Dickinson's Drug Free College Community

This online policy content is provided as a resource for the students, faculty, staff, and administration of Dickinson College. Content is subject to change. Please contact the appropriate person or office to obtain the most current information.


The Congress’s Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 require that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal program after October 1, 1990, all institutions of higher education must certify that they have adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful manufacturing, dispensing, possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. Likewise, anyone who submits research proposals to federal agencies must certify that they will not engage in any of the aforementioned activities during the period covered by the grant.

Individuals who do not make such certification and those who violate its terms will lose federal funds. As required by Federal regulations, this information was developed and distributed to inform all College community members of the seriousness of the use and abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol. It also sets forth standards of conduct regarding such activity.

Standards of Conduct

The unlawful manufacturing, possession, distribution, dispensing or use of illicit drugs or alcohol on college property or as part of any college activity by any member of the college community is strictly prohibited. Any violation of college policies and/or local ordinances, State or Federal laws will result in appropriate disciplinary action.

In addition to college sanctions, students should know that where appropriate, the college will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies. A student who has been convicted of any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance will not be eligible to receive any Title IV Federal grant, loan, or work assistance. See Suspension of Financial Aid Eligibility for Drug-Related Offenses section of this handbook.

When on college-owned property or at any college activity (on or off-campus), all individuals and groups will be expected to observe and comply with drug and alcohol laws. The host of any event at which alcohol is provided in any way is responsible for complying with public laws, regulations and policies established by the college. The “host” is the person, persons or organization who provides the food, beverages or accommodations in which the activity takes place. The college reserves the right to prohibit or otherwise limit consumption of alcohol at certain events and in certain facilities. For more information, contact the Office of Student Leadership & Campus Engagement at 717-245-1671.

While the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal under Pennsylvania law, the manufacture, possesion, distribution, dispensing and use of marijuana remians illegal under federal law. Consistent with federal law, including the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, the use and/or possession of marijuana (even for medical purposes) continues to be prohibited while a student is on college owned or college controlled property, and/or at any function hosted, authorized or supervised by the college regardless of where held.

Illicit Drugs

Illicit Drugs are controlled substances that possess a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in the United States and demonstrate a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Controlled substances so defined fall under seven headings: marijuana (marijuana, hashish); stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine); depressants (barbiturates, tranquilizers, hypnotics); hallucinogens (LSD, PCP); opiates or narcotics (heroin, morphine, opium, codeine); inhalants (sprays, solvents, glue); and designer drugs (synthetic drugs similar in effect to stimulants, hallucinogens and narcotics). To be used legally and safely, some of the drugs above must be prescribed by a physician. This list is not comprehensive; there may be substances omitted that are also illegal and fall under the designation of controlled substances.


Alcohol, the shortened term for ethyl alcohol, is a depressant that slows the activity of the central nervous system and the brain. Alcohol is a substance regulated by local, state and federal agencies with respect to its purchase, transportation, consumption and possession.

Legal Sanctions

In Pennsylvania, the following violations are punishable by fines and, in some instances, loss of driving privileges (not exhaustive list, illustrative only):

  • purchase, consumption, transportation or possession of alcoholic beverages by a person under age 21;
  • misrepresentation of age to purchase alcohol and altering, selling or manufacturing of false identification;
  • selling or furnishing of alcoholic beverages to those under age 21.

Lying about age to obtain alcohol, making a false ID and furnishing alcohol to individuals under age 21 are misdemeanor offenses.

The legal sanctions for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs are more diverse than the sanctions governing alcohol. Sanctions may vary from fines, for first-time misdemeanor offenses involving simple possession of certain substances, to felony counts and multiple year terms of imprisonment for more serious violations. A summary of penalties related to illicit drugs and alcohol may be found online at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Individuals seeking legal advice regarding drug or alcohol laws should consult legal counsel.

Health Risks

Illicit drugs can interfere with important brain activities including coordination, memory and learning. They increase the risk of lung cancer, destroy liver cells, initiate severe weight loss and may weaken the immune system. Users may also experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat and irregular breathing. Convulsions, coma and death are also possible. Combining drugs can be fatal.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that is absorbed into the blood stream and transmitted to all parts of the body. Moderate doses reduce physical coordination and mental alertness while larger doses of alcohol drastically impair an individual’s ability to function, sometimes rendering them unconscious. Long-term drinking can increase the risk of developing liver and heart disease, circulatory and stomach problems, various forms of cancer and causes irreversible brain damage.

Education, Counseling and Treatment

Drug and alcohol education programs are conducted regularly to heighten everyone’s awareness of the necessity to have a drug-free college community. Resources are provided to community members by sources such as the Office of the Dean of Students, Office of Student Leadership & Campus Engagement, Wellness Center and Human Resources Services.

College Sanctions

Dickinson College adheres to the laws, regulations and ordinances of federal, state and local authorities. Any student or employee violating them will be subject to referral and external prosecution through the college’s Department of Public Safety and/or the state and local police. Students are also subject to disciplinary action through the Community Standards. Any questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the Dean of Students Office, the Department of Public Safety or Human Resources Services.


Assistance, Treatment, Support and Community Resources

Emergency Assistance:
On-campus call x1111 (717-245-1111)
Off-campus call 911

Medical Treatment:
Wellness Center - Health Services x1835 (717-245-1835)     students only
Carlisle Regional Medical Center Emergency Department 717- 960-1695  

Emotional Support:
Wellness Center - Counseling Services x1485 (717-245-1485)     students only
Employee Assistance Program 717-243-1896     employees only

Community Resources:
Alcoholics Anonymous 717-249-6673
Holy Spirit Hospital Drug and Alcohol Services 717-763-2369
The Letort Center 717-243-9000 (confidential treatment for addictions)