Alcohol and Drug Policies

Alcohol and Drug Policies

Both Federal and South Carolina state laws prohibit the use, possession, sale or offering for sale of narcotics, amphetamines, barbiturates and hallucinogens (including marijuana). As a college supported by the United Methodist Church, Spartanburg Methodist College upholds these laws and will not interfere with the legal prosecution of any members of this community who violate them. The College cannot and will not protect a student against the penalties of the law nor provide a sanctuary free from such penalties. Law enforcement officers, when armed with proper documents, have a legal right to search any and all buildings (including residence halls) and vehicles on the campus, without prior notice to anyone at the College. Also, all residence hall rooms and vehicles on the campus are subject to inspection or search by authorized officials of the College.

As a United Methodist-related institution, Spartanburg Methodist College endorses the position of the church on alcohol:

We affirm our long-standing support of abstinence from alcohol as a faithful witness to God’s liberating and redeeming love for persons. We support abstinence from the use of any illegal drugs. Since the use of alcohol and illegal drugs is a major factor in crime, disease, death, and family dysfunction, we support educational programs encouraging abstinence from such use. (2000 Book of Discipline)

Further, Spartanburg Methodist College is fully in compliance with the “Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Public Law 101-226, which requires that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal program, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees” (Federal Register, April 24, 1990, pp. 17384-17398).

The College has an active drug education and prevention program for students and staff, and our standards of conduct clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on or off campus, or as part of any of its activities. Offenders are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the College, and/or prosecution under the law.

The Student Development Office designs, promotes and carries out a year-round program of alcohol and drug education that includes posters, exhibits, brochures, speakers and television presentations on the risks of alcohol and drug use and abuse. Information is available in the Counseling Center and in the College Health Center. Students and staff may receive confidential, and non-punitive, counseling for personal or family problems related to drug and alcohol use and abuse. Resources include the College Counseling Center, the College Chaplain and the Housing Staff for resident students. Referral to the Forrester Center for Behavioral Health on a confidential basis is available. It should be understood, however, that counseling does not shield a student from discipline by legal or college authorities should drug or alcohol use continue or should the student be apprehended.

The health and safety of students at Spartanburg Methodist College is a primary concern to the entire SMC community.  The Medical Amnesty Protocol (MAP) promotes education and treatment for students who receive medical attention for an alcohol- or drug-related emergency to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences.  Students are expected to contact Campus Safety or Residence Life when they believe assistance for an intoxicated/impaired student is needed (Good Samaritan Policy).  The SMC staff will assist intoxicated/impaired individuals by providing or facilitating transportation to medical facilities. The names of the intoxicated/impaired student(s) will be recorded and submitted to the Director of Housing and Residence Life or the Dean of Students to enable follow-up to ensure the student(s) well-being.  The student seeking the treatment and the student receiving the medical treatment in an alcohol- or drug-related emergency would be granted amnesty from punitive college sanctions.  Other non-punitive consequences, such as education or treatment, may be applied to the student receiving the treatment.  This policy does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations of college standards such as visitation, damage to property, causing/threatening physical harm, etc.  Further, this policy does not grant amnesty for criminal, civil, or legal consequences of federal, state, or local law.

In order for this policy to apply, the intoxicated/impaired student(s) must agree to a health response, i.e. timely completion of recommended alcohol education activities, assessment, and/or treatment as deemed appropriate by the Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct, or the Dean of Students.  Serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of concern and action.  Failure to complete the recommended follow-up will normally result in a disciplinary response and could prompt the imposition of a medical withdrawal.  There is no maximum number of Good Samaritan calls that can be placed.

If an intoxicated/impaired student is confronted by a college official, medical assistance will still be provided (if needed), however, the student would not necessarily be excused from disciplinary action and the consequences of his or her decision to drink.

Although alcohol use does not carry the same legal consequences as illegal drugs, South Carolina law limits the purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages to those 21 years of age or older. As a private church-related institution with virtually all students under the age of 21, SMC prohibits the use or possession of alcohol by students either on or off campus.  Further, students are subject to disciplinary action if they exhibit behavior or blood alcohol content that indicates intoxication, whether consumption occurred on or off campus.

SMC’s rules concerning alcohol include the following:

  • No one may possess or consume alcohol of any type on campus or while on College-sponsored trips away from campus.
  • SMC students under the age of 21 are subject to discipline charges for possession or consumption of alcohol even in off-campus locations, as such behavior is illegal in the state of South Carolina.
  • Simply being in the presence of alcohol on or off campus can be considered a violation.  For example, if several students are in a residence hall room where only one bottle of beer is visible, all of those present are subject to disciplinary action.
  • Decisions about the likelihood of intoxication will usually be based on the student’s appearance and/or behavior, without scientific verification. Campus Safety or Residence Life Staff members may, however, choose to measure a student’s blood alcohol content using an objective device, and the results may be used as evidence in disciplinary proceedings.
  • Empty alcoholic beverage containers, or signs or posters promoting alcohol may not be displayed in residence hall rooms or any other location on campus.
  • No notices may be posted on campus by students or outside persons that promote the consumption of alcoholic beverages