Alcoholic Beverages or Controlled Substances on Campus

Rochester Community and Technical College seeks to create a campus environment that promotes healthy, responsible living; affirms civility; supports the well-being of each of its members and is respectful of state and federal laws and institutional regulations governing behavior.  Respect for campus and community standards and regulations are expected.  Alcohol abuse and illicit drug use will minimize an individual’s abilities to develop his or her academic or social relationships and is contrary to the educational process and goals of higher education.

Rochester Community and Technical College recognizes that students, faculty, and staff are responsible for their own conduct, and for the consequences of their behavior as well. The purpose of this policy statement and subsequent information is to provide the campus community with the information needed to make responsible, healthy choices.

Part 1. Policy
The unlawful use, possession, distribution, manufacture or sale of any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance is prohibited on the campus of Rochester Community and Technical College. This campus prohibition includes athletic facilities or athletic events, and applies to any person on campus grounds, whether he or she is a member of the College community or not.   Individuals should note that even though they may be of legal age to consume or possess alcohol, RCTC policies prohibit the use or possession of alcohol on the campus. (“Exceptions” to this policy are listed under Minn State Policy 5.18, Part 2, D. and Part 3.)

Note: Although the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Law and program allows seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Campus Security Act, and Board Policy 5.18 Alcohol Beverages or Controlled Substances on Campus. Therefore, the use, possession, production, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana continues to be prohibited while on college or university owned or controlled property or any function authorized or controlled by the college or university.

 Part 2. Definitions

Alcohol and other Drug Abuse is defined as the use of alcohol or any mood-altering controlled substances, when resulting behavior or appearance adversely affects work or academic performance.

Adversely Affects Work or Academic Performance and Under the Influence shall be determined to be present if the student or employee is perceptibly impaired; has impaired alertness, coordination, reactions, responses or effort; if the student or employee’s conditions threatens the safety of him/herself or others; or if the student or employee’s condition or behavior presents the appearance of unprofessional or irresponsible conduct detrimental to the public’s perception of the College as an employer as determined by the supervisor or manager or other observing the employee

Controlled Substances means those substances whose possession and distribution are controlled by regulations or statute, including, but not limited to narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, and prescription medications

Mood Altering and Alter means changed behavior which may limit a student or employee’s ability to perform his/her job duties safely and efficiently or poses a threat to the safety of the student, employee, or others.

Part 3. Scope of Coverage
This policy is applicable to any person on campus grounds, whether he or she is a member of the College community or not.  RCTC is responsible for monitoring this policy and determining when an infraction has occurred.  RCTC is further responsible to determine the appropriate sanctions and impose those sanctions against all offenders in a fair and consistent manner.  Questions regarding this policy can be directed to either the Chief Human Resources Officer, a Student Conduct Officer, or a Security Officer.

Part 4. Prohibited Activities

According to the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226) and Minnesota Statutes 152 (prohibited Drugs), 340A (Liquor Act) and 624.701 (Liquor in certain buildings and grounds), RCTC has implemented a program to prevent the use of alcohol and unlawful use of controlled substances on campus or at college-related activities by students and employees.

Students, by their association with RCTC, will abide by college conduct policies.  However, this code of student conduct does not replace, nor does it reduce any requirements of civil or criminal law imposed upon citizens as members of the larger community.  Therefore, students who violate civil or criminal law may be subject to both legal and college sanctions for the same conduct when the conduct occurs off campus but is related to the college community.

While it is not possible to define each instance of misconduct, the following examples are intended to convey offenses: 

  • No student or employee shall unlawfully manufacture, sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange, or distribute or possess with the intent to manufacture, sell, give away, barter, deliver, exchange, or distribute a controlled substance or associated paraphernalia as defined in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 152 while on campus or involved in a college activity, service, project program or work situation off campus.  Also, no employee shall participate in these activities during rest breaks or during overtime work.
  • No student or employee shall report to campus while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance except as prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider.
  • When an employee or student employee is taking medically authorized controlled substances which may alter job performance, he/she has a duty to notify the appropriate supervisor of that information.
  • No student or employee shall transport or use any controlled substances in a state or rental vehicle while traveling to a college sponsored or approved activity (meetings, competitions, entertainment, etc.) except as allowed by law.
  • No student or employee shall introduce upon or have possession upon any college campus, or while involved in a college activity, service project, program or work situation, any alcoholic beverage as defined in Minnesota Statute 340.
  • Employees, including student employees, conducting the College’s business after the intake of alcohol or other controlled substances shall be subject to sanctions if the resulting behavior negatively affects his/her performance or interaction with others.
  • The appropriate law enforcement agency will be notified when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that an individual may have illegal controlled substances in his/her possession on college premises.  Where appropriate, the College shall also notify licensing boards.
  • The purchase of alcoholic beverages using state or university dollars is prohibited (Foundation funds are neither State nor University funds and are exempt from this prohibition).
  • Employees are discouraged from drinking alcoholic beverages during meal breaks when returning immediately thereafter to perform work on behalf of the state.  Any employee whose condition or behavior – following alcohol consumption – adversely affects their work performance shall be subject to possible discipline.

Part 5. Legal Sanctions

Applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful use, possession, or distribution of controlled substances are set forth in the referenced laws.  Complete information on criminal penalties in Minnesota for the use, possession and sales of controlled substances may be found at

Minnesota has a wide range of statutes that regulate the possession, purchase, sale, and consumption of alcohol.  Sanction information may be found at

Sanctions related to driving while under the influence (DWI) may be found at

These sanctions can include probation, fines, driver’s license suspension, and/or incarceration.  Future revisions, amendments, or additions to these or other applicable codes are incorporated into this policy by this reference.

Part 6. Health Risks

Students and staff are notified of the health risks associated with the use of alcohol and controlled substances. Additional information can easily be obtained by contacting the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the principal biomedical and behavioral research agency of the United States Government.  NIH is a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Alcohol consumption causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology.  Even low doses significantly impair judgment, coordination, and abstract mental functioning.  Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on college campuses, including acquaintance rape, vandalism, fights, and incidents of drinking and driving.  Continued abuse may lead to dependency, which often causes permanent damage to vital organs and deterioration of a healthy lifestyle.

Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish). The use of marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Users often have a lowered immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum of 28 to 30 days. Hallucinogens. Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when use has ceased. Phencyclidine (PCP) affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Because the drug blocks pain receptors, violent PCP episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries. Cocaine/Crack. Cocaine users often have a stuffy, runny nose and may have a perforated nasal septum. The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, followed by depression. Crack, or freebase rock cocaine, is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and even death. Amphetamines (Meth). Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse, and death. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts. Heroin. Heroin is an opiate drug that causes the body to have diminished pain reactions. The use of heroin can result in coma or death due to a reduction in heart rate.

Part 7. Disciplinary Sanctions

Students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action initiated by the College as outlined in RCTC Policy 3.6: STUDENT CONDUCT and in the student handbook and may be referred for assistance to the RCTC Counseling Office or RCTC Health Services.  Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge consistent with the collective bargaining agreement applicable with the employees’ position.  The Chief Human Resources Officer and a Student Conduct Officer will ensure that the disciplinary sanctions for violating standards of conduct are enforced consistently.

Part 8. Biennial Review

As required by the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations, a biennial review of the alcohol and other drug programs and policies will be reviewed every two years.  This review will determine the effectiveness of, and to implement any needed changes to, the AOD program.

Part 9. Alcohol and Controlled Substance Use Assessment and Counseling

Alcohol and other controlled substance use awareness programs and services are offered through RCTC’s Student Life, Student Health Services, Counseling, Human Resources, and other campus departments.  Students or employees in need of assistance with a drug or alcohol problem may contact the following:

RCTC Drug and Alcohol Resources


RCTC Counseling Center   507-285-7260

RCTC Student Health Service   507-285-7261


State Employee Assistance Program, Rochester office:  651-259-3840 or 1800-657-3719


National Self-Help Resource:

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), U.S. Department of Health


Local Self-Help Resources:

Alcoholics Anonymous (Rochester) 507- 281-1747

Al-Anon 507-281-4729

MN Narcotics Anonymous   877-767-7676


Services and Programs

Olmsted County Adult Chemical Dependency, Adult and Family Services Division:   507-328-6400
Substance Abuse Service Mayo Clinic:  507-538-3270

Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Unit.  (Adult Inpatient) St. Mary’s Hospital:  507-536-0534

Cronin Homes, Inc. (Half-way House):   507-282-1204

The Gables Recovery Home (Treatment – Adult Women):   507-282-2500

Outpatient Chemical Dependence Service, Mayo Clinic:  507-538-3270

Family Service Rochester (Assessment, counseling, treatment):   507-287-2010

Zumbro Valley Crisis Receiving Unit (Detoxification):   507-281-6248

Zumbro Valley Mental Health Center (Counseling, education, treatment):   507-289-2089


Part 10. Certification

This policy will be distributed to all new RCTC students and employees and annually to all current students and employees.  This policy will be reviewed biannually to assess its effectiveness, implement changes, and ensure the disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.


It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with college policies and procedures.  For a more complete description of the policies, please refer to the RCTC policy webpage or contact one of the Administrative Offices.  A condensed version of RCTC policies can be found in the RCTC Student Handbook.