D18.1 Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

RIT is a community that believes the best environment for learning occurs when the community promotes and supports healthy and responsible behavior among its members. Students make their own choices and are ultimately responsible for their behavior. The purpose of the Alcohol, Cannabis and Other Drugs Policy is to promote individual responsibility and advance the goals and expectations central to the university mission. The Alcohol, Cannabis, and Other Drugs Policy applies to all Student members of the university community and their guests. Faculty and staff, and their guests, are governed by a separate policy (C 15.2 -Faculty/Staff Alcohol and Drug Policy).

RIT follows all local, state, and federal laws, and in situations where state law may conflict with federal law, RIT will follow federal law (e.g. cannabis). Students and Student organizations are subject to local, state and federal laws regarding alcohol and drug use, and the university will not protect individuals or groups from law enforcement with respect to drugs and alcohol use or abuse.

Students should contact Public Safety, Center for Residence Life staff, 911 for off-campus incidents, or other appropriate individuals for assistance any time they are concerned about their well-being or the well-being of another individual. Seeking such help is encouraged by the university and the Good Samaritan Protocol, listed below.

I. Responsible and Legal Use

RIT values the health and well-being of its students and as such, encourages responsible activities. However, if students choose to use alcohol or cannabis, please review the following expectations.

  1. Students must be of legal age to consume or possess alcohol in appropriate venues on campus (e.g. Global Village Cantina & Grille, RITZ, Gene Polisseni Center).
  2. Students must be of legal age to consume cannabis while off campus. Cannabis, its consumption, possession or use, including the manufacture, cultivation, distribution, sale or purchase of, is prohibited in any form on RIT property and any off campus RIT activities/events.
    1. RIT Property means all property owned operated, or controlled by RIT which may include, but is not limited to, public areas, university-owned and leased buildings, all on campus residential housing, and parking lots (including in personal vehicles on campus).
  3. Students must follow medical instructions on any legal drugs, including but not limited to prescription, over the counter, or others.
  4. University Housing
    1. The consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages is permitted in the following university-operated apartments: Perkins Green, RIT Inn, Riverknoll, and University Commons, and only by those residents of the apartment who are at least 21 years of age. Alcohol possession and consumption is not permitted in the residence halls, and common or public areas within apartment complexes.
      1. Occupancy. Gatherings in apartments are to be limited to invited guests of a number that is defined by building occupancy codes and that can be accommodated without disturbing the community. These numbers may be found in the RIT Housing Terms and Conditions.
      2. Advertising. The guests at all privately hosted gatherings must be invited by direct personal invitation only. General "come all" posters or mass electronic/social media invitations are only permitted for events that are approved through the Event Management System process.
  5. Student Events
    1. All student events and parties where alcohol is served, possessed, or consumed must abide by all existing university policies and procedures regarding the use, possession, sale, and distribution of alcohol and may be further restricted by existing municipal and state ordinances. The authorization process for use of alcohol and securing authorization from the New York State Liquor Board in these situations is coordinated through the Center for Campus Life Event Registration process.

II. Good Samaritan Protocol

The Good Samaritan Protocol encourages members of the RIT community to be active bystanders in situations where alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs may be present. Being an active bystander means choosing to respond to a situation, rather than walking away or ignoring it, by becoming involved, telling someone else, or getting help.

The Good Samaritan Protocol is designed to provide education rather than discipline when a student voluntarily contacts university personnel (e.g. Public Safety, Center for Residence Life staff, etc.) or outside emergency services for medical assistance related to alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs. The Good Samaritan Protocol will apply to the caller, the person in need of assistance, the host Student Organization, and any witnesses named in the incident report.

Under the Good Samaritan Protocol, students or Student Organizations will not have a Conduct Hearing but will be required to meet with a Conduct Officer to discuss their role and experience during the incident(s).  There will be no official charges or conduct status from the university; however in order to promote learning and reflection, students may be assigned various educational conditions, including but not limited to participation in an educational group or class, program presentations, counseling intake session, substance abuse education and/or evaluation, or parental/guardian notification of the incident.

Incidents involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking will also be covered by the Good Samaritan Protocol for those students reporting or intervening to prevent harm to a particular student. Incidents involving other violence or serious code violations, such as hazing, will not apply.

III. Common Violations

The violations listed below are intended to provide insight into what behaviors are a violation of the Alcohol, Cannabis, and Other Drugs Policy. Examples of common violations include, but are not limited to:

  1. Illegal Use of Alcohol, Cannabis, and Other Drugs. Alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs may not be illegally used, possessed, manufactured or distributed. Distribution includes serving, selling, or providing either alcohol or cannabis to persons who are under 21 years of age or drugs to persons of any age. Examples of illegal use includes:
    1. Open Containers. Open containers of alcohol are not permitted outdoors on the university campus without prior authorization.
    2. Fake IDs. Use of false or altered identification or other misrepresentation of one's age in order to possess or consume alcohol or cannabis is explicitly forbidden.
    3. Cover Charges. No alcohol may be sold or exchanged for money on university property or at university-sponsored events without a New York State liquor license.
    4. Distribution of Legal Drugs. Sharing or distributing prescription medicine or other legal drugs, with or without the exchange of money, is prohibited.
    5. Bulk Containers. Bulk containers of alcohol, such as kegs, are prohibited in all university apartments.
    6. Drinking Games/Rapid Consumption. Items/substances used to dispense alcohol in a rapid manner, (e.g., beer bongs, funnels, Jell-O shots, etc.) or drinking games (e.g., "Quarters," "Beer Pong," etc.) are prohibited.
  2. Excessive Drinking. Behavior that is inappropriate or endangering that suggests excessive drinking regardless of age is prohibited.
  3. Driving Under the Influence. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is prohibited.
  4. Drug Accessories. Drug accessories and other drug delivery systems used for illegal drugs, including, but not limited to, bongs, bowls, and pipes, are prohibited.

IV. Possible Outcomes

The responses listed below are intended to guide the process of determining the most reasonable outcome to potential violations of the Alcohol, Cannabis, and Other Drug Policy. Common outcomes when found in violation can include but are not limited to a Warning, Probation, parental/legal guardian notification, an educational workshop, a one-on-one meeting with an alcohol and other drug specialist or licensed mental health therapist, removal from housing, or suspension. This list is not comprehensive and other outcomes may be assigned.

Each reported incident will be reviewed individually and an appropriate response will be assigned given the specific circumstances. In some cases, despite it being a first time violation, there may be a more serious response.

Alcohol, Cannabis, and Other Drug Violations and Possible Conduct Outcomes


First Violation

Second Violation

Third Violation

Possession/consumption of alcohol by an underage student Warning or Probation Probation Removal from housing
Possession/consumption of alcohol by any student in residence halls, Global Village, and Greek Housing Educational condition Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment and/or educational condition Possible suspension
Possession/consumption of cannabis on campus Possible parental/legal guardian notification* (as permitted by applicable law) University housing probation Mandatory counseling intake
Possession/consumption of other illegal drugs   Parental/legal guardian notification Parental/legal guardian notification
Possession of fake ID, bulk alcohol containers, or drug accessories (e.g. bongs, pipes, scales, grinder)      
Excessive drinking or rapid consumption of alcohol Probation Removal from housing Suspension
Transport to the hospital due to misuse of alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment and/or educational condition Possible suspension Parental/legal guardian notification
Serving, purchasing, or sale of alcohol to minors Possible university housing probation Mandatory counseling intake  
Hosting an on campus party and serving to minors, charging cover fees, or exceeding occupancy Parental/legal guardian notification Parental/legal guardian notification  
Driving while under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs Suspension or Expulsion    
Other serious behaviors such as selling or distributing cannabis or other drugs (including prescription, over the counter, or illegal drugs) Removal from housing
Referral to local law enforcement agency
Parental/legal guardian notification

V. Resources

The on-campus resources listed below are available for students to explore if they are concerned about their wellbeing.

**Exceptions to the restrictions on consumption, possession and/or use of alcohol, cannabis or other drugs under policy D.18.1 for the purposes of academic or research pursuits of the University may be granted respectively by the Provost and Vice President of Research in writing, with notification to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Responsible Office:
Center for Student Conduct

Effective Date:
Approved December 1962

Policy History:
Revised 2006
Edited for department/title changes August 2008 
Edited September 2010
Revised March 2012
Revised August 2014 – supersedes Policy C15.1 Student Alcohol and Drug Policy
Revisions approved by University Council on April 13, 2022