Higher Education Opportunity Act Information
Page is continuously being updated.
Abuse Prevention Policies
The University of Mississippi is committed to maintain a drug-free workplace and workforce in conformity with federal laws (see University of Mississippi Drug-Free Workplace and Workforce policy code HRO.FR.200.020). Also, in compliance with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, The University of Mississippi has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on school premises or as a part of any of its activities and declares such possession, use or distribution a violation of university policy.
The policy applies to all students (both full-time and part-time) and each faculty and staff member (whether full-time or part-time). It is the personal responsibility of each student, faculty member or staff member to adhere to this policy.
This information has been prepared to ensure that each member of the University of Mississippi community understands the rationale behind its provisions and his or her responsibilities under the university’s policy and the laws of the state of Mississippi. Because the university’s foremost concern is the health and well-being of its students and employees, this publication also details resources that are available on campus for counseling and education about abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
Search for the following policies on the University of Mississippi Policy Directory: https://secure4.olemiss.edu/umpolicyopen/index.jsp
- University of Mississippi Drug-Free Workplace and Workforce (HRO.FR.200.020)
- Drug and Alcohol Testing (HRO.FR.200.040)
- Controlled Substances Testing of Employees with a Commercial Driver’s License (HRO.FR.200.010)
- Employee Assistance Program (HRO.BE.600.290)
- Students Convicted of Possession/Sale of Drugs (DSA.FA.600.130)
- Two Strike Policy – Minimum Sanctions for Alcohol and Other Drug Violations (DSA.DS.300.007)
- Alcohol (DSA.SH.400.003)
- Alcohol Policy (CHA.AM.100.101)
The use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to changes or other problems for individuals that affect all aspects of wellness: social health, environmental health, physical health, emotional/mental health, spiritual health, and intellectual health. Alcohol, especially in high doses, when rapidly consumed, or in combination with other drugs can lead to illegal and/or violent behaviors and actions, drinking and driving, injury, or medical emergencies. Research has also shown that the use of alcohol and/or drugs negatively affects academic performance, relationships, communication, well-being, and risk of dependence. In the case of an overdose emergency, immediately dial x4911 (662-915-4911) on campus, and 911 if off campus. For more information, please contact the Office of Health Promotion to speak with a health educator (662-915-6543).
Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia
Drug use, including the misuse of prescription drugs, unfortunately is a prevalent problem at college and university campuses, and The University of Mississippi has not been spared. The university unequivocally prohibits the use and possession of drugs on its campus. The specifics of the drug policy are outlined below:
- Possession, Use, and Sale of Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia
- The University of Mississippi prohibits the use, possession, distribution, sale, manufacture and delivery of illicit drugs, including the misuse of prescription medications, by members of its community. Illegal drugs, including prescription drugs for which the person does not have a valid prescription, are subject to confiscation.
- The University of Mississippi also prohibits the possession, sale and distribution of drug paraphernalia (including, but not limited to, pipes, bongs, roach clips, rolling papers, etc.). These items are strictly prohibited and are subject to confiscation.
Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, including possible suspension or expulsion from the University. The University of Mississippi also prohibits behavior that is a direct result of drug consumption, use or abuse. Any student found to be visibly overcome by the use of drugs will be found in violation of university policy.
- Information regarding a student’s violation of the university’s drug policy may be released to that student’s parents, if the student is under 21 years of age at the time the violation occurs.
Drug violations are included in the University of Mississippi’s Two Strike Policy (see below). Students who are convicted of drug-related crimes may lose financial aid and may also face criminal prosecution under state, federal and local laws. Penalties for criminal convictions may include fines and/or imprisonment.
Students, recognized student organizations or others found in violation of this policy will be subject to campus disciplinary action, as well as potential civil liability and/or criminal prosecution. (See “Two-Strike” policy.)
Some specifics of the alcohol policy at the University of Mississippi:
- It is unlawful, and therefore violates this policy, for any person under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol.
- The University of Mississippi prohibits unlawful driving under the influence of alcohol.
- The University of Mississippi prohibits inappropriate behavior that is a direct result of alcohol consumption. Any student or other person publicly intoxicated will be found in violation of this policy.
- The distribution of alcohol without a permit is unlawful, and this is a violation of university policy. Any possession of alcohol in plain view or unattended alcohol shall be considered distribution in violation of this policy. Alcohol left unattended or in plain view may be confiscated. The university prohibits the possession of items that provide for common distribution of alcohol on or in university property and buildings located on the university’s campus. Examples include, but are not limited to, kegs, pony kegs, party balls and other forms of common supply. Such items may be confiscated by the university.
- Lafayette County is “dry” for beer and light wine (less than 5 percent alcohol by weight). Thus, distribution, possession and consumption of beer and light wine are illegal in that portion of the university’s campus that lies outside of the city of Oxford.
- Drinking games and rapid consumption techniques and devices (e.g., funnels, shots, etc.) by their nature promote abusive consumption of alcohol and thus violate this policy.
- The university prohibits the possession and consumption of alcohol within administrative and academic buildings, except and unless when served under a lawfully issued permit.
- It is unlawful, and thus violates this policy, to sell or consume alcoholic beverages (5 percent or greater alcohol by weight) within university athletics venues during intercollegiate athletics events.
The Two-Strike policy is formally titled Minimum Sanctions for Alcohol and Other Drug Violations (DSA.DS.300.007). This policy deals with drug and alcohol violations committed by students of The University of Mississippi. Students found in violation of a drug or alcohol offense will be put on two-strike probation for at least two semesters and will receive their first strike. Any other drug or alcohol offense occurring within that probationary period will result in a University Judicial Council hearing where a plea or finding of “in violation” will result in suspension from the university. The actual minimum sanctions policy can be found at https://secure4.olemiss.edu/umpolicyopen/ShowDetails.jsp?istatPara=1&policyObjidPara=11079485
Tobacco Use Policy
Summary/Purpose: The use of tobacco products on The University of Mississippi campus is limited to “Designated Tobacco-Use Areas.” The majority of these areas are found in parking lots located across the university campus. These areas are identified by the placement of cigarette butt receptacles (“receptacles”).
The following actions are considered violations of the Tobacco Use Policy:
• The use of tobacco products in areas other than those designated for tobacco use.
• Any littering of tobacco-related products, including cigarette butts, tobacco packaging materials, and “spit cups.”
• Tampering or damaging receptacles, or moving receptacles from one location to another
• Parking in a parking place where a receptacle is located, or in any parking place otherwise labeled as a designated tobacco-use area.
• The use of any tobacco product in a university-owned vehicle. (Individuals using tobacco products in their personal vehicles will not be considered in violation of the policy.)
• The use of tobacco products at athletics events in any area other than those designated for tobacco use.
University employees who violate the Tobacco Use Policy are subject to employee discipline.
Students who violate the Tobacco Use Policy may be charged through the Student Judicial Office. A fine of up to $25 may be assessed for faculty, staff or students who violate the policy. Visitors should be politely reminded that tobacco use is limited to designated areas.
The use of tobacco products is prohibited inside fraternity and sorority houses, and on porches, in gazebos, or in temporary shelters or structures, such as tents. Fraternities and sororities may designate an area outside houses for the use of tobacco products. This area may not be located on any side of the house facing a street and must be equipped with a receptacle for cigarette butts and/or other types of tobacco product-related trash. Fraternities and sororities wishing to designate a tobacco use area should contact the Assistant Dean of Students for Student Organizations. If the organization has not designated a tobacco use area outside the house, then tobacco products may not be used on the lawn.
Resources Available on Campus
The University of Mississippi offers both educational and counseling opportunities for students, faculty and staff. The University Counseling Center offers counseling and therapy for students who are experiencing difficulties with alcohol and/or drug use. Counseling services for faculty and staff are provided on site through the Employee Assistance Program. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 915-3784. All services are confidential.
The Office of Health Promotion provides alcohol and drug education. Through this office, programs are intended to serve as the catalyst for environmental, perceptual and behavioral changes, which foster legal, responsible, and healthy choices regarding the use, misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs by members of the University of Mississippi community. These programs include presentations made in residence halls, Greek houses, classrooms and to other individual groups. Additionally, the Office of Health Promotion administers the BASICS and JADE brief intervention programs. If you are interested in receiving more information about the use, misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs, or if you would like to request a program, please call 915-6543.
In addition, resources are available for those living in recovery from addiction. There are group and organizations that meet on campus such as Young People’s AA and the UM Recovery Community. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.