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Department
of Residence

Alcohol Use and Policy Enforcement

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Staff members of the Department of Residence are expected to uphold the policies of the University and Iowa State law.  This policy is written to clarify the standards of behavior that have long been expectations of staff in regard to alcohol use and providing the framework for staff discussions concerning some of the personal choices with which you will be confronted during your appointment. 
 
Definitions
Legal Age Staff
Staff members who are of legal age to possess and consume alcohol within the state of Iowa are expected to observe the state laws and University policies. If you choose to use alcohol, you are expected to do so in a responsible manner and to serve as a role model to residents and staff concerning their use of alcohol.
 
Underage Staff
Staff members not of legal age in the state of Iowa are expected to comply fully with the laws governing the possession of alcohol. You are expected to model behavior to other students and staff that illustrate compliance with the state laws and University policies.
 
Role Modeling
You are a role model to the students of the University, perhaps one of the most influential. As a staff member you must avoid creating contradictions by saying one thing and doing another. Modeling consistent and responsible behavior in your position as leaders impacts the choices you make in your personal and job lives.
 
Alcohol use/misuse is a serious concern for college students. You need to consider the consequences of alcohol use in relation to university policy and state law, the impact on your staff team and the likely loss of your position as an RA. This includes posting pictures of you where alcohol is present on Facebook and other social media sites. If you have questions relating to this, ask your RLC rather than make assumptions.
 
Role modeling + alcohol = gray area.  It’s better to ask questions first; role modeling is very important, and one instance of poor judgment may have serious consequences.
 
Violations of the alcohol expectations will likely result in losing your RA job, the respect of many, and the opportunity for a good job reference.
 
Responsible Use of Alcohol means:

  • Not drinking before the legal age
  • Not drinking while on duty, or within four hours before being on call
  • Not being intoxicated in public
  • Not being intoxicated and returning to the hall
  • Not providing alcohol to anyone who is under the legal drinking age (including your fellow staff members)
  • Responsible use means not binge drinking, not becoming intoxicated to the point of illness / impairment of judgment, and not exceeding your personal limits or the legal limits.

 
In all cases, the final decision of what constitutes responsible and irresponsible alcohol use rests with the residence life coordinator and the director of residence life.
 
Prohibited Activities

  1. Underage consumption of alcohol
  2. Providing alcohol or the means to access alcohol to underage persons (students or staff)
  3. Being in the company of underage persons where alcohol is being consumed by underage persons. This means that you avoid events where you know or expect that underage drinking will occur.
  4. Using false identification for the purpose of acquiring or consuming alcohol. This also includes the expectation that staff members not attempt to gain admittance to a drinking establishment or a place of retail liquor sales for purposes of acquiring or consuming alcohol.
  5. Underage consumption of alcohol at any on‐ or off‐campus party, event or drinking establishment.
  6. Requesting that another person provide alcohol to you or the means to acquire alcohol.
  7. Consuming alcohol with, or being in the company of, underage residents or staff members
  8. Consuming alcohol within four hours prior to assuming on-call or office duty or while being on call or working at the office.

 
Consequences of Violating Alcohol Policies
Should a staff member choose to consume alcohol or violate policies and procedures related to alcohol use and abuse, nothing short of their position is at stake. While each situation is treated individually by the respective coordinator, it is important for the resident assistant to know that termination is likely if he or she chooses to violate the alcohol policy while employed as a resident assistant and after accepting the resident assistant position.
 
Staff Termination
In the case of staff member termination the following procedures will be followed.

  1. The Coordinator will send a letter stating the reasons for the termination.
  2. If the staff member chooses to appeal the decision, the appeal must be put in writing and sent to the Director of Residence Life within five class days of receiving the termination letter.
  3. An appeal will be heard based on the information provided.
  4. The Director of Residence Life will make a decision within 10 business days. A letter explaining the reasons behind the decision will be sent to the staff member and the Coordinator.  This decision is final and no other appeals will be heard.