Alcohol and Drug Policy

Approved by: Office of Student Affairs

History:  Updated August 2020 | August 2022 | August 2023                     

Related Policies:  Complaints and Grievances | Code of Conduct

Related Forms, Procedures and References: 

For Questions Contact:  Housing Website | Housing Office | 651.690.6778 |

Index:   Alcohol in the Residence Halls | | Disciplinary Sanctions | Applicable Laws | Alcohol and Drug Use & Abuse

I. Policy Statement

St. Catherine University is committed to promoting healthy, safe, and responsible behaviors in a welcoming and inclusive campus community. In compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) and the Drug-Free Workplace Act, St. Catherine University strictly prohibits the unlawful possession, use, manufacture, distribution, or sale of alcohol and illegal drugs on its premises or as part of any of its activities. This policy applies to all members of the St. Catherine community, including faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, this policy applies to all locations and events sponsored or supervised by St. Catherine University, including but not limited to campus facilities, residence halls, off-campus housing, athletic venues, and university-sponsored events on or off-campus.

II. Alcohol Use and Possession

St. Catherine University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, production and distribution of alcohol.  The University expects that students, faculty, staff and guests of the University community conduct themselves in a responsible manner that demonstrates respect for others and the community at large.  As part of the larger community, St. Catherine is subject to and abides by federal law. The use of alcoholic beverages should not interfere with the academic goals and maintenance of a healthy environment campus community. 

Policies related to the consumption and service of alcohol at St. Catherine University are guided by an overarching philosophy built upon the rights of individuals, the responsibilities of individuals who consume and serve alcohol, and respect for one's own well-being, respect for our laws, and above all, respect for the rights of others. 

St. Catherine University Alcohol Regulations

  1. The legal drinking age in the United States is age 21. Therefore, St. Catherine University strictly prohibits the use, possession, consumption, or distribution of alcoholic beverages by individuals under the legal drinking age.

  2. Alcohol consumption is permitted only in designated areas and at university-sanctioned events where the appropriate approval has been obtained.

    1. Approval to serve alcoholic beverages at a University-sponsored event must be obtained through University Events. 

    2. The misuse or abuse of alcohol that disrupts the educational environment or poses a threat to the safety and well-being of individuals or the community is strictly prohibited.

  3. In residence hall spaces, alcohol containers, empty or not, are not permitted as room decoration, unless residents of the space are of legal drinking age. Possession of empty alcohol containers may result in a documented alcohol violation. 

  4. Possession and/or distribution of alcohol in large quantities or “common source” quantities of alcohol is prohibited, i.e. kegs, cases, coolers, party balls, fishbowls, BORGs, etc. 

  5. High-risk alcohol-related activities, such as progressives, drinking theme parties, drinking games, and similar behaviors are prohibited in all on-campus spaces. 

  6. Students found in possession of alcohol, and outside compliance with this policy, will be required to pour out alcohol in the presence of a University staff member, and may be subject to University disciplinary conduct action. 

III. Illegal Drugs and Controlled Substances

St. Catherine University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, production and distribution of illegal drugs, and controlled substances. Under federal law, it is illegal  to use, possess, and/or distribute Schedule I drugs, including but not limited to cannabis (marijuana), heroin and cocaine. In compliance with the Drug Free Schools Act, St. Catherine University must abide by federal law, regardless of changes to local and state ordinances. The University expects that students, faculty, staff and guests of the University community understand and abide by University expectations relating to illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and controlled substances. 

St. Catherine University Drug & Controlled Substance Regulations

  1. St. Catherine University strictly prohibits the possession, use, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of illegal drugs or controlled substances, including prescription medications not prescribed to the individual, on St. Catherine University premises or during any university-sponsored activities.

  2. The use of cannabis, marijuana, or its derived products, even in states where it is legal, is prohibited on St. Catherine University premises or during university-sponsored activities, as it remains illegal under federal law.

    1. Students with legitimate medical needs who require the use of controlled substances must notify Student Accessibility & Accommodations to seek appropriate accommodations.

  3. Possession, abuse, misuse, sale, or distribution of prescription or over-the-counter medication, not in accordance with a medical prescription or direction is prohibited. 

  4. St. Catherine University is a tobacco-free community, and use of any smoking or tobacco product on-campus property is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited, to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, smokeless tobacco, vapes, e-cigarettes, or other smoking products. 

  5. The presence of the odor of cannabis, tobacco, or another prohibited substance, may constitute a violation of this policy.

IV. Health and Education

St. Catherine University is committed to promoting the health and well-being of its community members. The university will provide educational resources and support information related to alcohol and drug abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery. The University will collaborate with relevant community organizations to provide educational programs and activities focused on substance abuse prevention and awareness. For additional information regarding support resources available to employees, please see the Employee Handbook. 

V. Violations and Sanctions

Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary conduct or employment action, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and/or the University’s Employee Handbook up to and including warnings, probation, suspension, expulsion, termination of employment, or legal consequences in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals found in violation of this policy may be required to participate in an appropriate educational program or seek counseling as determined by the University.

VI. Additional Information

Alcohol Laws

State Laws

Minnesota state laws regarding the use, possession and distribution of alcoholic beverages (linked here)

Federal Laws

National Institutes of Health summary of federal alcohol law policy (linked here)

Drug Laws

State Laws

Minnesota state laws regarding the use, possession and distribution of cannabis (marijuana) and its derived products (linked here)

Minnesota state laws regarding the use, possession and distribution of Schedule I drugs (linked here)

Minnesota state laws regarding misuse of prescription or over the counter medication (linked here)

Federal Laws

Summary of the Drug Free Schools Act (1989)

The Federal Status of Marijuana (2023)

VII. Drug and Alcohol Counseling

The Counseling Center (651) 690-6805; and the Health and Wellness Clinic (651) 690-6714 provide professional help and referral for students concerned about alcohol or drug use. Employees may voluntarily request assistance in dealing with drug or alcohol issues. The cost of treatment may be covered by health-insurance benefits. Other locally available sources for assistance and counseling include:

  • AA Greater Minneapolis Intergroup (952) 922-0880. This is a referral number for AA groups in the Twin Cities.

  • Alanon Intergroup (651) 771-2208. This is a referral number for Alanon groups in the Twin Cities.

  • M Health Fairview Recovery Services (612) 672-2736. This center has chemical dependency services.

  • Narcotics Anonymous (612) 822-9472. Some national hotlines providing service:

  • NCADD Information Line (800) NCA-CALL. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) provides referral services to families and individuals seeking help with an alcohol or other drug problem.

  • NIDA Hotline (800) 662-HELP. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) provides a confidential information and referral line that directs callers to cocaine abuse treatment centers in the local community. Free materials on drug use also are distributed upon request.

VIII. Review and Revision

This policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and other relevant laws. Any updates or revisions to the policy will be communicated to the university community through appropriate channels.