University of Southern California

SCampus Student Guidebook

University Governance

F.5 Alcohol and Other Drugs

F.5 Alcohol and Other Drugs

The illegal or abusive use of alcohol and/or other drugs by students, faculty or staff adversely affects USC’s commitment to provide an environment of excellence in teaching, research and learning. As members of the USC community, we all share in the responsibility for creating and maintaining a healthy and productive environment for work and study alike. With this responsibility comes the obligation to be involved in preventing problems caused by the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

USC’s comprehensive approach to addressing substance abuse emphasizes:

  • Taking effective steps to create and maintain a drug-free workplace and educational environment for students, faculty and staff.
  • Providing continual prevention, education and counseling services along with referrals to off-campus treatment facilities as appropriate.
  • Encouraging individuals who are experiencing problems associated with alcohol and/or other drugs or chemical dependency to seek assessment, counseling and/or treatment voluntarily with the understanding that this assistance is confidential and will not be used against them.

(Taken from USC Drug-Free – Prevention, Education and Counseling Services along with University Policies and Procedures for Preserving a Drug-Free Workplace and Study Environment – hereafter referred to as USC Drug-Free.)

I. Alcohol Policy

With this approach in mind, the university has expectations concerning alcohol use on campus which directly correspond to California and Los Angeles laws and ordinances and include, but are not limited to, the following provisions:

  1. The purchase, possession, or consumption of any alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
  2. Alcoholic beverages will not be provided to individuals under 21 years of age.
  3. The selling, either directly or indirectly, of alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) except under the authority of a California Alcoholic Beverage Control Board license is prohibited. This includes selling cups, mixes, ice, tickets for admission, required donations, etc.
  4. The serving of alcohol to an intoxicated person or to the point of intoxication is prohibited.
  5. The manufacture, use or provision of a false state identification card, driver’s license, or certification of birth or baptism is prohibited.
  6. The act(s) of being drunk and disorderly in public view, including on public sidewalks and walkways, is prohibited.
  7. The consumption of alcoholic beverages in a public place (unless licensed for consumption of alcohol on the premises) is prohibited. This includes a prohibition of alcoholic beverages in public areas of academic facilities, recreation fields, university housing corridors and lounges.
  8. Operating a motor vehicle, bicycle, skates, or scooters while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.
  9. The possession of an alcoholic beverage in any open container in a motor vehicle, or while operating a bicycle, skates, skateboard, or scooter is prohibited regardless of who is driving and whether one is intoxicated (taken from USC Drug-Free).
  10. Behavior that is disruptive or abusive to others as a result of using intoxicants.

II. Alcohol and Event Planning

Since the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited (unless licensed for consumption of alcohol on the premises), any event being sponsored or hosted by a campus individual, university-recognized group, department, or office, must get approval to serve alcohol. All student organizations must have permission to serve alcohol at their events. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development must approve requests to serve alcohol for all organizations within the Asian Greek Council, the Interfraternity Council, the Multi-Cultural Greek Council, the National Pan-hellenic Council, the Panhellenic Council and the Professional Fraternity Council. All other student organizations should contact the Office of Campus Activities for additional information. Approval must be obtained for all events on campus within any university-owned property. For approval and copies of the detailed protocol on serving alcohol on campus, call:

  • Campus Activities, Ronald Tutor Campus Center 330, (213) 740-5693
  • Office of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development, Student Union 200, (213) 740-2080
  • USC Hospitality, Davidson Conference Center, (213) 740-6285

III. Drug Policy

The university’s policy is to conform to all applicable laws and follows the current stance of the medical and mental health professions regarding the use of other psychoactive substances including stimulants, depressants, narcotics, inhalants and hallucinogens including marijuana.

The university expects all students and student groups to comply with all local, state and federal laws. It is the responsibility of each individual to be aware of, and abide by, all federal, state and local ordinances and university regulations. Current laws provide for severe penalties for violations which may result in criminal records (taken from USC Drug-Free).

IV. Tobacco Policy

The use of tobacco is prohibited in all enclosed buildings, facilities and university vehicles. See Smoke-free Campus.

V. Violation of Alcohol and Drug Policy

Student involvement in underage consumption of alcohol or the manufacture, use, possession, distribution or sale of illicit drugs is a matter of concern to the university and will subject a student so involved to disciplinary action by the university. Dependent on the nature of the violation, university sanctions may include educational intervention, mandated community reparations, suspension, or expulsion aside from or in addition to prosecution under applicable state and federal laws. University action may be taken whether or not independent action is taken by civil authorities.

VI. Assistance

There are many well-documented risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs, affecting not only the individual user, but also his or her family, friends and roommates. Alcohol abuse is frequently a factor in cases of assault on campus. Other problems associated with alcohol and other drug abuse include poor academic or job performance; relationship difficulties, including sexual dysfunction; a tendency toward verbal and physical violence; financial stress; injuries or accidents; and violations of the law such as driving under the influence and willfully destroying property.

Members of the university community are encouraged to seek assistance and/or support for themselves or others through any of the following resources:

  • Student Counseling Services, (213) 740-7711
  • Office for Wellness and Health Promotion, (213) 740-4777
  • Engemann Student Health Center, (213) 740-9355
  • Alcoholics Anonymous, University Religious Center 205, trojanrecovery@gmail.com

For more information regarding USC Drug-Free, visit policies.usc.edu/p2admOpBus/drugfree.html.

Revised April 2013.


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