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Wheaton College policy on drugs complies with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Norton, as well as with federal legislation that requires the College to provide drug prevention programs for students.
Wheaton College seeks to insure the health and well-being of all members of the Wheaton Community. Wheaton’s policy on drugs reflects the College’s commitment to:
- educate students to the health risks associated with the use of drugs
- provide confidential counseling and/or referral for individuals concerned about their own use drugs, as well as those affected by the drug use of others
- inform students of the applicable legal sanctions under federal, state and local laws for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs
- prohibit the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs on College property or at College-sponsored events
The Risk to Personal Health and Well-Being
The irresponsible use or abuse drugs is dangerous and can lead to addiction or psychological dependence and serious physical health problems. Abuse is also harmful in other ways. It can destroy peer and family relationships. It results in reduced academic, athletic and work performance, and it increases the risk to personal safety because of the effect it can have on personal judgment and reaction time.
The College provides regular programs of education and information for students on the risks associated with the use of drugs and ways for individuals to seek assistance for themselves and others. Programs are sponsored by the Health Services, Counseling Services, Athletics, and the Office of Residential Life.
Wheaton College considers both the welfare of its students and compliance with state and local laws to be of central importance. The policy of the College is to help anyone who is seeking assistance with a drug problem. Anyone seeking assistance, advice or information may approach the Residential Life staff, Public Safety officers, Counseling Services, Health Services, the Dean of Students office or existing peer support groups without fear of disciplinary action by the College.
The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of controlled substances is prohibited on college property and at college-sponsored events.
Individuals involved in the unlawful possession, use or distribution of controlled substances are in violation of the Honor Code and Wheaton Community Standards and are subject to disciplinary action by the college in accordance with established judicial procedures. Violators may also be subject to referral for prosecution. Behavior associated with the use of controlled substances is not considered a mitigating factor when it leads to other infractions of college regulations; it is considered a separate offense.
The education, counseling and referral services of the Health Services, Counseling Services, and the Office of Student Life are available to individuals who are concerned about their own drug use, or are affected by the drug use of others. Seeking confidential assistance from or being referred to these or other services will not in itself be cause for disciplinary action by the college. The confidentiality of the counseling process will be respected.
Responsibility for compliance with the college’s Drug Policy rests with each member of the Wheaton community. Specific responsibilities for policy enforcement are as follows:
Public Safety officers, as agents of the college, will investigate violation policies and regulations. Areas of jurisdiction include all grounds and property of the college.
Individual students are responsible for activities which occur within the privacy of their rooms and are expected to take responsibility for their residence hall/house environment.
The Student Affairs staff will intervene as appropriate when confronted with violations of this policy and will respond in any area (including student rooms) when there is evidence of violations, or when related behavior infringes upon the rights of other members of the college community or jeopardizes the health or well-being of any individual.
Violators of the college’s Drug Policy are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with established college procedures through the Student Life staff, the College Hearing Officer, the Dean of Students, and/or the College Hearing Board. Sanctions may include:
- admonition or written warning
- fines and/or restitution for damages
- mandated community service, educational sanction or assigned task relevant to offense
- housing probation
- disciplinary probation
- notation in disciplinary file until graduation
- permanent notation in disciplinary file
- parent/guardian notification
- required drug treatment/counseling
- suspension from college housing
- suspension from the college, held in abeyance
- recommendation to the president for suspension from the college for a specified period of time*
- recommendation to the President for expulsion*
Other sanctions if deemed appropriate:
- restriction from college facilities or activities
- removal from an athletic team or campus organization
- removal from a campus position
- revocation of a group’s charter
* Note that students who are suspended or expelled from the college are not entitled to any refund of tuition and fees and may not complete work for their classes in that semester. A student who is suspended or expelled will be assigned withdrawals for courses in progress.
Violators may also be subject to referral for prosecution. Individuals involved in the unlawful distribution of controlled substances are subject to immediate separation from the college and referral for prosecution. The college will not protect individuals who violate federal, state, or local laws. Students may also be subject to investigations by the police and face criminal prosecution independent of the college’s judicial system.
In cases where a student is facing criminal investigation and/or charges for conduct which is the subject of a disciplinary proceeding, or if the conduct at issue is prohibited by local, state or federal laws, the college through the Chair of the College Hearing Board, the Dean of Students, and the Director of Public Safety will, in their sole discretion, determine if the conduct at issue should be heard before the College Hearing Board. The college may choose, but is not required, to hold its disciplinary proceedings in abeyance, pending the outcome of such investigation and charges. In these cases, the college, through the Dean or her designee, may choose to place the student on an interim suspension from the college. (See Leaves of Absences and Withdrawals in the Student Handbook). In making such a decision, the Dean shall consider: 1) the safety and well-being of the college community or preservation of college property; 2) the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; and 3) maintaining the normal operations of the college without disruption or interference.
The student may submit a written request to the Dean of Students of the college to resume the disciplinary process if the investigation and/or criminal matter is resolved or dropped. The college, in its sole discretion, through its Dean of Students, or her designee, will determine if the disciplinary process will proceed.
Wheaton College Resources
- General Business: 508-285-9500
- Appointments: x5400
Student Life Office: x8214
Counseling Services: x3905
Dean of Students Office: x8218