The following information is provided annually to every employee and student of Missouri State University out of concern for their welfare and in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. Policies in this notice are available at the given web addresses and in hard copy at the Offices of the Dean of Students, Plaster Student Union 405, 417-836-5527 and Human Resources, Carrington Hall 118, 417-836-6616.
Statement of philosophy and expectations
Missouri State University is committed to providing a healthy, safe, and learning environment for its students, faculty, staff, and guests. Abuse of alcohol and other drugs disrupts this environment and interferes with the academic and personal development of the student, and personal and professional development of university employees. Standards regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs must support local and state laws. Furthermore, policies should reflect and encourage abstinence and low risk consumption of alcohol as acceptable choices, and should actively discourage heavy and high-risk consumption of alcoholic beverages. Policies can minimize the potential risks to the health and safety of members of the university community, but every member of the university community has a responsibility to prevent the illegal use of drugs or high-risk use of alcohol.
Missouri State University recognizes that university students are adults. The university's role is to assist students with every available resource to help them develop satisfying life-styles and to equip them for a better quality of life; nonetheless, it cannot and should not stand in the place of a parent. University students, as citizens of this community, of this state, and of the nation are, like any other adults, expected to be aware of and to abide by pertinent laws and university regulations. On the presumption that these expectations will be carried out, the university will not provide staff or other resources to monitor social activities sponsored by student organizations. This will be the responsibility of officers and advisors.
Concomitant with the expectations that the students will conduct themselves at all times as responsible adults is the understanding that, as adults, students may be subject to civil liability resulting from violation of the law. Such liability may exist independently of any disciplinary action taken by the university for violation of its regulations (which includes violation of pertinent laws). The university is required by the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 to adopt and implement a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees. This program, described herein, is distributed annually to every student and employee of the university. Additional copies of the prevention program can be obtained from the Human Resources Office, Carrington Hall 118, or the Dean of Students Office, Plaster Student Union 405.
Alcohol and other drug abuse policy
The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol is prohibited on university property, in conjunction with university activities, and in conjunction with student organization events. This includes violation of the Missouri law prohibiting possession or use of alcohol by persons under 21 years of age and violation of all other state and federal laws regulating use, possession or distribution of alcohol and other drugs. "University activities" include those activities that are planned, promoted, or sponsored by a university department or other university subdivision. "University property" includes university owned or leased land, facilities, vehicles, and equipment. Use of alcohol on university property, at university activities or at the activities of university “sponsored” student organizations, which are recognized student organizations that are advised by a university employee as part of that employee’s job description and funded in some manner through university funds, is permitted only if specifically authorized by the Board of Governors, or its delegate, in accordance with state law.
Also prohibited is 1) the unlawful or unauthorized use and/or possession of narcotics, drugs, drug paraphernalia, and/or other chemicals, 2) the distribution and/or sale of alcoholic beverages, except as officially authorized by the Board of Governors or its delegate, in accord with state law, and 3) the unlawful or unauthorized distribution and/or sale of narcotics, drugs and/or chemicals.
Violations of this policy can result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge for employees and dismissal for students and referral for prosecution. Violations of this policy by students will be considered violation of the university disciplinary code, which may result in dismissal, suspension or imposition of a lesser sanction. Sanctions may also include referrals for appropriate rehabilitation.
Beyond these legal requirements, the university has established policies to reduce the risks associated with the legal use of alcohol at “recognized” student organization activities. Recognized student organizations are those that have completed annual registration with the Office of Student Engagement, are approved by the Student Government Association, are in good standing with the university, but do not meet the criteria to be considered a sponsored student organization. When alcoholic beverages are present at off-campus activities, 1) non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available in adequate supply and in plain view, and 2) the organization must not permit, encourage, or sponsor participation in any drinking games or themes that might encourage the rapid/excessive consumption of alcohol. The complete Social Event Risk Management Policy for Missouri State University Recognized Student Organizations is available online, in the Dean of Students Office or the Office of Student Engagement.
Those employees, students, or visitors who are under 21 years of age and who use, sell or who are in the possession of alcoholic beverages are subject to the penalties of this State's underage drinking laws. Those employees, students, and visitors found illegally possessing, using or selling illegal drugs may be subject to the penalties of federal, state and city drug laws.
Good citizen policy
There may be times when a student’s well-being or safety is in danger due to alcohol or drug use. Recognizing that the fear of sanctions may prevent a student from taking action to report or get assistance for someone whose health may be in jeopardy, the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities at Missouri State University includes a ‘Good Citizen’ policy to assist students in making safer choices.
The welfare of our students is of the highest importance to Missouri State University. There will be times when individual students, both on and off campus, may be in critical need of assistance from medical or other professional personnel. Missouri State University hopes that these students will seek help, and that other students will respond to obtain the help that their fellow student needs. To that end, Missouri State University intends to minimize any hesitation that students might have in obtaining help due to concern that their own behavior might be a violation of university policy.
While policy violations cannot be overlooked, Student Conduct staff members will consider the positive impact of reporting an incident on the welfare of students when determining the appropriate response for policy violations by the reporter of the incident. Any possible negative consequences for the reporter of the problem should be weighed against the possible negative consequences for the student who needs intervention. At a minimum, Missouri State University suggests that a student anonymously report any situation that would put the student in need in touch with professional help.
Examples where the Good Citizen Policy may influence educational consequences are:
- A student is reluctant to report that she/he has been sexually assaulted because she/he was smoking marijuana just prior to the assault.
- A student is reluctant to call an ambulance when a friend becomes unconscious following an excessive consumption of alcohol because the reporting student is under the age of 21 and also was consuming alcohol.
- A member of a student organization is reluctant to report a possible suicide attempt by a prospective member because prospective members have been required to perform activities that may be considered hazing.
In all three of these examples, a student’s physical and/or psychological well-being is in serious jeopardy. It is of vital importance that students act in the best interest of the at risk student so that they can get assistance. In instances like these, a student’s well-being and the positive actions taken by students acting as good citizens will be the primary focus.
Local, state and federal laws prohibit the unlawful possession, use, distribution and sale of alcohol and illicit drugs. Criminal penalties for violation of such laws range from fines up to $20,000 to imprisonment for terms up to and including life.
Specific serious health risks are associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol. Some of the major risks are:
Alcohol and other depressants (barbiturates, sedatives, and tranquilizers): Addiction, accidents as a result of impaired ability and judgment, overdose which can result in death, damage to a developing fetus, heart and liver damage.
Marijuana: Addiction, panic reaction, impaired short-term memory, increased risk of lung cancer and emphysema (particularly in cigarette smokers), impairment of driving ability.
Cocaine: Addiction, heart attack, seizures, lung damage, severe depression, paranoia and psychosis. Similar risks are associated with other stimulants such as speed and uppers.
Hallucinogens (acid, LSD, PCP, MDMA, etc.): Unpredictable behavior, emotional instability, violent behavior, organic brain damage in heavy users, convulsions and coma.
Narcotics (Heroin, Demerol, Morphine, Codeine, etc.): Addiction, accidental overdose and risk of hepatitis and AIDS from contaminated needles.
Inhalants (harmful gases and aerosols, glue, nitrous oxide, etc.): Loss of consciousness, suffocation, damage to the brain and central nervous system, sudden death, nausea and vomiting, nosebleeds, impaired judgment.
Description of university services
Campus-related, self-help groups
Missouri State University Collegiate Recovery Program, Counseling Center, Magers Health and Wellness Center 304, 417-836-5116. The Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) assists students as they live a life in recovery from a Substance Use Disorder. The CRP provides students with support group meetings, alternative sober activities, service work/community engagement, a positive presence on the university campus, as well as a safe and nonjudgmental community.
A new student program SoBEAR: Bears in Recovery, provides support group meetings and other student services for those in recovery. SoBEARS (417-836-5116) or https://www.missouristate.edu/crp.
Magers Health and Wellness Center 304, 417-836-5116.
The Counseling Center provides counseling services to currently enrolled, for-credit students at Missouri State. Students may receive up to 8 sessions per semester at no additional charge while classes are in session. Individual, couple, group and crisis counseling is available. Faculty and staff members are eligible for consultation and referral services only. Non-student spouses, partners, and/or family members are not eligible for services but may be assisted to locate an outside service provider. Substance abuse assessments and counseling are available for students in need of such services, and referrals for out-patient or in-patient treatment of chemical dependency or other concerns requiring more specialized services may be made when a need becomes apparent.
Partners in Prevention (PIP)/Partners in Environmental Change (PIEC) Campus/Community Coalition
Magers Health and Wellness Center, Room 37, 417-836-4045
PIP/PIEC is a Missouri State University coalition representing segments of the university and Springfield community who are focused on preventing high-risk drinking among our students. We belong to a statewide coalition comprised of nineteen of Missouri’s colleges and universities that is underwritten by grants from the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and the US Department of Education. The Missouri State University PIP/PIEC Coalition has as its mission to create a campus and city environment that supports responsible decision making in regard to alcohol by Missouri State University students. Missouri State University PIP/PIEC meets on a monthly basis to plan an annual survey of student alcohol and drug use and its consequences, events that highlight responsible decision making, and materials that educate university students about our community social norms, acute alcohol poisoning, blood alcohol content, safe transportation and other relevant issues.
MSU Safety and Transportation/Springfield Police Department, Missouri State University Substation
636 E. Elm St., 417-836-5327
MSU Public Safety officers and SPD Substation officers are available for presentations on laws related to alcohol and illegal drugs as well as personal safety and assault prevention. Other programs may be available upon request
Room 405 Plaster Student Union, 417-836-5527
The Office of Student Conduct, housed within the Dean of Students Office, serves to administer and uphold The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities of Missouri State University. More than simply policy enforcement, Student Conduct strives to assist students in understanding the impact of their actions and taking responsibility for those actions by utilizing an educational conduct process. Student learning and development is at the forefront of interactions with conduct officers who encourage students to take ownership for their actions and the resulting consequences. Educational consequences for violations of alcohol and drug violations may include classes, fines that are used for educational efforts, collaborative programs with other offices or entities on campus, and/or a chemical dependency assessment. Students who are concerned about their choices in regard to drugs and/or alcohol are encouraged to seek assistance from Student Conduct as this office maintains close working relationships with campus and community resources that may be able to assist students who need help. The Office of Student Conduct maintains an alcohol and drug education fund that is utilized to support awareness programs offered to the campus community. Student Conduct also serves as a resource to student organizations, university departments, faculty, staff, and students who may be victimized by other students or student organizations. Beyond the campus community, Student Conduct is an active member in the Underage Drinking Task Force as well as the Higher Education Committee through Community Partnership of the Ozarks.
Room 101 Plaster Student Union, 417-836-4386
The Office of Student Engagement serves as a resource for student organizations and advisors on the legal requirements and liability for activities where alcohol may be present. The office also sponsors numerous programs throughout the year, such as comedians, concerts, lectures, and late night programming on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and many Saturdays. The office also provides advisement to Fraternity and Sorority Leaders of Social Awareness (FSLSA).
This organization provides constant and continuous education regarding social awareness and take a proactive approach to inform the community about issues regarding alcohol, drugs, mental health, sexual assault prevention, and diversity.
Magers Health and Wellness Center
With a seventeen member medical staff, Magers Health and Wellness Center provides a high quality medical home, caring for illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems and preventive medicine. The Wellness Office offers programs on topics such as wellness, alcohol and other drugs, exercise and fitness, healthy eating and weight management, stress management, sexuality issues and tobacco cessation. SoBEARS is a program designed specifically to support students in recovery.
The university will conduct a biennial review of this program to determine its effectiveness, make changes where necessary, and ensure that it is consistently enforced.
Revision of the alcohol and other drug abuse prevention program
Action on any of the above recommendations should be followed by a careful review of the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Program by the staff of the Dean of Students for any necessary revisions. Proposed revisions should then be presented to the President and his Administrative Council for approval.