years of age and older. 

Despite changes to Massachusetts law, the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of marijuana – including medical marijuana – remain prohibited under federal law and, thus, are prohibited everywhere on campus including in student residential facilities (dorms), parking lots, University vehicles, University buildings, and any other property owned, operated, or leased by the University. 

Violation of any law governing the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of alcohol or other, controlled substances, including marijuana, will not be tolerated by Lesley University.  The University will cooperate with law enforcement authorities with regard to the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of alcohol or other controlled substances anywhere on Lesley University property or at University functions.  


The University seeks to establish an environment in which students of legal drinking age who choose to drink alcohol do so responsibly and those who choose to abstain from drinking do so without penalty or pressure from their peers.

The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21.  Lesley University expects the observance of all Massachusetts laws and regulations governing the sale, purchase, distribution, and serving of alcoholic beverages by all members of its community on the Lesley University campus and in its residence halls, as well as at off-campus functions supported by or sponsored by Lesley University.  All members of the University community are expected to abide by the Massachusetts laws and University policies. Violators are subject to disciplinary action by the University, including but not limited to confiscation of materials, fine, dismissal, or referral to local police authorities.

In compliance with the laws of Massachusetts, students under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcohol.  Alcohol is not permitted in public areas on campus, including, but not limited to, balconies, corridors, bathrooms, common rooms, parking lots, and University buildings or facilities, except at University-sanctioned events or as described in the Residential Alcohol Policy.  A strong smell of alcohol in the residence hall room of an underage student will constitute a violation of this policy.

If there is a significant suspicion that this policy has been violated in a resident’s room, the student may be requested to open the refrigerator or a cooler for the Residence Life or Public Safety staff.  If a student refuses to open the refrigerator or cooler, the Residence Life or Public Safety staff will be authorized to open the refrigerator or cooler.

University-sanctioned student events where alcohol will be served must be registered with the Dean of Student Life and Academic Development and must comply with University guidelines.

Organizations or groups that violate this policy may be subject to sanctions by the University.  

Specific Alcohol Policy Guidelines

  • Alcoholic beverages may be consumed in residence hall rooms by individuals of legal drinking age, provided that the host students—that is, the residents of the room where the alcohol is being consumed -- are of legal drinking age. In cases where one of the residents is of legal drinking age and another is not, and alcohol is present, the resident that is of legal drinking age is responsible for making certain that the person who is not of legal drinking age does not consume alcohol.
  • Alcoholic beverages may be served at University sponsored functions, either on or off campus, where the majority of attendees are expected to be individuals over the age of 21, within the following guidelines:
  • Recognized student groups that intend to serve alcohol at University sponsored or supported functions, either on or off campus, must register the event with the Office of Student Activities and gain prior approval from the Dean of Student Life or designee. Other groups should contact the Dean of Student Life for approval.
  • Student groups sponsoring an event are responsible for insuring that all city, state, federal, and campus regulations concerning the use of alcohol are observed.
  • A bartender must be hired to serve all alcoholic beverages at any University sponsored event. Individuals must be required to show proper identification before being served. Sponsors of the event accept responsibility for:
  • Identifying all persons not of drinking age and insuring that these individuals are not served. Non-alcoholic beverages should be available as well as readily available food.
  • Insuring that alcohol is not served to any person who is intoxicated.
  • The consumption of alcoholic beverages is only permitted within the approved area designated for the event.
  • No event shall include any form of drinking contest in its activities or promotion.
  • Advertisement of any University event where alcoholic beverages will be served shall note the availability of non-alcoholic beverages as prominently as alcohol. Alcohol may not be used as an inducement to participate in a campus event.  


Possession, use, or distribution of drugs in violation of state or federal laws may lead to criminal prosecution.  Illegal possession, use, or distribution of drugs or drug paraphernalia, including misuse of prescribed medications, also renders a student liable to disciplinary action by the University, including, but not limited to, confiscation of materials, fine, dismissal, or referral to local police authorities.   

As noted above, despite changes to Massachusetts law, marijuana is prohibited everywhere at Lesley University.  A scent of marijuana strong enough to suggest that someone has been smoking or using marijuana anywhere on campus, including in any University room, building, vehicle, or in any outdoor location, constitutes a violation of this policy.  

Health Risks

Alcohol and substance abuse is harmful to your health. The effects of drug abuse include, but are not limited to: anxiety, depression, insomnia, hallucinations, hyperactivity, loss of appetite, convulsions, coma, and possible death. Alcohol consumption can also result in changes in behavior, including impaired judgment and coordination, aggressiveness, depression, and memory loss. Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence and damage to vital organs.  Students with alcohol or substance abuse concerns should seek medical attention promptly.  The University will also make available its counseling resources to help students involved with alcohol or substance abuse.  

Drugs and Alcohol Education and Treatment

The University recognizes that alcoholism, drug addiction, and substance abuse may require professional counseling, assistance, or treatment. Students with alcohol or substance abuse concerns are encouraged to seek help from medical professionals.  On campus, students may contact the Counseling Center or Student Health Service to address alcohol and drug related issues and to learn about University or other resources. Alcohol and drug education programs are administered throughout the year by the Counseling Center’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Educator. Online assessment tools such as e-CHUG and e-TOKE as well as Mental Health Screening are available to students through the Counseling Center’s “Featured Programs” section of their web page at http://intranet.lesley.edu/counseling-center/. 

The Counseling Center is located in Doble Hall, 3rd floor and can also be reached by phone at 617.349. 8545. The Student Health Service is located in the lower level of Mackenzie Hall, below the McKenna Student Center, and can also be reached by phone at 617.349. 8222. Counseling will be kept confidential to the extent confidentiality is consistent with the University’s obligations to the student or others.  

Legal Sanctions

The University expects students to comply with local, state, and federal laws relating to the possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol when they are on University property or taking part in University activities.  It is impractical to list all the drug and alcohol related crimes and penalties under local, state, or federal law here, but students should be aware that conviction under the applicable laws can lead to imprisonment, fines, and assigned community service. 

Lesley University cannot and will not protect students from arrest or prosecution if they illegally use, possess or sell alcohol or drugs.

Revised 12/13/16