Alcohol and Controlled Substance Policy and Procedures

Alcohol and Controlled Substance Policy and Procedures

Subject: The term Controlled Substances are those defined in Schedules I through V of Section 202 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 481.001 et. seq. the Texas Controlled Substances Act. Controlled substances include, but are not limited to, such substances as marijuana, hashish, heroin, cocaine, LSD, PCP, methamphetamine, anabolic steroids, human-growth hormones and fentanyl.

Purpose - Houston Community College (HCC) is committed to providing its students and employees a drug- and alcohol-free workplace and learning environment to promote the reputation of HCC and its employees as responsible citizens of public trust, and to provide a consistent model of substance-free behavior for students. All employees and students are informed of the program and policy regarding the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances by means of the website, student handbook, and electronic mail.

Policy - Houston Community College (HCC) standards of conduct for all employees and students clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on the campus, at District-sponsored events, on any HCC premises, or as part of any of the school’s activities. Students and employees who violate this policy will be subject to arrest and disciplinary action by the college imposed through established due process procedures as set forth in applicable law, applicable HCC Board Policy, and the Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures. Students: As a condition of enrollment, all students are required to follow HCC policy and regulations concerning alcohol and other drugs. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, sale, offer to sell, purchase, or use of a controlled substance or alcohol on campuses, at teaching sites, in vehicles, and on other property owned, leased, or under control of HCC, and at all on-campus and off-campus school-sponsored activities is prohibited. Students who violate the applicable HCC Board Policies and/or the Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures regarding drugs and alcohol on campus will be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to: referral to drug and alcohol counseling or rehabilitation programs, student assistance programs, suspension, expulsion, and/or referral to appropriate law enforcement officials for prosecution. College Employees: While at work, each System employee has a responsibility to deliver service in a safe, efficient, and conscientious manner. Therefore, the use, sale, distribution, manufacturing, or possession of alcohol, or any drugs, including prescription medication used in an unauthorized manner is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination. Each employee has access to HCC employee rules and regulations governing employee conduct in the HCC General New Employee Orientation Booklet, (GNEO). These rules and regulations are in effect when on campus in any capacity and participating in any HCC (or College) sponsored activity, either on campus or at an off-campus event. College employees are subject to disciplinary actions as outlined in the HCC/HR policies and regulations.
State and Federal Statues - Houston Community College (HCC) provides notice of the federal and state laws and regulations, including legal sanctions, which govern alcoholic beverages and controlled substances. The laws are listed and can be found at the following link: https://www.hccs.edu/support-services/drug--alcohol-abuse-prevention/standards-of-conduct-drugs-and-alcohol-abuse/

Students
As a condition of enrollment, all students are required to follow HCC policy and regulations concerning alcohol and other drugs. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, sale, offer to sell, purchase, or use of a controlled substance or alcohol on campuses, at teaching sites, in vehicles, and on other property owned, leased, or under control of HCC, and at all on-campus and off-campus school-sponsored activities is prohibited. Students who violate the applicable HCC Board Policies and/or the Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures regarding drugs and alcohol on campus will be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to: referral to drug and alcohol counseling or rehabilitation programs, student assistance programs, suspension, expulsion, and/or referral to appropriate law enforcement officials for prosecution.

College Employees
While at work, each System employee has a responsibility to deliver service in a safe, efficient, and conscientious manner. Therefore, the use, sale, distribution, manufacturing, or possession of alcohol, or any drugs, including prescription medication used in an unauthorized manner is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination.
Each employee has access to HCC employee rules and regulations governing employee conduct in the HCC General New Employee Orientation Booklet, (GNEO). These rules and regulations are in effect when on campus in any capacity and participating in any HCC (or College) sponsored activity, either on campus or at an off-campus event.
College employees are subject to disciplinary actions as outlined in the HCC/HR policies on the HCC website, Procedure: C.12.1 Drug-and Alcohol-Free Workplace.

Health Risks - Houston Community College (HCC) recognizes that drug and alcohol use is a health problem with serious consequences that affect students and their ability to reach their goals. Health risks associated with drug and alcohol use can be found on the College Drinking, Change the Culture website and DEA-United States Drug Enforcement Administration via a link from www.hccs.edu: https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/ and https://www.dea.gov/factsheets

Prevention Program - HCC has established a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program to inform its faculty, staff, and students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, penalties that may be imposed for drug and alcohol abuse violations, and available resources to combat drug and alcohol related issues. The following approaches and program activities and services constitute HCC’s effort to prevent drug and alcohol abuse on the part of students. The student services area provides oversight for the content and timelines of the programs for students.

A. Individual counseling services using Motivational/Feedback techniques
B. Use of the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) administered by trained counselors
C. Use of the web-based surveys, Alcohol eCheckUp To Go and Marijuana eCheckUp To Go, to provide students individualized feedback
D. Educational Awareness Programs - at least one workshop, seminar, or presentation at event per college during the academic year open to students, faculty, and staff
E. Informational Services - counseling offices will provide readily available brochures and information sheets on alcohol and drug use to students
F. Referral Services - a list of referral services specialized in providing services and assisting individuals with substance use related issue

Biennial Review - On a biennial basis, a committee chaired by the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Success and comprised of representatives from the police department, human resources, counseling, financial aid, and student life will conduct a review of the program to assess the following:
A. Determine the effectiveness of the program and implement necessary changes
B. Determine the number of drug and alcohol-related violations and fatalities that occur on the HCC campuses
C. Determine the number and type of sanctions that are imposed
D. Ensure that sanctions are consistently enforced

Hazing Information
HCC prohibits hazing and/or any conduct related to hazing by any individual, group, or organization. Individuals or organizations that engage in conduct constituting hazing are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the HCC Student Code of Conduct and Discipline Procedures and prosecution in accordance with applicable law.
Texas Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter F governs conduct considered to be hazing in educational institutions. Criminal offenses may be imposed for hazing for both individuals and organizations.
Pursuant to Texas Education Code Section 37.151(6), “hazing” means any intentional, knowing, or reckless act, occurring on or off campus by one person alone or acting with others, directed against a student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include other students. The term includes:

  1. Any type of physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity;
  2. Any type of physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, calisthenics, or other activity that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  3. Any activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the mental or physical health or safety of the student;
  4. Any activity that intimidates or threatens the student with ostracism, that subjects the student to extreme mental stress, shame, or humiliation, or that adversely affects the mental health or dignity of the student or discourages the student from entering or remaining registered in an educational institution, or that may reasonably be expected to cause a student to leave the organization or the institution rather than submit to acts described above; or
  5. Any activity that induces, causes, or requires the student to perform a duty or task that involves a violation of the Penal Code.

An individual commits the offense of hazing if the individual: (1) engages in hazing; (2) solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing; or (3) has first-hand knowledge of the planning of a specified hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution, or first-hand knowledge that a hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fails to report that knowledge in writing to the dean of students or other appropriate official of the institution. The degree of offense depends on the specific conduct of the individual and the extent of injury to the victim. Additionally, an organization is subject to criminal penalties for engaging in hazing. An organization commits the offense of hazing if the organization condones or encourages hazing, or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges, or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing. Such offense is punishable as a misdemeanor by imposition of a fine. It is not a defense to prosecution for the offense of hazing that the victim acquiesced or consented to the act of hazing. Further, an individual who makes a report in good faith to the dean of students or other college official of an act of hazing is immune from criminal prosecution and civil liability that might otherwise be imposed as a result of the report. In addition to the penalties imposed by Texas Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter F, individuals or organizations that engage in hazing may be subject to prosecution for other offenses in the Penal Code and subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the HCC Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures.

Gang-Free Zones
Certain criminal offenses, including those involving organized criminal activity such as gang-related crimes, will be enhanced to the next highest category of offense if they are committed in a gangfree zone. For purposes of the college district, a gang-free zone includes a school bus and a location in, on, or within 1,000 feet of any district-owned or leased property or campus.