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Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy:

  1. provides directions about responsible service and consumption of alcohol
  2. sets expectations and responsibilities for staff, students and visitors in relation to the use of alcohol and other drugs, and
  3. provides information about alcohol and drug-related support services for staff and students.


(2) This policy applies to staff, students and visitors to Charles Sturt University (the University) when they are on University premises, and regardless of location, when they are:

  1. engaged in any University-related activity
  2. attending or organising a University event, function or activity, and/or
  3. attending or organising any student-led event, function or activity.
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Section 2 - Policy

Use of alcohol and other drugs

(3) The University is committed to:

  1. providing a safe and healthy environment for work, study and University-related activities
  2. minimising alcohol and other drug-related harm to individuals, University property and the reputation of the University
  3. ensuring an inclusive environment for individuals who choose not to consume alcohol, and
  4. ensuring that the possession, use and sale of alcohol or other drugs on any of the University's campuses or at any University-related activity are in accordance with relevant legislation and University policy.

(4) The following provisions support these commitments.

(5) The University reserves the right to:

  1. declare alcohol-free areas such as laboratories, workshops, classrooms, sections of residences and other spaces as it sees fit
  2. restrict alcohol consumption for certain University staff positions and incorporate such conditions into the employment contract and position description, and
  3. restrict alcohol consumption for certain University-related activities and incorporate such conditions into the policy, procedures, guidelines and/or instructions applying to that activity.

(6) The University will not condone the possession, distribution or consumption of illicit drugs and, where observed, all such activities will be reported to the relevant authorities (e.g. the police), and the staff members and students will be subject to University disciplinary proceedings.

(7) The University does not permit the following on University premises or at University events:

  1. promotional activities offering inducements or otherwise encouraging drinking as the major objective. Refer to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Liquor Promotion Guidelines for principles and examples relating to unacceptable promotions and promotions that require harm minimisation strategies,
  2. disorderly behaviour or lack of respect for people or property, which is related to consumption of alcohol or use of other drugs, and
  3. harassment, bullying, coercion or other peer pressure exerted against individuals who choose not to consume alcohol or use other drugs.

(8) Staff, students and visitors must:

  1. not attend work, lectures or other University-related activities if their performance or behaviour is impaired by alcohol and/or other drugs
  2. when attending University-related events where alcohol is available:
    1. demonstrate professional and responsible behaviour when representing the University
    2. limit their consumption of alcohol to a level that does not impede or adversely affect their capacity or behaviour in regard to fulfilling their obligations while at or representing the University
    3. comply with the reasonable instructions of those responsible for the service of alcohol and/or of University managers or employees with appropriate duties, e.g. security staff, and
    4. not engage in conduct that could negatively impact the University or its reputation,
  3. notify an appropriate manager, supervisor or lecturer prior to commencing work/study or participating in any other University-related activity if they are taking prescription drugs or ‘over the counter’ drugs that may impact on their ability to perform their duties/study or participate in the activity
  4. comply with applicable local government, State and Commonwealth laws and the University's rules and policies (including those of affiliated residential colleges)
  5. where appropriate, confidentially encourage fellow staff members or students to seek assistance if they believe misuse of alcohol or other drugs is occurring, and
  6. contact an appropriate person (e.g. supervisor, lecturer or University officer) if they believe that a person is demonstrating signs of impairment or intoxication that may place themselves or others at risk.

(9) Managers and supervisors of staff and students, at all levels (including lecturers, University event organisers, and those providing residential and on-campus services to students), have a duty of care to staff and students in their charge. If a staff member or student’s performance or behaviour is recognisably impaired or affected by the suspected or actual use of alcohol or other drugs, whatever the cause, they must not be allowed to engage in activities that place themselves or others at risk.

University events and functions

(10) Organisers of university events involving alcohol must:

  1. ensure that, where required, an appropriate liquor licence (or limited liquor licence) is obtained and/or valid at the time of the event (see Delegation Schedule A - Governance and Legal for authorities related to liquor licences)
  2. assess the risk factors for events serving alcohol and minimise the risk level by developing and implementing strategies to control the identifiable risks, including but not limited to:
    1. for SRC, university club, and residence events, completing the risk assessments and obtaining necessary approvals as set out on the Student events webpage, and
    2. providing information to attendees about the transport facilities available to travel to and from the event, and to and from on-campus residences for student events and activities.
  3. for events held on University premises, notify Campus Security of event details in advance (e.g. date, time, location, the expected number of participants, and any other information requested)
  4. be aware of and ensure compliance with the requirements specified in the Liquor Regulation 2018 (or equivalent legislation in other states and jurisdictions) and, in particular, ensure that alcohol is not served to intoxicated people or people under 18 years of age
  5. ensure that non-alcoholic drinks, including water, are available
  6. ensure that appropriate food that does not encourage further drinking is available
  7. ensure that alcohol is only be consumed in the area designated for the event, and
  8. ensure that advertising and sponsorship of the event is in accordance with the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code.

(11) Informal gatherings, where the alcohol is provided by individuals attending the gathering and is not for sale, are excluded from the requirements of clause 10, however, all other provisions of this policy apply. Individuals attending the gathering must ensure that alcohol is served and consumed responsibly.

(12) Where an event is organised by university staff, the managers or supervisors are responsible for the event, regardless of whether it is an informal or formal event.

Health, education and promotion

(13) The University will approach health education and promotion by:

  1. encouraging staff to provide relevant educational material to fellow staff members and students
  2. providing relevant staff with training in identification and referral of staff and students to appropriate services
  3. assisting relevant staff and students to establish and/or observe procedures in the work/study environments, halls of residence and University-affiliated clubs for identification and management of alcohol and drug-related health and safety issues, and
  4. providing educational programs, literature and events to promote a responsible attitude to alcohol and discourage the use of illicit drugs.

(14) The University will:

  1. encourage staff and students who suspect that they may have, or are known to have, an alcohol or drug problem to seek assistance
  2. provide counselling for students through the Student Counselling service and referral for staff to counselling services through the Employee Assistance Program, in relation to alcohol or drug abuse and associated problems, and
  3. provide referrals to appropriate support agencies with the cooperation of the individual.

(15) A staff member or student who is certified by a medical officer as recovering from alcohol or drug abuse or in a treatment program should be treated in the same manner as other people with a disability.

(16) Internal and external sources of support and assistance are available to staff and students to identify and manage alcohol and other drug-related problems that they or others may be experiencing.

  1. For staff, information can be obtained through the Division of People and Culture‘s My Wellbeing website.
  2. For students, information can be obtained by contacting the 24/7 Student Wellbeing support line or the Your wellbeing website.

Consequences of breach

(17) Breaches of this policy may be addressed under the Student Misconduct Rule 2020, Enterprise Agreement or employment contract, and/or may be reported to the police or other relevant authority.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(18) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(19) Nil.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(20) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Drugs - mean any substance that may result in physical, psychological or behavioural changes that may cause impaired performance. In this policy the word drug, unless otherwise stated, refers to all legal and illegal substances, including performance and image enhancing drugs, tobacco, pharmaceutical substances, illicit drugs and psychoactive substances or synthetic drugs.
  2. Impaired/impairment – means alteration of normal physical or mental function, which results in diminished ability to perform tasks and activities in a safe manner.
  3. Intoxication - as defined in the  Liquor Act 2007 (NSW), a person is intoxicated if:
    1. the person's speech, balance, co-ordination or behaviour is noticeably affected, and
    2. it is reasonable in the circumstances to believe that the affected speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is the result of the consumption of liquor.
  4. University-related activity - means any activity that staff, students, contractors or visitors engage in under the name of the University, regardless of whether or not the activity takes place on a University campus. Examples of University-related activities include working, teaching, research, workshops, conferences, training courses, classes, field placements, social, cultural, sporting, recreational and club activities.