2015-2016 Student Handbook

Alcohol and Illegal Drugs Use Policy


Lesley University is committed to encouraging and facilitating responsible student decision-making. The University recognizes that responsible decision-making concerning alcohol and illegal drugs use 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 and state laws concerning alcohol and illegal drugs use.

State and federal laws prohibit the possession, use, or sale of drugs for non-medical purposes, as well as the inducement of others to use, possess or sell drugs for non-medical purposes. It is also unlawful for persons under 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages in Massachusetts. Violations of any law relating to controlled substances or alcohol are prohibited on the Lesley University campus and will neither be tolerated nor ignored.

The following statements on illegal drugs and alcohol are designed to address the University’s concern about substance use and abuse, and to ensure Lesley’s compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act.


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 Lesley University community are expected to abide by the Massachusetts laws and Lesley 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 the University’s alcohol policy.

If there is a significant suspicion that the Alcohol 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 and Public Safety staff. If a student refuses to open the refrigerator or cooler, the Residence Life and Public Safety staff will be authorized to open the refrigerator or cooler.

University-sanctioned 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 Alcohol and Illegal Drugs Use 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 student(s)—that is, the resident(s) of the room where the alcohol is being consumed -- is (are) of age. In cases where one of the residents is of legal drinking age and the other 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 twenty-one, 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 may 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 are 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.

Illegal Drugs

Federal and state laws make the non-medical use, possession, or distribution of drugs illegal. Possession, distribution, or use of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia 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.

Health Risks

Substance abuse is harmful to your health. The effects of using illegal drugs 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. The University will make available its counseling resources to help students involved with substance abuse.

Alcohol and Illegal Drugs Education & Treatment

The University recognizes that alcoholism, drug addiction, and substance abuse may require professional counseling, assistance, or treatment. Students with alcohol or substance abuse problems are encouraged to 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

Delivery of alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age may be punishable with a fine of up to $2,000 and six months imprisonment, or both. Anyone who misrepresents his/her age, or falsifies an identification to obtain alcoholic beverages, is punishable by a fine of $300. First conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol has a penalty of a $500 - $5,000 fine, a one-year revocation of driver’s license, up to two and a half years in prison, and mandatory alcohol rehabilitation.

Criminal penalties for the illicit use of controlled substances vary with the type of drug. Penalties may range from fines or suspended sentences and parole, to a minimum of ten years imprisonment for first offenders. Penalties for the manufacture and distribution of drugs, or possession of a large quantity of drugs, are more severe. Lesley University cannot and will not protect students from arrest or prosecution if they illegally use, possess or sell alcohol or drugs.