2019-2020 Student Handbook 
    Jul 10, 2020  
2019-2020 Student Handbook

Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs


The abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs by members of the Ohio Wesleyan University community are incompatible with the goals of the institution. Students who abuse alcohol and use illegal drugs are more likely to experience significant challenges with their academic work, personal safety, health, and interpersonal relationships than those who do not. The University recognizes that some students choose to use alcohol; those who do must do so legally and responsibly. All members of the University are required to observe federal, state, and local laws, and University rules that pertain to alcohol and other drugs. Students who do not abide by applicable laws and policies may be subject to both criminal prosecution and university disciplinary action. If you choose to use alcohol or other drugs, remember that you are responsible for your behavior and its consequences. Intoxication is not an excuse for sexual assault, assault, harassment, endangering safety, destruction of property, or any other prohibited behavior.

The primary goal of the University’s policy on alcohol and other drugs is to protect students. If you observe someone drinking or consuming other drugs dangerously in our community, please seek assistance, especially for students whose safety is endangered by the over-consumption of alcohol or other drugs.

Amnesty Policy

Students experiencing symptoms that require medical attention due to alcohol or other drug use should contact Public Safety, Residential Life staff, and/or emergency medical personnel (911) immediately.  Amnesty means the University will refrain from taking punitive action against the reporting individual(s), as well as the student who is experiencing a medical emergency. The reporting individual should stay with the person in need of medical attention until help arrives.

Amnesty applies when there is a health or safety concern for oneself or for another person during which one of the following minor policy violations may also be present:

  • Possession or consumption of alcohol or drugs by a person under the age of 21

  • Possession or use of drugs

  • Intoxication as the result of using alcohol (including Public Intoxication)

  • A registered or unregistered event that has exceeded the hosts’ ability to provide control

Students eligible for amnesty may still be required to participate in an educational component and may be referred for an individual consultation, however they will not face formal disciplinary action related to the initial incident.  

The University can only provide amnesty for its own policies, not federal, state and local laws.

Policy on Alcohol

In accordance with federal, state and local law, Ohio Wesleyan University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol by students and student organizations.
Students and visitors are prohibited from serving or otherwise supplying alcohol to any person under the age of 21.

Students and visitors under the age of 21 are prohibited from possessing alcoholic beverages.  “Possessing” includes:

  • Consumption of alcohol;
  • Physical contact with any container that holds an alcoholic beverage.  There may be situations in which a student or visitor is not in physical contact with an alcoholic beverage container, but a preponderance of evidence supports the conclusion that the underage student or visitor has been drinking alcohol. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to, situations in which a container of alcohol is within reach of an underage student or visitor, the amount of alcohol relative to the present number of of-age students suggests that underage students are consuming alcohol, and/or there are indicators such as the odor of alcohol about a student or visitor’s person, slurred speech, or impaired motor skills;
  • Having alcohol or empty alcohol containers in rooms or suites (if all residents are under the age of 21).

OWU students and visitors 21 years of age or older may possess open containers of alcohol on campus in the following settings:

  • Student rooms and suites
  • Registered Large Social Gatherings with alcohol
  • Designated common areas of residential houses (i.e. SLUs, House of Black Culture, Honors House, Williams Drive Houses) and fraternities.
  • Sanctioned social events such as department or University receptions and other events where alcohol is served

Open containers of alcohol are prohibited outdoors except at registered social gatherings and events that are approved to be outdoors.

A student or visitor 21 years of age or older may be in transit from one room, suite, or common area to another room, suite, or common area within the same residential facility while in possession of an open container of alcohol.  Loitering with an open container of alcohol is prohibited in authorized areas of residential facilities or other campus facilities.

Alcohol may not be sold or provided to underage or intoxicated persons in accordance with federal, state, and local law.

Alcohol may not be distilled, brewed, and/or created through a fermentation process on-campus unless it is for the purpose of an academic project and is occurring with supervision from an OWU staff and/or faculty person.  The Office of Residence Life must be notified by the student and supervising faculty/staff person if the project must be completed in a residential space.

Excessive or Unmeasured Consumption

In keeping with OWU’s goals of promoting healthy lifestyles and protecting students’ safety, excessive consumption of alcohol is strongly discouraged. Therefore, any systems or practice designed to facilitate mass consumption of alcohol, such as punch bowls, beer bongs, or funnels, are prohibited. Participation in drinking games is prohibited if it contributes to endangering the safety of oneself or others, violating the rights of others, damaging property, or any other violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Although participation in drinking games is discouraged, it constitutes a policy violation only when participation in such games contributes to violation of other policies or impacts the health and safety of self or others committing other violations.

Nationally/Internationally Affiliated Student Organizations

Student organizations that are affiliated with a national and/or international entity  are responsible for adhering to both OWU policies and their affiliated group’s policies. 

Student leadership within the organization is responsible for clarifying any unclear expectations outside of OWU policies with their organizational representatives  directly, and for informing their national/international organization of any violations that occur.

OWU reserves the right to communicate drug or alcohol related conduct concerns to national organizations, even those that are not in violation of OWU Policies. 

In accordance with national fraternity and sorority risk management policies, alcohol is prohibited at all fraternity and sorority recruitment and new member events, at all sorority houses, and as otherwise specified by the headquarter policies.  Students affiliated with these groups should refer to the North American Interfraternity Conference Alcohol and Drug guidelines for information.  Additionally, fraternities share the responsibility for ensuring that university drug and alcohol policies, as well as those established by their national/international affiliated organizations, are upheld within their residential facilities.


Some University funds cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol. Students and student organizations are responsible for compliance with funding guidelines for any funds received. Restricted funds include funding from the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs (WCSA), Council of Fraternity Presidents (CFP), Interfraternity Council (IFC), PanHellenic Panhellenic Council, and money collected by the University and given to the living units and chartered organizations for social programs or other purposes. Funds from student organizations may be used to hire third party vendors and security, but not to purchase any alcohol itself. Sponsorship of events by companies involved in the production and/or distribution of alcohol is prohibited. Social Gatherings with Alcohol

Social Gatherings with Alcohol

The University recognizes that students will want to gather in social settings and may complement the gathering with alcoholic beverages.  All gatherings that have alcohol present must follow all state, federal, and local laws for alcohol use and the use of alcohol should not be the focal point of the gathering.

Students intending to host gatherings that will have more than 10 guests and/or visitors from outside of their residence present must abide by the following policies to ensure that the event is hosted responsibly with minimal risk.  

Alcohol may be provided at an on-campus function in any specified area to invited guests (21+) at no charge. The alcohol must be purchased prior to the event, but no organizational funds can be used to purchase the alcohol. The event must be for invited guests only, and a reasonable effort must be made to ensure no uninvited guest is provided with alcohol.  A guest list may be utilized if desired, or if required by your national organization, but is not required by Ohio Wesleyan University. No alcohol permit is required for this option unless there is an exchange of money for the access to alcohol.

If a student organization chooses to hold an event off campus where alcohol is served, the group must consult the Assistant Director of the Student Involvement office to develop a plan and prepare responsibly as hosts.

Events and gatherings with alcohol must be accompanied by food and non-alcoholic beverage options.

Policies for all Large Social Gatherings with Alcohol: any event that has more than 10 guests and/or visitors who do not live in the residence.

Students hosting events with alcohol may do so in a “bring your own beverage” (BYOB) or “server” format.  Please refer to the appropriate section for procedures.

  • Hosts have the right to tell a person that they may not consume any more alcohol in the event space. Students who are concerned for the safety of an event attendee should contact Public Safety to respond.  Public Safety and other responders will make reasonable accommodations not to disrupt the event while responding to the person in need.

  • Students who are of age to consume alcohol must be provided with a wrist band.  Wrist bands are available through the Office of Public Safety. Event hosts are responsible for checking ID’s and wristbanding their event participants.

  • Hosts of an event are responsible for monitoring the safety and well-being of attendees and must be able to respond to issues that arise throughout the event.

  • Gatherings must adhere to all policies, including quiet hours.

  • Large Social Gatherings with alcohol may not be held during academic breaks, reading days, or finals periods.

  • Outdoor Events are subject to additional restrictions pertaining to law enforcement, safety, clean-up, and noise.  Groups who wish to host an outdoor event with alcohol should consult with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at least 5 business days prior to their event to discuss their options.

  • During a large social gathering with alcohol within a facility, there may not be any consumption of alcohol occurring outside of the event area (i.e. a small social gathering with alcohol may not be held in a room of a SLU/Theme House or a fraternity house while a large social gathering with alcohol is being held elsewhere in the house).  The one exception to this is Stuyvesant Hall, where events may be held in the Milligan Hub and students not included/participating in the event may reside in the building and be able to consume alcohol within a student room if they are of the legal drinking age. 

  • Invitations and advertisements for large social gatherings with alcohol must be directed to desired attendees, not circulated freely, and the consumption of alcohol should not be presented as the focal point in invitations and advertisements for any large social gathering.

  • To be eligible to host large social gatherings with alcohol, the hosting group must be in ‘Good Standing’ with the University.

  • Notice of the date, time and location of these events must be given to the University by registering them through Engage a minimum of 3 (three) business days in advance (see www.owu.edu/howtoatowu for more information). 

  • Attendance at the gathering must not exceed the fire occupancy. Occupancy rates are determined by the Fire Inspector and are available through the Public Safety Office.

  • Reservation for non-residential spaces must be done in advance at https://schedule.owu.edu/.

  • All alcohol present at events must be 6% ABV or below.  It is the responsibility of the hosts to ensure that the alcohol being consumed and/or brought into their space adheres to this policy.

  • Alcohol must be maintained in a central designated serving area. Any beverage that comes in a glass bottle must be poured into a plastic cup for consumption, and glass must be retained at the central serving area.  Only one beverage may be poured into the plastic cup at a time.

  • Security services by Public Safety or an outside entity are not generally required for registered Large Social Gatherings unless there is a pattern of disregard for policies associated with such events, or the event is of a nature that security services are needed to ensure the safety of participants.  The Student Involvement Office will determine whether security services will be required.

Bring Your Own Beverage Event

Hosts may allow their guests to bring their own beverages to an event, but are responsible for adhering to all policies and ensuring that their guests/visitors are also compliant.  Alcohol must be checked at the entry point to ensure it meets the 6% or less ABV requirement.  The alcohol being brought into the event may only be a “6-pack” or less. Beverages that do not meet these requirements are not permitted in the event.

Permit/Vendor or Trained Bartender Event

  • Alcohol may be sold or provided by a third-party vendor under the terms of that vendor’s permit.  AVI, the University vendor, holds a D-5 Liquor permit which allows for the sale of spirituous liquor, beer, and wine until 2:30am. This permit will allow for sale in the geographic area bordered by Sandusky Street to Washington Street, and Park Avenue to Spring Street.  Alcohol sold must adhere to the 6% or less ABV requirement. Students interested in having alcohol above the 6% ABV requirement should contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards no less than 5 business days from their event to request approval.

  • A student organization may apply for and obtain an F permit (a temporary liquor permit to sell or serve beer at special events). Contact the Office of Student Involvement for more information. The process for this option must be initiated at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the event. This would allow for beer sales at an event in a campus space outside of the boundary of the liquor license, such as Merrick Hall, University Hall, or Edwards Gym.

Small Social Gatherings with Alcohol

  • Small social gatherings with alcohol may be held in residential rooms or a common space (excludes bathrooms, stairwells, storage/utility areas, laundry areas and hallways) within a residential space.  This includes suite style rooms that share a common room. Students may not have more than the following guests/visitors in their room/common space:

    Small Social Gatherings with Alcohol

    Summary of Number of Individuals Permitted in Rooms and Suites

    Residence Rooms

    Residential Suites

    Residential House Common Living Spaces


    May not exceed 3


    May not exceed 6

    May not exceed 12

    May not exceed 15

    Note:  Any number of individuals within the limits defined above may be in possession/consuming alcohol – but they must be 21 years of age.


    Only one small social gathering in common living spaces (described above) with alcohol can be taking place at a time (in a single space or in contiguous spaces on the floor).  

    Example:  There may be three common spaces inside a facility on two (2) different floors in 4 Williams Drive, but only one small social gathering with alcohol can be taking place in a single or in contiguous spaces on one floor in the building. 

    Hosts of small social gatherings with alcohol must be of legal drinking age (21) and are responsible for what happens in their rooms and suites, as well as in the common areas where they are hosting a small social gathering with alcohol during the time the gathering is being held.  The University reserves the right to revoke the privilege of hosting small social gatherings with alcohol for students due to violations of the Student Handbook.

    Students are permitted to host “bring your own beverage” (“BYOB”) for small gatherings.  Residents of the space are responsible for ensuring that alcohol is only consumed by guests and/or visitors of legal drinking age.

Policy on Other Drugs

  • All students are prohibited from use, possession, providing, or selling of other (non-alcoholic) drugs as required by federal, state and local law, including both illegal drugs and prescription drugs that are used illegally (e.g., possessing or using prescription drugs prescribed to another person or using prescription drugs in an altered form).
  • Any cannabis product or products that contain trace amounts of THC, including edibles, alternative cannabis products (i.e. tinctures,  lotions/balms/transdermal patches, concentrates etc.), vapes for use with cannabis oils, etc. are not permitted on campus due to federal regulations.  If University officials respond to the smell of marijuana being burned and the individual(s) appear intoxicated due to red eyes and other behaviors, the University may proceed with a violation of our drug policy and assume the substance was marijuana using a preponderance of the evidence.     
  • Students who have been prescribed medical marijuana are not permitted to possess or use marijuana or other medical cannabis products on campus due to federal regulations.  Students in need of medical accommodations should contact Disability Services.
  • Drug paraphernalia that has been used for illegal purposes is prohibited. The presence of scales or other tools of trafficking or supplying illegal drugs may be used as evidence of trafficking or supplying.

By law, Ohio Wesleyan University is required to notify local police whenever evidence of illegal drug use (including marijuana), trafficking, or supplying is discovered on campus. The Delaware City Police Department will be contacted and will respond to drug related calls.  This may result in charges being filed against the person(s) involved.

University Outcomes for Alcohol and Other Drug Violations

Students are responsible for activity that occurs within their room or suite.  All students found in violation of the University’s alcohol or illegal drug policies through the University conduct process will be subject to University outcomes through the student conduct process.  The Table of Outcomes outlines the possible sanctions for alcohol and illegal drug violations. Outcomes are intended to be educational in nature and will increase with multiple violations.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives colleges and universities the ability to notify parents or legal guardians about violations committed by their children under certain circumstances.  OWU’s policy is to notify parents or legal guardians when any alcohol or drug violation creates a safety or welfare concern.


Table of Outcomes for Alcohol and Other Drug Use


1st Incident

2nd Incident

3rd Incident

Students of legal drinking age that have open containers in public places for the first time.

Warning and/or  Educational Outcome


A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Educational Outcome



A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Educational Outcome and Probation


A cost for the educational program may be applied.


Underage possession of alcohol

Educational Outcome


A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Educational Outcome

A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Substance Use Assessment and Probation

A cost for the assessment may be applied.

Students displaying symptoms of excessive alcohol use, putting self and/or others at risk, causing disruption to the community, or playing drinking games, or requiring medical attention.

Educational Outcome

A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Substance Use Assessment and Probation

A cost for the assessment may be applied.

Outcomes will be determined by the totality of the circumstances including the


Possession of illegal drugs

Educational Outcome


A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Educational Outcome

A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Substance Use Assessment and Probation

A cost for the assessment may be applied.




Educational Outcome with all current membership (including new and current members for Greek organizations) and/or Loss of Privileges and/or Probation or Suspension


A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Educational Outcome with all current membership (including new and current members for Greek organizations) and/or Loss of Privileges and/or Probation or Suspension


A cost for the educational program may be applied.

Educational Outcome with all current membership (including new and current members for Greek organizations) and/or Loss of Privileges and/or Probation or Suspension


A cost for the educational program may be applied.



Federal, State and Local Sanctions for Unlawful Possession or Distribution of Illegal Drugs and Alcohol

OWU observes all laws governing the sale, purchase and serving of alcoholic beverages by all members of its community, and expects that these laws will be adhered to at all events associated with the University. This includes activities on the OWU campus and at off-campus functions sponsored by or supported by OWU or any of its affiliated groups.

The following information is provided as a general summary of the major applicable laws. Please keep in mind that laws frequently are amended and reinterpreted, that the application of law to specific situations generally requires an analysis of all facts and circumstances, and that this information should therefore not be substituted for specific legal advice. If you are charged with a crime it is important to seek the advice of an attorney.

Federal Penalties and Sanctions for Illegal Drug Offenses 

Federal law prohibits and penalizes the manufacture, distribution, possession with intent to manufacture or distribute, and simple possession of illegal drugs. Federal sanctions for the illegal possession of drugs include imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction; imprisonment from 15 days to 2 years and a minimum fine of $2,500 for a second drug conviction; and imprisonment from 90 days to 3 years and a minimum fine of $5,000 for a third or subsequent drug conviction. For possession of a mixture or substance that contains a cocaine base, federal sanctions include 5-20 years in prison and a minimum fine of $1,000, for a first conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 5 grams, for a second conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 3 grams, and for a third or subsequent conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 1 gram. Additional possible penalties include, but are not limited to, civil fines up to $10,000 per violation; denial of federal benefits, such as student loans and grants; successful completion of a drug treatment program; community service; and ineligibility to receive or purchase a firearm.

Federal law mandates that students who receive federal financial aid and who are convicted of drug offenses under local, state, or federal law lose their eligibility for federal financial aid for the following periods:

  • 1st possession or use offense, 1 year
  • 2nd possession or use offense, 2 years
  • 3rd possession or use offense, indefinitely
  • 1st drug sale offense, 2 years
  • 2nd drug sale offense, indefinitely

Eligibility for federal financial aid may be resumed prior to these stated periods if:

  1. the conviction is legally stricken from the student’s record by a court of law, OR
  2. if the student completes a federally approved drug rehabilitation program. Contact the Office of Student Conduct for details on eligible programs.         

State Penalties and Sanctions for Alcohol and Illegal Drug Offenses

The criminal and traffic laws of the State of Ohio describe a wide range of alcohol and other drug offenses.  The following is a brief synopsis of select laws. 

  • No person under the age of 21 may possess, consume, purchase, attempt to purchase, share the cost of, or pay for alcoholic beverages. It is illegal for anyone to sell or furnish any alcoholic beverages to an underage person. (Ohio Revised Code 4301.62)
  • It is illegal to knowingly furnish any false information, including the name, age, or other identification of any person less than 21 years of age for the purpose of obtaining or with the intent to obtain alcoholic beverages. (Ohio Revised Code 4301.63)
  • Except where allowed by permit, it is illegal to possess an opened container of an alcoholic beverage in any public place. (Ohio Revised Code 4301.63)
  • It is against the law to operate any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. A person convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence is subject to a fine, time in jail, and the suspension of his or her operator’s license or driving privileges in the state. It is important to note that:
  • A person can be arrested and convicted even if the Breath Alcohol Content is below .08%.
  • A person can be arrested for DUI on private property.
  • The behavior of the driver may determine whether the person is under the influence regardless of the breath alcohol content.
  • Possession of any amount of cocaine, LSD, crystal methamphetamine, or heroin is a fifth-degree felony, which carries a possible prison term of 6 to 12 months, up to a $2,500 fine, and a mandatory operator’s license suspension of six months (minimum) up to five years.
  • Convictions for drug related offenses may make an individual ineligible for employment requiring special licensing, such as for attorneys, health care professionals, aviation pilots, law enforcement, etc., as well as for industrial positions requiring some level of security clearance, such as engineering, computer and aerospace technology. Such convictions may also prevent obtaining educational grants and other tuition assistance.

Local Penalties and Sanctions for Alcohol and Illegal Drug Offenses

The codified ordinances of the City of Delaware, which apply to students, staff and visitors while on campus or otherwise within the city limits, are modeled after and closely resemble the state criminal and traffic laws. The illicit possession, use, and distribution of drugs are prohibited and penalized by local (as well as by federal and state) law. Likewise, the illegal possession, use, sale, and purchase of alcohol is prohibited and carries criminal sanctions.