Alcohol & Other Drugs

Alcohol Policy

The Castleton University Alcohol Policy is congruent with Vermont state law, local regulations, and the mission of the University and is established to assure the appropriate distribution, consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages on the campus. Misuse of alcohol can have a detrimental effect on academic progress and can have a harmful and occasionally deadly effect on students' lives. Through this policy, the University encourages students, administrators, staff and faculty to make informed choices about alcohol use and to respect local and state laws as well as the rights of other members of the community.

The administration and interpretation of the Alcohol Policy rests with the Dean of Students or his/her designee. Any University official, including but not limited to representatives of the PublicSafety Department and Residence Hall Staff, may take action as necessary to enforce this policy. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the President of the University or his/her designee.

Reasonable consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property is a privilege accorded under specified conditions to individuals of legal age as defined by Vermont Law. These individuals may drink alcohol in areas defined as private domiciles (i.e., individual student rooms, suite living rooms and the President's House) or at licensed events. Alcohol consumption or possession is prohibited in all residence hall rooms or suites assigned solely to underage students. No open container of alcohol may be carried into or consumed outside of approved areas. Scheduled events must remain within the approved designated area.

Transportation and/or consumption of alcohol are prohibited in University vehicles. 

University officials (including student staff) may request that a student or guest allow backpacks and other closed packages and containers be checked for illegal alcohol. If the person refuses, they must leave the premises immediately with the unsearched item(s). Refusal of the inspection is not a violation of policy nor may a violation be presumed. 

The University reserves the right to suspend or revoke alcohol privileges from any individual, group, or area if deemed necessary or in the best interest of the University Community.

Public Intoxication Policy

Public intoxication is prohibited. According to Vermont law, the definition of “intoxicated” is a condition in which the mental or physical functioning of an individual is substantially impaired as a result of the presence of alcohol or other drugs in his or her system.

For the purposes of this policy, public intoxication is defined as: “Any behavior resulting from the over-consumption of alcohol and/or drugs which causes a disturbance, is a danger to self, others, and/or property, or in any way requires the attention of University officials.”

University Regulations for On-Campus Events

  1. Recognizing that not all individuals may choose to consume alcoholic beverages, any hosts providing an alcoholic beverage must also provide two nonalcoholic beverages, as well as food attractively served and in adequate quantities for the number of guests. Sponsors of any event which includes alcohol may not publicize the availability of alcoholic beverages.
  2. All sponsoring individuals or groups are prohibited from furnishing alcohol to minors. 
  3. Kegs, party balls, and alcohol in common source containers are prohibited unless served by a licensed caterer and with the permission of the Dean of Students or designee.
  4. Attendance at the event may not exceed the occupancy limit of the area accommodating the event (i.e., in residence halls, 8 people per room or 25 people per suite).
  5. A charge of no less than $100.00 will be billed to the organization sponsoring an event if the facility used is not properly cleaned within eight hours after the function has ended. 

Campus-wide, Licensed Events

If an event is to be scheduled in Huden Hall, the University's only facility permanently licensed to serve alcohol, the sponsoring organization must complete and have approved the Alcohol Permit and Event Scheduling Form at least seven days prior to the event (this form is available from the Student Life office). For events in all other areas, a minimum of 21 days advance notice is required to obtain approval from local and state liquor authorities. Completion of the Alcohol Permit and Event Scheduling Forms indicate an understanding of the Alcohol Policy and acceptance of responsibility to fulfill the regulations therein. The sponsoring organization or individuals must assume financial responsibility for all associated costs, including but not limited to security and damages. 

Off-campus, University-sponsored Events

Events sponsored by the University or any organization of the University, held in off-campus locations, must also comply with applicable laws and items #1 through #4 of the University Regulations for On-Campus Events listed above.

Residence Hall Regulations

  1. Legal-aged students are limited to possessing the standard alcohol equivalent of twenty-four 12 oz. beer containers, or 750 mL or liquor (= a fifth = 24 ounces), or 120 oz. of wine (= 5 standard size bottles of wine) in their room at any one time. 
  2. Legal-aged guests and legal-aged students visiting halls other than their own are limited to bringing the standard alcohol equivalent of a six-pack of 12 oz. beer containers or 250 mL of liquor (= 8 ounces), or 25 ounces of wine (=1 standard size bottle of wine).
  3. Alcohol cannot be consumed or possessed in rooms/suites assigned solely to underage students. The primary responsibility for compliance with this policy lies with the room residents. 
  4. No common source containers of an alcoholic beverage (i.e., kegs, party balls) are allowed in the residence halls. Possession of any common source container in the residence halls is a serious violation of University policy and may result in eviction from the residence halls.
  5. Organized private parties where alcohol is served or brought by guests must be approved by the Area Coordinator. Parties are defined as private events at which alcohol is consumed and to which more than 6 individuals not assigned to the suite or 4 individuals not assigned to the room are invited. A Party Registration Form (available from the Area Coordinator) must be received 24 hours in advance of the party. One or more persons must be identified who will assume responsibility for hosting the party. The host must be a resident of the suite/room in which the party is held. Parties in residence halls can take place only between Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. Normally, only one suite per hall may have a party in a given 24 hour period. The event must comply with all residence hall policies, including quiet hours restrictions. Attendance at the event may not exceed the occupancy limits of the area (i.e., 8 people per individual room or 25 people per suite). Private parties are restricted to invited guests of legal age. The availability of alcohol at a private party cannot be advertised.
  6. Alcohol may not be sold under any condition at private parties. This includes the selling of cups or asking for donations. The amount of alcohol at each party will be limited to one six-pack of beer per person, or its standard alcohol equivalent. Food and non-alcoholic beverages must also be provided.
  7. Empty alcohol containers are prohibited in rooms/suites assigned solely to underage students. 

Responsibility and Liability

For any party, the persons who sign the required Party Registration Forms or Alcohol Permit & Event Scheduling Forms or the residence hall/room/suite (for unregistered gatherings) are responsible for the safe conduct of the event and will be held accountable for any policy/law violations or damages which occur as a result of the event. Any individual who knowingly provides a location where minors consume alcohol will be held responsible for the minor's consumption regardless of how the alcohol was procured. Events and gatherings determined to be in violation of the Alcohol Policy may be immediately suspended by University staff. If a violation occurs, the event will be closed immediately and the sponsoring group or individual may be prohibited from sponsoring an event for the remainder of the academic year.

Parental Notification Regarding Alcohol/Drug Violations

Recent changes in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act allow parents and/or guardians of students under the age of 21 to be notified of violations of law, or of University policy, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. The University may inform a parent or guardian in the case of multiple alcohol/drug violations. A single serious infraction may also result in notification.  

Upstander Policy

Castleton University’s primary goal when responding to incidents of a potential overdose of alcohol or other drugs is to address the presenting medical needs of the victim. A person should not be deterred from reporting an incident due to anticipated violations of University policies. The Dean of Students or designee will consider all circumstances involved with an incident, conduct an educational meeting, and then may at his/her discretion, choose not to pursue potential violations through the student conduct system.

Drug Policy

Drugs other than those prescribed by a licensed physician for legitimate medical purposes may not be manufactured, distributed, dispensed, possessed, used, stored, sold or solicited on University property or at any University function or activity controlled or sponsored by the University.

Drug paraphernalia, including hookahs, is prohibited. 

Violations of the University's drug policy or of State or Federal law are likely to result in disciplinary action and/or criminal charges. Any student found to be in possession of any drug declared illegal under the provisions of Title 18, Vermont State Statutes Annotated, Chapter 84, or in possession of any associated paraphernalia will be subject to a disciplinary hearing.


Violations of these policies may result in a monetary sanction, restitution hours, participation in an alcohol or other drug education program or any combination of the three. In addition, serious or repeated incidents may result in eviction, probation, suspension or dismissal. Other sanctions are possible as well. Violations of criminal law may be referred to and prosecuted by outside authorities.

Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Per Federal Financial Aid Regulations 34 CFR 668.40, HEAO Sec. 488(g), amended HEA Sec. 485 (20 U.S. C. 1092), HEA Sec. 485(k), amendment HEOA effective August 14, 2008.

In compliance with the above regulation, this statement serves as notice that a student who has a drug conviction for any offense, during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV HEA program funds (Federal Pell, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal

Work-Study, Federal Perkins loan, Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS loans, Federal Grad PLUS Loans) under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV program funds (see above listing of program funds).

Drug-Free Workplace

Castleton University affirms its commitment to maintaining a drug-free workplace. Since education is the primary mission of the University, the administration, faculty, students and staff join together to insure that a drug-free environment is maintained to protect the education process. Individuals of every age are susceptible to the temptations of drug use and abuse, and Castleton is committed to assisting those within its purview to remain drug-free. In order to assure this atmosphere, the University affirms the following:

  1. All students at Castleton University, whether employed by the University or attending on a full or part time basis, are subject to the conditions of this policy and treated as "employees" under the above conditions.
  1. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance by University employees is prohibited on University property or at any University function or activity controlled or sponsored by the University. Employees are to adhere to this provision, and are required to self disclose to the Dean of Administration any criminal drug statute conviction resulting from an infraction of the law while conducting any activity in our workplace, or in conducting any activity with a federal grant, no later than five (5) days after the conviction. Within thirty (30) days of receiving a self disclosure, the Dean of Administration may:
    1. Take the appropriate personnel action, up to and including probation or termination of employment;
    2. Require the mandatory participation in drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation programs;
    3. Any other appropriate intervention which would assist the employee and University in eliminating the inappropriate activity.
  1. Castleton University will establish an EAP (Employee Assistance Program). The program will include the following components:
    1. Adherence to the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Policy of the University;
    2. Availability of counseling referral services and educational services related to the prevention of drug abuse in the workplace;
    3. Notification of the penalties that may be imposed by the University on employees for drug abuse violations.
  1. The University shall notify the federal contracting agency within ten (10) days after receiving notice of employee convictions for drug crimes in the workplace.
  2. The workplace for the purposes of this policy is defined as any area of the campus and workspaces away from the campus where University activities take place.

Employee Assistance Program

The Drug-Free Workplace component of the Employee Assistance Program is administered by the Director of Human Resources. The services of the Castleton EAP include assessment, referral and short-term problem solving for employees who are experiencing substance abuse, or other personal problems associated with drug use and abuse which affect their job performance. As mandated by the Drug-Free Workplace Policy at Castleton University, the following components are included in the program: 

Through notification and assessment, the EAP will evaluate employees and appropriately assist them in returning to and/or remaining effective on their jobs when substance abuse alters their work performance. The EAP will notify employees of the penalties that may be imposed by the University on employees for substance abuse violations, and what adherence means in relation to the Drug-Free Workplace Policy of the University.

Counseling Services will maintain a referral network including agencies, clinics, private practitioners, hospitals, self-help groups and other community based services to assist employees. The referral services of the University will be made available, not only to employees, but to the family members of the employees of the institution. 

*Employees needing counseling in other areas should contact the Director of the Wellness Center or the Human Resource department in Woodruff.

Tobacco Use Policy

Tobacco use is prohibited in all Castleton University property, both indoors and outdoors, as well as in vehicles owned by the University.

For purposes of this policy, “tobacco” is defined as any manufactured product containing tobacco or nicotine, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, shisha, pipes, water pipes (hookah), dissolvable tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, other electronic or battery-powered vaping devices, and all forms of smokeless tobacco.

However, “tobacco” does not include any product that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pursuant to its authority over drugs and devices, for sale as a tobacco use cessation product or for other medical purposes and is being marketed and sold solely for that approved purpose.

“Castleton University property” is defined as property owned, leased, or operated by the University, including, but not limited to, campus buildings, campus grounds, residential buildings, parking areas, walkways, recreational and supporting facilities.