Scampus Alcohol Policy: Part F, Section 4

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Section 4 – 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,

I.  Alcohol

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:

a. The purchase, possession, or consumption of any alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.

b. Alcoholic beverages will not be provided to individuals under 21 years of age.

c. 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.

d. The serving of alcohol to an intoxicated person or to the point of intoxication is prohibited.

e. The manufacture, use or provision of a false state identification card, driver’s license, or certification of birth or baptism is prohibited.

f. The act(s) of being drunk and disorderly in public view, including on public sidewalks and walkways, is prohibited.

g. The consumption of alcoholic beverages in a public place (unless licensed for consumption of alcohol on the premises) is prohibited. This includesa prohibition of alcoholic beverages in public areas of academic facilities, recreation fields, university housing corridors and lounges.

h. Operating a motor vehicle, bicycle, skates, or scooters while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.

i. 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).

j. 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. All other student organizations should contact the 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, Steven and Kathryn Sample Hall 410, (213) 740-5693
  • USC Hospitality, Bookstore 404, (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.  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.

V.  Assistance

There are many well-documented risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs, affecting not only the individual user, but also their 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) 740-9355Alcoholics Anonymous, University Religious Center 205,

Section 5 – Smoke-free Campus

In order to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our faculty, staff and students, it is the policy of the University of Southern California that smoking is prohibited in all enclosed buildings, facilities and university vehicles.

The thoughtfulness and cooperation of the entire campus community are paramount to successful implementation of this policy. Given the established harmful effects of smoking to both smokers and non-smokers, it is the intent of the University of Southern California to reduce the existence of this health hazard in our campus environment.

Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed buildings, facilities and vehicles, which are owned or leased by the university, on both the University Park Campus and the Health Sciences Campus. This applies to all academic and administrative units including all individual faculty and administrative offices.

Smoking is prohibited in all university owned and leased housing. All University Park on-campus housing facilities are smoke free environments, regardless of roommate consent. All shared community space within university housing shall be designated as non-smoking areas.

All dining facilities on both the University Park Campus and the Health Sciences Campus shall be designated as non-smoking areas.

Smoking is prohibited during indoor athletic events and other university-sponsored or designated indoor events.

The university recognizes the need to accommodate those members of the university community who wish to smoke. Therefore, administrative and academic units may designate existing outdoor space as smoking areas, but these areas should be located far enough away from doorways, windows and ventilation systems to prevent smoke from entering enclosed buildings and facilities.

Some outdoor areas are confined spaces or particularly busy thoroughfares; in such cases, administrative and academic units may request Risk Management to designate those outdoor areas as smoke free.

For information on smoking cessation, contact the Engemann Student Health Center, at (213) 740-9355, or Office of Wellness and Health Promotion (OWHP) at (213) 740-4777.