Front Entrance of UofSC Aiken


Policies and Procedures

Number: ASTAF 107
Section: Student Affairs Policies
Subject: Use of Drugs by Students
Date: April 27, 2010
Revised on: June 5, 2020
Issued by: Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Authorized by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

The University of South Carolina Aiken recognizes that drug abuse is one of the major problems confronting our society. Within the university community, services are available to reduce the problems associated with drug abuse. Students with drug problems may seek confidential counseling and advice through the USC Aiken Counseling Center and the USC Aiken Student Health Center. A list of additional resources can be found in the USC Aiken Student Handbook.

Although the university recognizes the need for providing remedial services, it does not intend to shelter persons who violate state or federal drug or narcotics laws. University officials will assist and cooperate with law enforcement personnel as they perform their duties in controlling drug abuse. Students charged with violating state and federal laws are subject to further disciplinary action by the university.

  1. Statement of Policy

The possession, use, manufacture, sale or distribution of any counterfeit, illegal, or controlled drug without a prescription or the possession of drug paraphernalia, such as pipes, bongs, or an items modified or adapted so that they can be used to consume drugs are not permitted on university premises or at any university-sponsored event.

Specific prohibited actions include:

  1. the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of illegal drugs or controlled substances*
  2. being in the presence of illegal drugs or controlled substances
  3. the possession or sale of drug paraphernalia (such as roach clips, bongs, water pipes, cocaine spoons, etc.)
  4. the distribution or delivery of an imitation ("look alike"), non-controlled substance which is represented as a controlled substance

*The term "controlled substances" refers to those drugs and substances whose possession, sale or delivery results in criminal sanctions under South Carolina Law.

  1. Sanctions
    1. Legal

As citizens, students have the responsibility for knowing and complying with the provisions of state and federal law related to drugs. A student who violates any of these laws is subject to prosecution and punishment through the legal system. Information on federal and state drug laws and penalties is provided in the USC Aiken Student Handbook.

(Students who are apprehended and charged by law enforcement agencies with drug-related criminal conduct off campus are required to inform the Non Academic Code of Conduct Chief Judicial Officer).

  1. University Disciplinary

In addition to any federal and state charges, a student is subject to disciplinary action through the university judicial process. This process may precede criminal or civil proceedings. It is not "double jeopardy" for both the civil authorities and the university to proceed against and sanction a person for the same specified conduct.

The university considers any violation of the drug policy to be a serious offense. The university will respond to all reported violations of this policy in accordance with disciplinary procedures included in the Student Handbook.

Although violations will be handled on a case by case basis, any violation that is deemed to be a threat to the safety and health of the campus community will result in summary suspension prior to a formal hearing. Sanctions that may be imposed by the university include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Suspension
  • Summary Suspension
  • Suspension Held in Abeyance with Conditions
  • Expulsion
  • Counseling
  • Educational Programs
  • Conditions and Restrictions
  1. University Housing

A student who is suspected of violating the drug policy while living in on-campus housing may be subject to immediate removal from housing as a response to violating the terms of the housing contract.

  1. Eligibility for Federal and State Financial Assistance

Students found in violation of the drug policy jeopardize their ability to receive federal and state financial assistance for which they might otherwise be eligible.

  1. Parental Notification Policy

In 1998, changes in the law that governs the privacy of student records, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), permitted colleges and universities to inform the parents/guardians of students under the age of 21 when they determined the student violated university alcohol and drug policies. At the University of South Carolina Aiken, we believe such notification can help us in educating our students. While we constantly strive to educate and empower students to make more responsible decisions about drug and alcohol usage, we know that the support of parents in this process is critical.

The University of South Carolina Aiken typically exercises its right to notify parents of students under 21 in the following situations:

  • Cases involving drug violations
  • Repeat or serious alcohol violations

The university also reserves the right to notify parents for first alcohol violations if deemed appropriate.

  1. Future Revision

The University of South Carolina Aiken reserves the right to update this policy. Students are responsible for being aware of changes as they are disseminated to the campus community.

  1. Reason Revision

Annual Review