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Policy on Drugs and Alcohol

The City University of New York is an institution committed to promoting the physical, intellectual, and social development of all individuals. As such, CUNY seeks to prevent the abuse of drugs and alcohol, which can adversely impact performance and threaten the health and safety of students, employees, their families, and the general public. CUNY complies with all federal, state, and local laws concerning the unlawful possession, use, and distribution of drugs and alcohol.

This policy applies to all CUNY students, employees, and visitors when they are on CUNY property, including CUNY residence halls, as well as when they are engaged in any CUNY- sponsored activities off campus.

CUNY Standards of Conduct 

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of drugs or alcohol by anyone, on CUNY property (including CUNY residence halls), in CUNY buses or vans, or at CUNY-sponsored activities, is prohibited. In addition, CUNY employees are prohibited from illegally providing drugs or alcohol to CUNY students. Finally, no student may possess or consume alcoholic beverages in any CUNY residence hall, regardless of whether the student is of lawful age. For purposes of this policy, a CUNY residence hall means a residence hall owned and/or operated by CUNY, or operated by a private management company on CUNY's behalf.

In order to make informed choices about the use of drugs and alcohol, CUNY students and employees are expected to familiarize themselves with the information provided by CUNY about the physiological, psychological, and social consequences of substance abuse.

CUNY Sanctions 

Employees and students who violate this policy are subject to sanctions under University policies, procedures and collective bargaining agreements, as described below. Employees and students should be aware that, in addition to these CUNY sanctions, the University will contact appropriate law enforcement agencies if they believe that a violation of the policy should also be treated as a criminal matter.


Students are expected to comply with the CUNY and college policies with respect to drugs and alcohol. Any student found in violation may be subject to disciplinary action under Article 15 of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, which may result in sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University

In addition, any student who resides in a CUNY residence hall and who is found to have violated any CUNY or college policy with respect to drugs and alcohol may be subject to sanctions under the CUNY Residence Hall Disciplinary Procedures, up to and including expulsion from the residence hall.

In lieu of formal disciplinary action, CUNY may, in appropriate cases, seek to resolve the matter through an agreement pursuant to which the student must see a counselor or success-fully participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program.

In accordance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), CUNY may also choose—when appropriate—to contact parents or legal guardians of students who have violated the CUNY policy on drugs and alcohol.


Any employee found to have violated this CUNY policy may be subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with the procedures set forth in applicable CUNY policies, rules, regulations, and collective bargaining agreements. Sanctions may include a reprimand, suspension without pay, or termination of employment. In lieu of formal disciplinary action, CUNY may, in appropriate cases, seek to resolve the matter through an agreement pursuant to which the employee must successfully participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

Health Risks 

The policies outlined above have been developed in order to safeguard the educational environment and protect individual members of the CUNY community. Grave legal and administrative consequences may result from breaches of these regulations, as do severe health risks that ac-company substance abuse. Medically, both drug and alcohol abuse have been associated with sudden and/or early death, as well as a host of health problems, including: neurological impairment (brain damage), heart and liver degeneration, sexual impotence, and deterioration of the immune system, to name but a few. There are, in addition, particular risks to pregnant women and infants, reflected in higher mortality rates among mothers, as well as heightened susceptibility to illness and birth defects among infants. Negative effects upon the personal lives of drug and alcohol abusers are no less devastating. Often they cripple the individual's ability to function on the job or in relationships with others. Far from being restricted to those who actually abuse substances, the effects of abuse cause unseen psychological damage to family members and loved ones, particularly to children, exerting an influence that frequently extends over life-times and even over generations.

Counseling and Assistance 

Persons who are experiencing problems with drug or alcohol use may receive free, confidential health counseling and referral services in the Wellness Center (Student Health Services, 1-212-817-7020, and Student Counseling Services, 1-212-817-7020).