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Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The intent of this Policy is to protect and promote the health, wellbeing and safety of staff, students, contractors and visitors to Charles Sturt University (the the University) through the management of alcohol and other drugs.


(2) This Policy sets out the principles that guide the the University's management of alcohol and other drugs by staff, students, contractors and visitors to the the University. This includes the requirement to comply with Federal and State legislation as well as the the University's by-laws, statutes, regulations, rules and policies.

(3) The Policy is not intended to discourage the legitimate use of prescription and 'over the counter' medication.


(4) The the University recognises that alcohol consumption is an established part of life in Australia and is enjoyed by many members of the the University community. The the University will not attempt to stop drinking on the campus, but will encourage moderation in and a responsible attitude towards the consumption of alcohol.

(5) The the University recognises that alcohol is a depressant drug that can slow brain activity and motor skill responses, and that a range of illegal drugs as well as 'over the counter' and prescribed medications can result in changes in behaviour, unsatisfactory work and/or study performance, absenteeism and accidents.

(6) Through the provisions of this Policy, the the University is seeking to ensure that staff and students are well informed about the problems that alcohol and other drugs can cause, particularly in relation to work and study.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(7) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Drugs - are any substance that may result in physical, psychological or behavioural changes that may cause impaired performance, and include intoxicating products, licit medication (prescribed and non-prescribed) and illicit substances. For the purpose of this Policy the word 'drug', unless otherwise stated, refers to all psychoactive (mind and/or mood altering) substances, including:
    1. illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine, etc.);
    2. legal drugs (alcohol, tobacco, etc.);
    3. prescription medication; and
    4. 'over the counter' medication.
  2. Over the counter medication - refers to any purchased medication that does not require a prescription.
  3. Harm minimisation - refers to policies and programs aimed at reducing drug-related harm. Harm minimisation is an approach that seeks to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of misuse of alcohol and other drugs, for both the community and the individual, consistent with the National Drugs Strategy (1998).
  4. Authorised the University activity - refers to all on-site and off-site activities that students and/or staff engage in within the the University, including classes, workshops, field placements, conferences, social functions and recreation activities.
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Section 3 - Policy

Part A - General Principles

(8) The the University is committed to encouraging and assisting students and staff to realise their full academic and personal potential within an environment that actively promotes their health, wellbeing and safety.

(9) The the University expects all of its community members to be responsible citizens and requires appropriate behaviour when participating in the University-related activities, including studying, teaching, conducting research and the University-related social functions.

(10) The the University is committed to the following principles:

  1. providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work;
  2. creating a climate that enables individuals to make a free and informed choice as to the level of their alcohol consumption, in an environment free of inducement and social pressure;
  3. encouraging moderation and a responsible approach toward the serving and consumption of alcohol;
  4. ensuring an inclusive environment for staff and students who choose not to consume alcohol;
  5. minimising alcohol and other drug-related harm to all members of the the University community, the University property and the reputation of the the University;
  6. ensuring that the possession, use or sale of any drug on any of the the University's campuses is in accordance with relevant State , Federal and the University regulations;
  7. providing an environment that actively promotes the health of the the University community by offering appropriate drug and alcohol education and training programs; and
  8. ensuring the availability of a confidential and non-judgemental response for staff and students with alcohol or other drug-related problems through the provision of trained in-house support and/or external referral.

(11) The the University reserves the right to declare alcohol-free areas such as laboratories, workshops, classrooms, sections of residences and other spaces as it sees fit.

(12) The the University reserves the right to restrict the consumption of alcohol in regard to certain the University staff positions and, where deemed necessary, the specific conditions will be incorporated into their employment contract and position description.

(13) A staff member or student who is certified by a doctor as recovering from drug abuse or in a treatment program should be treated in the same manner as a person with a disability and be afforded the opportunity to have access to rehabilitation programs and counselling services.

Part B - Rules

(14) No individual is to consume alcohol:

  1. when they are under the legal drinking age (i.e. under 18 years of age); and
  2. where the consumption is likely to result in a subsequent breach of State or Federal law. For example, if an individual intends to drive, they should not consume sufficient alcohol to raise their blood alcohol level above legal permissible driver blood alcohol limits.

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

(16) No employee, student or visitor is to consume alcohol during or prior to participation in any activity that is inherently hazardous or likely to become hazardous as a result of the consumption of alcohol as this poses a significant risk to the individual, to other members of the community and/or to the University staff or property.

(17) The the University does not permit the following on the University premises or in connection with any the University sponsored activity or function:

  1. promotional activities offering inducements or otherwise encouraging drinking as the major objective;
  2. customs that exert social pressure on students to drink to excess, particularly competitive, binge, or excessive drinking practices such as 'all you can drink' events or pub crawls;
  3. alcoholic drinking games and other activities that promote binge drinking or rapid intoxication;
  4. disorderly behaviour or lack of respect for people or property, which is related to alcohol or other drug consumption; and
  5. coercion or other peer pressure exerted against students or staff who choose not to consume alcohol or other drugs.

Part C - Events Involving Alcohol

(18) All staff responsible for organising the University functions, whether they are informal or formal events, must follow the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) practices. Formal events are events endorsed by the the University, regardless of their size or participants. Informal events are informal gatherings of staff members and invited guests. supervisors or managers must take responsibility for the event, regardless of whether it is informal or formal.

(19) At all the University functions where alcohol is served, staff and students are expected to:

  1. understand and respect individual and cultural differences in attitudes towards the consumption of alcohol;
  2. ensure that all events are fully inclusive and welcoming of all invitees, including those who are not of legal drinking age and those who choose not to drink. This excludes licensed venues where minors under 18 years of age may not be permitted in some areas; and
  3. ensure that non-alcoholic drinks, including water, are available.

(20) Alcohol will not be served to persons under the age of 18 years.

(21) Alcohol will not be served to intoxicated persons.

(22) Appropriate food that does not encourage further drinking is provided.

(23) Only licensed venues may sell alcohol on campus.

(24) Licensed venues must have staff trained in RSA, as per the Liquor Regulation 2008 , and follow all legislation associated with this licence.

(25) Alcohol may only be consumed in the area designated for the event.

(26) The Security Office must be made aware of any formal function held on campus.

(27) Activities that encourage the excessive consumption of alcohol, such as pub crawls and drinking competitions, are prohibited on campus, as per the RSA Regulation .

(28) Advertising and sponsorship of an event must be in accordance with the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code .

(29) Staff, students and visitors to the the University, who are a danger to themselves or others, will be removed from the premises of the the University.

Drinking and Driving

(30) Prior to any function where alcohol is to be served, the organiser of the function should provide information to those attending the function about the transport facilities available to travel to and especially from the function.

(31) Where people have to drive vehicles home following a function, the organiser should consider providing non-alcoholic drinks free of charge to the 'designated drivers'.

(32) If the organisers of the function are aware that a guest has had too much to drink, he/she should arrange for supervised transportation home for that person.

(33) If guests are charged a fee, the price of admission or food should be separated from the cost of drinks; where possible, avoid having non-drinkers share the cost of alcoholic beverages.

Part D - Responsibilities

Staff, Students, Contractors and Visitors

(34) It is the responsibility of all staff, students and visitors to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their use of alcohol or other drugs does not impact on the health and safety of themselves and others.

Staff and Students

(35) The responsibilities of staff and students include:

  1. recognising that their performance of duties can be affected by alcohol and other drugs;
  2. not attending the the University if they are affected by alcohol and/or other drugs. If found to be affected when they arrive, they may be removed from the premises of the the University and subject to disciplinary action;
  3. notifying their managers prior to commencing work if they are taking prescription drugs or 'over the counter' drugs that have specific warnings on use (i.e. impact on their duties);
  4. not being under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs when they are in charge of the University vehicles and machinery, handling hazardous chemicals or undertaking hazardous activities. They must also comply with the Road Transport Act 2013 and other legislation;
  5. making sure they are aware of and comply with applicable statutes and the the University's regulations, rules and policies;
  6. where appropriate, confidentially encouraging fellow students or staff members to seek assistance if they believe misuse of alcohol or drugs is occurring;
  7. demonstrating professional and responsible behaviour when representing the the University at functions where alcohol is available; and
  8. immediately contacting an appropriate supervisor or the University officer if a staff member or student is affected by alcohol or other drugs.

(36) The the University acknowledges that the decision to consume alcohol is a personal one. However, individuals should note that, having made a conscious decision to consume alcohol, they remain responsible for their behaviour and liable for the consequences whilst under the influence of alcohol.

(37) The the University acknowledges that the consumption of alcoholic beverages occurs at various the University activities and venues. However, under the harm minimisation approach, individuals are encouraged to:

  1. limit their consumption of alcoholic beverages to appropriate occasions/activities;
  2. limit their consumption of alcohol to a level where the alcohol does not impede or adversely affect their capacity or behaviour (or the capacity of others) in regard to the fulfilment of their obligations while at or representing the the University; and
  3. comply with the reasonable instructions of those responsible for the service of alcohol and/or of the University management staff or employees with appropriate duties, e.g. Security staff.

Contractors and visitors

(38) The responsibilities of contractors and visitors engaged in any the University-related activity include:

  1. ensuring that they are not impaired by alcohol or other drugs, which might subject themselves or others to risk of injury or harm; and
  2. adhering to the the University's Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

the University managers

(39) Managers and supervisors have a duty of care to staff and students in their charge to ensure that, if their performance is recognisably degraded, whatever the cause, they not be allowed to engage in activities that place themselves or others at risk. The approach to managing performance and conduct issues is outlined in the flow chart attached (Appendix 1).

(40) Managers at all levels, including those providing residential and on-campus services to students, have a responsibility for:

  1. implementing the provisions of this Policy in respect to the staff and students under their control;
  2. establishing and/or observing procedures in the learning environment for identification and management of drug-related health and safety issues;
  3. ensuring that assistance, advice and support are provided to students with drug-related issues of any kind. This includes using internal and external sources of help and advice; and
  4. ensuring that, where alcohol is served at the University functions, responsible serving practices are observed.

Student Services Office

(41) Through the Student Services Office, the Health Promotion and Counselling Service is responsible for:

  1. providing drug and alcohol education and training services to the the University community;
  2. providing supportive and confidential advice and information on drug- and alcohol-related issues;
  3. referral to community agencies for assistance with drug and alcohol issues;
  4. providing alcohol and drug information seminars, workshops and events for the the University community; and
  5. establishing joint partnerships with external bodies, where appropriate, for the management of drug-related issues.

Student Representative Councils

(42) The various Student Representative Councils are responsible for ensuring that all student events and publications sponsored by the Student Representative Council comply with this Policy and observe the 'Responsible Serving Guidelines'.

Part E - Assistance from the the University

Health, education and promotion

(43) The the University will undertake an integral approach to health education and promotion by:

  1. encouraging staff to provide relevant educational material to students;
  2. providing relevant employees with training in detection, referral and channelling of staff and students to appropriate services;
  3. providing educational programs, literature and events to promote a responsible attitude to alcohol, and discourage the utilisation of drugs; and
  4. using visual displays and the use of various media to encourage awareness.


(44) The the University will:

  1. encourage students and staff who suspect that they may have, or are known to have, an alcohol or drug problem to seek assistance;
  2. provide counselling for students and staff, regarding alcohol or drug abuse and associated problems; and
  3. provide referrals to appropriate agencies with the cooperation of the client.

Internal and External Sources

(45) The the University has established a network of internal and external sources to assist staff and students to identify and manage alcohol and other drug-related problems. For staff, information on such sources can be obtained through the Manager, Employee Relations and Policy on telephone (02) 6933 4132 or the Manager, Work Health and Safety on (02) 6338 4096. For students, information can be obtained through the Director, Student Services on (02) 6933 2140.

(46) The the University also has a Alcohol and Drug Related Issues - Performance Management Flowchart.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(47) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(48) Nil.