Frequently Asked Questions
Alcohol and the Discipline Process - ODUS
Prepared for the ACC Workshop 12/5/08
What are the most common violations of the alcohol policy? Many violations of Princeton University alcohol policy involve students who “serve, provide, or make alcohol available to” underage students. Serving or providing alcohol or making alcohol available to an underage person is a violation of University policy as well as New Jersey law.
How is it determined who has “served” (provided, etc.) alcohol to an underage person? The residents of the room where the alcohol was made available to an underage person are held responsible for a serving violation. If another, non-resident student is also found to have provided alcohol to a minor, he or she will also be held responsible for a serving violation.
If I have a drink in my room, is that a violation of University policy? No. A student, regardless of age, may consume his or her own alcohol in his or her own room.
What if my roommates have a party and I don’t want to be held responsible? Students who notify their roommates in writing prior to a gathering that they do not want to participate, and who are entirely absent from the room while the gathering is taking place, will not be held responsible for a violation.
If I am not yet 21, may I serve alcohol to someone who is 21 or older? No. University policy and New Jersey law prohibit the serving of alcohol “by or to those less than 21 years of age.”
Are there other violations of the University alcohol policy besides serving to underage persons? Yes. Other violations include possession of an open container of alcohol in a common space of the University; possession of a keg or tap; hosting or playing a drinking game; possession of alcohol by a minor; procuring alcohol for a minor; using false identification to purchase alcohol; driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol; and committing another violation of University policy (for example, disorderly conduct, harassment, or assault) while under the influence of alcohol.
Is intoxication considered a mitigating circumstance if a violation occurs? No. Students are responsible for their conduct whether or not they have consumed alcohol.
How is the dean’s office notified of possible alcohol violations? Most reports concerning possible violations of the alcohol policy come through the Department of Public Safety. Incidents can also be reported by students, staff members, or others.
What are the consequences of violating the alcohol policy? Penalties for violations of the alcohol policy range from a dean’s warning to a separation from the University, depending on the violation and any previous disciplinary record the student may have. The typical penalty for a first serving violation, if the student has no prior disciplinary record, is three months of disciplinary probation.
What is disciplinary probation at Princeton? Disciplinary probation is essentially a warning to the student that any further violation of policy, especially while the student is on probation, will be regarded as much more serious. Disciplinary probation does not appear on the student’s transcript, but it is entered into a permanent disciplinary record. The disciplinary record is shared with outside parties only with the student’s written permission or as otherwise legally required.
Are parents notified about alcohol violations? Parents are not ordinarily notified of first alcohol violations unless the violation is very serious. Parents are routinely notified of second alcohol violations, since a third alcohol-related violation will result in a hearing before the Committee on Discipline with a likelihood of separation from the University.
How can I avoid violating the alcohol policy? First and foremost, familiarize yourself with University alcohol policy (Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, 2008 version, pp 47-49). Then:
- Talk with your roommates about the alcohol policy and decisions related to social gatherings.
- Be thoughtful and intentional in making personal decisions about alcohol. Take care not to compromise your own judgment or safety, or the safety of others, by overindulging in drinking.
- Get medical help for intoxicated persons by taking them to McCosh, or by calling Public Safety when help is needed.