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Social and Alcohol Policy

Philosophy

In 2009, led by a group of students, the College adopted the following statement:

As a community we embrace the vision of a healthy and balanced social environment, grounded in trust and open communication among faculty, staff, and students. Such an environment fosters personal and community growth and embodies a sense of responsibility and accountability to self and others. This vision depends upon each member’s commitment to achieve and maintain inclusiveness, consistency, continual education, and the growth of shared traditions. This is our duty to one another. 

Rhodes supports behavior and social interactions that are:

  • Legal
  • Responsible
  • Healthy
  • Reflective of our community values.

Expectations and Procedures

Responsible and Healthy Behavior

  • There is a time and place for alcohol consumption that is consistent with certain college activities and times of day. Behavior should demonstrate respect for the campus, its visitors, and its community.
  • Reasonable and safe consumption happens when drinking is done in moderation and not toward a goal of inebriation. When drinking is the focus of an activity or gathering, consumption is less likely to be reasonable and safe. Drinking during or before certain high-risk activities or in conjunction with health conditions or medications is dangerous to both the student and his or her surrounding community.
  • Public intoxication is not a community value or activity endorsed by the social policy or alcohol policy of the College. Public intoxication is defined as a state of inebriation indicating impaired judgment, visible intoxication, or behavior that endangers or threatens the welfare of self and others.
  • Good Samaritan Statement: The health and safety of students is a priority for the Rhodes community.  Because of this, the College has adopted a Good Samaritan Statement, and students are expected to assist fellow community members by utilizing this service. Students are to contact Campus Safety or Residence Life staff when they believe an impaired/intoxicated student is in need of assistance. In case of a medical emergency, students should call 911. When a student or organization calls for assistance, neither the student/organization, nor the impaired student will be subject to an alcohol violation, unless the student involved demonstrates a repeated lack of care for him/herself and the campus community. This policy does not protect students from violations of other college policies, such as threatening/causing physical harm, sexual assault, harassment, damage to property, hazing, etc. This policy likewise does not prevent action by local and state authorities. Staff members will record names of intoxicated students to allow for appropriate follow-up, which may result in timely completion of alcohol education programs, assessment, or treatment, depending upon the level of concern for the student’s health and safety.
  • In order to promote safer alcohol consumption and individual responsibility, common containers and mass sources – including kegs and stockpiles of beer or other alcohol – are not permitted.

Hosting Events and Parties

All events planned and hosted by Rhodes College departments and registered organizations must use the Events Management System to:

  • Reserve the location (indoor, outdoor, and off-campus) seven days prior to the event start date. If coordination with other departments listed below, arrangements are needed at least three days in advance.
  • Arrange catering through Aramark and request any of the following: set-up from Physical Plant (chairs, tables, stage, etc.), AV equipment from the Barret Media Center, Campus Safety if cash is collected or security is needed, and publicity through Communications.
  • In planning of events where alcohol is anticipated, the host will work with the advisor (if student group) or the VP for Finance and Business Affairs (faculty and staff) and Campus Safety to plan logistics and procedures related to compliance with the law, organizational rules and by-laws, and the well-being of guests.
  • Advertising for events must follow the Posting Signs Policy in the Student Handbook.
  • Clean-up of events on campus must be completed by 8 a.m. the following morning unless an earlier time is requested in advance. 

Regulatory and Contractual Compliance

  • Aramark is Rhodes College’s approved contract vendor for food and beverages. To consume alcohol in the Lair, it must be purchased through Aramark.
  • In compliance with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, possession and consumption of alcohol is prohibited at National Collegiate Athletic Association athletic events.
  • No organization shall furnish alcoholic beverages to students on campus or at any College function.
  • Requests for exceptions to these procedures should be made to the Dean of Students for student groups or the VP for Finance and Business Affairs for other groups.

Legal Behavior

The following summary is provided to promote increased awareness of the Tennessee laws concerning alcoholic beverages. This summary is not intended to be a restatement of the law nor a summary of all of the laws relating to alcoholic beverages. All members of the Rhodes community are responsible for compliance with the state laws governing the use of alcohol.

Regarding alcohol consumption, according to Tennessee law, it is illegal:

  • For any person or group of legal drinking age to sell, furnish, or provide alcoholic beverages to any person under twenty-one years of age;
  • For any person under the age of twenty-one to purchase, receive, or possess alcoholic beverages;
  • For any person to make a false statement to the effect that he or she is twenty-one years of age or older for the purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages;
  • For any person or group to sell alcoholic beverages without a license;
  • For any person or group of legal drinking age to sell or furnish any alcoholic beverages to any person who is known to be visibly intoxicated, or to any person who appears to habitually drink alcoholic beverages to excess, or to any person who appears to be a habitual user of narcotics or other habit-forming drugs.

Regarding alcohol and driving a motor vehicle, according to Tennessee law, it is illegal:

  • To drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle if a person is under twenty-one years of age and register .02 or more blood-alcohol content (BAC); for individuals who are twenty-one or over, the blood-alcohol test level is set at .08.
  • To consume any alcoholic beverage or possess an open container of alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle.

Partial summary of punishments for offenses related to alcohol and motor vehicles:

  • The offense of driving while impaired (.02 or greater BAC) for a person under age twenty-one (21) is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a driver’s license suspension of one (1) year and by a fine of two-hundred fifty dollars ($250). As additional punishment, the court may impose public service work.
  • The offense of driving while the driver is in possession of an open container of alcohol, or of a beverage containing any amount of alcohol, is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine to be established by the court.
  • The first DUI offense (.08 or higher BAC) is punishable by 48 hours minimum jail time, one (1) year suspension of license, $350 minimum fine, 11 months and 29 days probation, and participation in an alcohol treatment program.
  • The second DUI offense (.08 or higher BAC) is punishable by 45 straight days minimum jail time, two (2) year suspension of license, $600 minimum fine, 11 months and 29 days probation, and treatment.
  • The third DUI offense (.08 or higher BAC) is punishable by 120 straight days minimum jail time, three (3) to ten (10) year suspension of license, $1,100 minimum fine, 11 months and 29 days probation, and treatment.
  • The fourth DUI offense (.08 or higher BAC) is punishable by 150 straight days minimum jail time, five (5) year suspension of license, $3000 minimum fine, and 1 to 6 years probation or parole.

Violations and Sanctions

In light of our Vision and policy we seek to establish an appropriate system for addressing violations of our community, remembering our commitment to fostering an atmosphere of personal and communal development. 

  • To emphasize learning versus punishment
  • To promote development
  • To emphasize success and support
  • To support responsibility and judgment of individuals and groups.

Student violations of this policy are on a two-tiered system. “Level 1” Violations include, but are not limited to, the possession or consumption of alcohol if under the age of 21 or providing alcohol to underage students. “Level 2” Violations include, but are not limited to, alcohol intoxication or substance induced behavior that places a student at risk in terms of health and safety issues. The adjudicator determines the level of the violation.

Students in violation will:

  1. Dispose of all alcoholic beverages in his or her possession or the alcoholic beverages will be confiscated and disposed of by a College staff member;
  2. Receive a written or oral warning that current or future policy violation(s) may result in more severe sanctions and/or administrative action at the discretion of the adjudicator.

Level 1 Violation

     

1st Violation 

2nd Violation

3rd Violation

4th Violation

$100 Fine
Alcohol Education 
Letter of Warning
$150 Fine
Community Service
Substance Evaluation
Letter of Warning
Disciplinary Probation
$200 Fine
Community Service
Substance Evaluation
Parent Notified
Disciplinary Probation
Letter of Warning
Suspension
Suspension
Parent Notified

Level 2 Violation

     

1st Violation 

2nd Violation

3rd Violation

 
$150 Fine
Parent Notified
Substance Evaluation
Community Service
Letter of Warning
$200 Fine
Parent Notified
Substance Evaluation
Community Service
Disciplinary Probation 
Letter of Warning
Suspension
$250 Fine
Parent Notified
Substance Evaluation
Community Service
Suspension
 

 

Alcohol Education –designed to increase awareness of health, safety and legal issues surrounding alcohol misuse;

Substance Evaluation – evaluation for substance abuse issues;

Parent Notified – The parent will be notified via telephone.

Other Sanctions – see section on “Disciplinary Sanctions”

Failure to complete the required sanction(s) within six (6) weeks will result in: (1) the inability to register at enrollment clearance for the following semester until requirements are met; and (2) other sanctions may be applied.

Special Note: Any violation that includes drinking and driving on campus will likely result in a suspension of parking and driving privileges for the rest of the student’s college career at Rhodes.

Alcohol Awareness

Rhodes is committed to providing students, faculty, and staff with factual information about alcohol as well as confidential referrals for professional assistance in the event that they are needed. An awareness of the negative effects of alcohol consumption may assist you in your efforts to make safe and responsible choices about alcohol. Educational programs will be organized and conducted annually to promote continued awareness and encourage an attitude of genuine concern and care for others. Information concerning responsible use, effective party planning, indications of abuse or addiction, and resources for assistance are available for you or someone you care about in the Counseling Center.