2019 – 2021 Biennial Review of Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Programs and Policies
McPherson College is committed to an environment that supports the academic success and health of our students as well as our employees. The college has a drug-free campus program that services to provide the campus with activities, resources, and services designed to encourage a healthy and drug free lifestyle. In keeping with the requirements of the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (EDGAR Part 86), McPherson College has a Substance Abuse Possession Policy and a Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Policy, both of which describe the standards of conduct that clearly prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on College property or as a part of any McPherson College-sponsored activity.
These policies include: 1) the description of the legal sanctions under federal, state or local law for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol; 2) a clear statement of disciplinary sanctions McPherson College will impose on students and employees for violations of the standards of conduct; 3) a description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol; 4) a description of the drug and alcohol counseling and treatment resources available to students and employees; 5) the guidelines for the policy dissemination to students and employees; and 6) some guidance for preparing the biennial review of McPherson College’s Alcohol and Drug Free programs and policies to determine the program effectiveness, consistency of policy enforcement and the identification of any changes needed.
As outlined in Complying with the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (EDGAR Part 86), this required biennial review has the following two objectives in preparing the report: (1) to determine the effectiveness of, and to implement necessary changes to the Drug and Alcohol Free policies and programs, and (2) to ensure that our campus enforces the disciplinary sanctions for violations standard of conduct consistently.
The following report will include 1) a description of the campus officials assigned responsibility for conducting the review; 2) inventory or programs, policies and enforcement procedures, with special note made of those interventions that are evidence-based; 3) findings from the college’s data monitoring and evaluation work; 4) documentation regarding the consistency of enforcement and 5) recommendation for improvement.
Campus Officials Responsible for Biennial Review
The campus drug and alcohol free task force includes a member from Academic Affairs, a member from the campus facilities management office, a member from Student Affairs, a member from Human Resources and a member from the college President’s office.
Inventory of Program, Policies and Enforcement Procedures
As part of the New Student Orientation (NSO), first-year students participate in a workshop designed to review the drug and alcohol policies of the campus via an online educational program that meets federal requirements. The program supports our education efforts on issues surrounding alcohol abuse, marijuana use, and consent and respect. The NSO workshop includes signs and interventions related to high-risk alcohol consumption and other drug use. In addition to the workshop, all residential students attend residence hall meetings, where Resident Assistants (RAs) facilitate discussions about campus policies and issues. Additionally, our health and wellness office provides a substantial amount of health- and wellness-based programming throughout the academic year.
Educational programming about alcohol and drug use is held throughout the academic year. The programming is a combination of interactive educational activities and passive programming, such as email, bulletin boards, and posters. The college’s Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Policy is distributed annually to the college community. In addition, referrals may be made to the on-site counseling center, which conducts drug and alcohol screenings for students.
Employees of the college participate in an annual discussion about the institution’s drug and alcohol policy. All employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). There is also a local substance abuse provider available to all members of the campus community.
The community of McPherson also offers Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These organizations offer a wide range of times and locations for meetings. In addition to this, we have an on-campus clinic that provides a wide range of health and mental services to faculty, students, and staff.
Findings of the Biennial Review
For this academic year, there were additional indicators added to our reporting structure, namely: facilities, behavior, sanction-fine, sanction-service and welfare checks. The facilities data includes all work-order related conversations we have had with students, some of these were things we were able to resolve without contacting facilities. The data on behavior includes, all data on roommate conflicts, conversations around homesickness/personal issues and low-level conduct issues i.e., propping doors etc. The sanction-fine and sanction-service tabs, are used to track which students have been assigned a monetary fine for infractions and which students were assigned to service based on an infraction. Lastly, the welfare check data captures the instances where a parent, staff or faculty member, has brought a concern to us about a student and we have actively reached out to locate the student and have a conversation with them based on what was reported. In comparing the residential life data points between last year and this year, there are some clear differences we would like to highlight. The first being the reduced number of alcohol related incidents we have had this year (last year we were at 19, this year we are at 1). The “drugs” tab remains the same when compared to this time last year. However, it is more inclusive and now tracks a wide array of issues related to drugs that were not included last year, namely, us adding instances where there is a report of marijuana smell in the halls or on a student, even if there is no evidence to support a student has been smoking. And lastly, while the total number of incidents has decreased for 2019 from 2018 reporting for 2019 year, 25 substance abuse student incidents. One of our main goals this year is to refocus our attention and resources on establishing a residential community that gives our students the autonomy to have experiential learning opportunities, while in the same vein, reinforcing the importance of being accountable for the decisions that they are making in their shared communal spaces.
Over the past two years, there have been no reports of employees using recreational drugs or alcohol in the workplace. Yet employee education continues annually as required, as well as access to rich resources, including an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and an on-site campus health clinic. The college’s policies also include a leave of absence policy and an ADA accommodations policy to allow an employee, who self identifies alcoholism as a disability, to leave and attend rehab.
Consistency of Enforcement
We are in compliance with all policies that surround the reporting and investigation of issues involving employees and students. In the case of students, educational sanctions are consistently applied to each situation to ensure that they are held accountable for their actions.
Recommendation for Improvement
The following recommendations are intended to provide additional support in the enforcement of the existing Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program:
- Promote a climate in which abstaining from alcohol and drug use is acceptable through social norms marketing campaigns.
- Continue to develop the role of students in the prevention program through formal opportunities (peer educators) and classroom-based efforts.
- Expand distribution of information about the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees and available coverage for students in its materials.
- Develop procedures to measure outcomes and provide needs assessment and trend data that can be used over multiple years and
- Mirror the student on-line alcohol and drug educational programs for the employee population.
Copies of Distributed Policies