On Drugs & Alcohol

In keeping with the laws of Pennsylvania and Delaware, university policy regarding alcoholic beverages is as follows:

  1. It is illegal for any person under 21 years of age to possess alcoholic beverages or to attempt to purchase or to consume or transport any alcoholic beverage within Pennsylvania or Delaware.
  2. It is illegal for any person to sell or give alcoholic beverages of any kind to a minor.
  3. It is illegal for any person to misrepresent his or her own age or the age of any other person to obtain alcoholic beverages.

For students and their guests of legal age, alcoholic beverages are confined to resident rooms with doors closed, or to a location designated and approved by the Student Affairs Office. All individual students or guests in any student room must be of legal age (21 years or older) when alcohol is present.

Alcohol is prohibited in all public areas, including, without limitation, porches, lounges, stairs, lobbies, classrooms, hallways, and offices. In those situations in which exceptions are made, the university reserves the right to require additional procedures to ensure safety and responsible consumption.

No alcohol is permitted in Schwartz Athletic Center, and alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the University Center unless during an event where all in attendance are of age and the sponsoring group has received the explicit written permission of the associate provost and dean of students.

No alcohol is permitted in the university stadium during athletic events or at university athletic events played elsewhere. Public intoxication is also prohibited, regardless of age.

Special procedures may exist for 21-and-older events, particularly those involving alcohol. Organizations are responsible for abiding by the university’s alcohol policy (refer to this handbook’s “Alcoholic Beverages” section and the organization’s national and local policies. In addition, Widener University does not permit organizations contracting with third party vendors to facilitate “open bar” events. Alcohol consumption at organization events must be in accordance with the Inter-Fraternity Council BYOB standards (see the Greek Life Web page on www.widener.edu) for all organizations, including a cash sale per drink or its equivalent.

Bulk Container Policy: Widener University promotes an environment that complies with the laws of Pennsylvania and Delaware and our university alcohol policy. We do permit individual students who are 21 years of age or older to possess and consume alcoholic beverages within their individual room, suite, or apartment, as long as no one under the age of 21 is present. The university does have a bulk container policy that regulates the amount of alcohol a student who is 21 or older may possess in our residence halls or while on university property. The essential elements of that policy are as follows:

  1. No kegs or beer balls are permitted in the residence halls or on university property.
  2. No alcoholic punch/mix/concoction is permitted in the residence halls or on university property.
  3. No student may possess more than two total units in any combination of the following list of alcohol unit amounts:
    • One gallon of wine
    • One liter of hard liquor or natural or distilled spirits used or intended for consumption
    • One case of beer or malt products (24 12-ounce bottles or cans)
    • One case of wine coolers or similar alcoholic products (24 12-ounce bottles or cans)

Bulk amounts and common sources of alcohol are strictly prohibited for individual and campus organizations unless provided by a third-party vendor and registered with the Student Affairs Office. Examples of bulk amounts and common sources of alcohol are kegs and beer balls or jug wines. Alcohol used in violation of university policy will be confiscated.

The laws of Pennsylvania and Delaware carry strict sanctions for violation of alcohol-related offenses, including jail sentences, substantial fines, and revocation of one's driver's license. Additionally, the City of Chester enforces an ordinance that prohibits open containers (e.g., cans, bottles, cups, squeeze bottles, etc.) of alcohol in outdoor public areas, including streets, roofs, porches, yards, sidewalks, and any external areas of the residence structure that are construed as part of the Widener University Main Campus. Students are reminded that off-campus violations of the university Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances Policy are subject to disciplinary action via the Campus Judicial System.

In addition, empty alcoholic containers and paraphernalia — including wine bottles, beer cans/bottles, liquor bottles of any size, shot glasses, beer bongs and funnels — are prohibited on university property, including those for decorative purposes.

Drugs and Other Controlled Substances: The possession, use, and sale of illegal drugs, narcotics, and other controlled substances is a federal and state offense subject to mandatory heavy fines and imprisonment. The university cannot and will not shield students from the law and its consequences. Widener University must and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies.

Any Widener University student who

  1. possesses, uses, or distributes narcotics or illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia either on or off campus (not specifically prescribed by a physician or without the knowledge of the associate provost and dean of students on the Chester Campus or the associate dean of student affairs on the Wilmington Campus or the dean of students on the Harrisburg Campus);
  2. brings such narcotics or illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia onto university premises; or
  3. causes such narcotics or illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia to be brought onto university premises;

may be suspended, dismissed, expelled, and/or referred for prosecution. Any antisocial conduct resulting from illegal drugs or other controlled substances will result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the university. Applicable federal law states that any student convicted of various illegal drug offenses will lose his or her student aid eligibility for specified periods of time depending upon whether the conviction was for use or sale and how many times the student has been convicted.

Prohibited Conduct: The following nonexclusive list of behaviors may result in disciplinary action, including suspension, dismissal, expulsion, and referral for prosecution:

  1. Disobedience of any of the general regulations of the university as noted in the Student Code of Conduct, Student Handbook, Student Drug and Alcohol Policy, or any other generally available set of guidelines;
  2. The possession, use, or distribution, either on or off campus, of illegal or illicit drugs, drug paraphernalia, narcotics, or medicine requiring a physician’s prescription and used without such prescription;
  3. Violation of federal, state, or local criminal laws; and/or
  4. Violation of the university’s policies on the use and possession of alcoholic beverages as outlined in university publications such as the Student Handbook and Student Drug and Alcohol Policy.

Students are reminded that violations of university policy are not limited to the above list. Rather, this information is provided merely to highlight some important rules and regulations which must be observed.

Drug and Alcohol Policy: For more information, students should refer to the university’s Student Consumer Information booklet.