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Alcohol Policy

As an educational institution, we place a great deal of responsibility on the student while creating a policy and support structure to reduce harmful behaviors and risk. The decision to use or not use alcohol should be yours and yours alone. Peer pressure to use alcohol will not be tolerated. It is the view of the College that the illegal use and or abuse of alcohol may be detrimental to students’ health, safety, and academic success. For those who do choose to use alcohol, Simpson College strongly encourages students to exercise a responsible use and approach to alcohol. Though a responsible use approach is difficult to strictly define, the following guide Simpson College’s thinking in this area.

The responsible student will:

  • Make an informed decision if choosing to consume alcohol.
  • Know, understand, and conform to federal, state, and local laws and Simpson College regulations on alcohol use. 
  • Recognize that they are responsible for their behavior (and those of their guests) and accept the consequences for their actions. The use of alcohol is not an excuse for irresponsible behavior.
  • Maintain control and not disturb others on or near the college community.
  • Not consume in excess, resulting in negative health consequences.
  • Not make alcohol the only focus in their activities. Consuming alcohol just to consume or to get intoxicated is not a responsible use of alcohol.
  • Provide that alcohol is not interfering with the rest of their Simpson College experience. (i.e. academically successful and socially capable without use of alcohol).
  • Not pressure other students to consume alcohol. Pressure means direct and indirect verbal and non-verbal pressure to consume alcohol.
  • Counsel and/or confront those students whose use of alcohol is damaging to themselves or the community and refer them to the Office of Student Development for additional assistance.

Federal, State, and Local Government Requirements

Summaries of the laws of the State of Iowa, which govern the use and possession of alcohol and relate specifically to members of the College community, are as follows:

  1. No one can be intoxicated or simulate intoxication in a public place.
  2. A person under age 21 cannot have any alcoholic beverage in their possession or control except in a private home and with the knowledge and consent of the parent or guardian.
  3. No person can misrepresent their age for the purpose of obtaining alcohol.
  4. No person shall sell, dispense, or give to any intoxicated person or one simulating intoxication, any alcoholic beverage.
  5. No one can have open containers of alcohol in a motor vehicle on a public street.
  6. No one can use or consume hard liquor in a public place.
  7. No one can use or consume any liquor at an elementary or secondary school or on any elementary or secondary school premises.
  8. No one can sell or give alcohol to a minor (with the exception stated above regarding alcohol in a private home with the knowledge and written consent of a parent or guardian).  Students over 21 who are able to consume alcohol in their room should not host minors who are consuming alcohol.
  9. No one shall operate a motor vehicle on a public street while intoxicated.

The penalty for the violation of any of the above crimes (except an OWI) is up to 30 days in jail or up to $100 fine, except if someone gives alcohol to a person 19 or 20, the fine is $665.

The penalty for OWI varies depending on whether it is a first offense, second offense, the age of the offender, etc. Anyone under 21 who is caught driving with a blood alcohol content of .02 or more will lose their driver’s license or permit for up to 60 days or until age 21. 

Temporary driving permits for school, work, or any reason, will not be allowed during the suspension period. Realize that .02 is a very small amount – as little as one beer or drink. 

For persons 21 and over with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more, the penalty for first offense is 48 hours in jail and a minimum fine of $500 plus a 30% surcharge. There is also a loss of driver’s license privileges for roughly 6 months. For second offense, the penalty can be up to two years in prison; payment of a fine of not less than $750 plus surcharge of 30%; and loss of license that can range up to several years.

Simpson College Requirements

I.  Age and Space Restrictions

  • Only students who have attained the legal drinking age of 21 years may possess or consume alcoholic beverages in designated private living quarters where someone lives who is of legal age (i.e. students’ rooms with their door closed) and at other selected and pre-approved locations as determined by the President's Office or Office of Student Development.
  • **Note: While in COVID Orange or Yellow phases, this guidance shifts to comply with modified housing policies:  While the consumption of alcoholic beverages is allowed in some individual students’ rooms, these areas are not designed to accommodate large groups of people. Alcoholic beverages may be consumed by small groups of students of legal drinking age in appropriately designated individual student rooms. A group consisting of no more than 12 people in an apartment is permitted, and the door to the hallway should remain closed. Any group of more than 12 where alcohol is present can automatically be a Level 2 violation, even for a first offence.  An exception to this rule exists in Greek areas where alcohol is allowed. In those rooms, up to 10 students may be present in a room with the door open when alcohol is present.

II.  Alcohol-Free Areas

Alcohol is not allowed in public areas which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •  Bill Buxton stadium; Cowles Center; or any Simpson College athletic facility or field;
  •  Residence hall lounges, stairwells, computer rooms, laundry rooms and hallways;
  •  Apartment building hallways, balconies, stairwells, laundry/lounge/vending areas;
  •  Any exterior location (lawn, steps, patio, deck, etc.) of a building;
  •  Within common and exterior areas of college-owned Greek housing, including stairwells, parking lot, hallways, roof, deck, and yard;
  •  Any and all outside locations; or any other Simpson facility unless specifically designated in an approved event registration form.

Kresge Hall, Barker Hall, Buxton Hall, Picken Hall, theme houses, and Station Square Apartments are substance-free living areas. Alcohol is not allowed in those residence halls or apartments.  This includes empty containers and items that lead to an “assumption of consumption.”  Other buildings may be designated alcohol-free if repetitive issues relating to alcohol are present. By chapter policy, all sororities are alcohol-free.

Those persons who do not drink have the right to live on the campus and attend social events without pressure to consume alcohol.

Students who choose to live in alcohol and drug-free living areas should have the right to do so.

Every attempt will be made to create alcohol-free living spaces for all students who request it and for all new first-year students. Although the College will identify appropriate space within existing housing facilities, students should realize that living in an alcohol-free space is in no way a guarantee that the residents of this area will not be exposed to alcohol and or the behavior associated with alcohol use.

The residents of these alcohol-free areas will have responsibility for ensuring that the designated spaces do remain alcohol free.

III. Behavioral Expectations

  • Any use of alcohol which endangers the welfare of self and/or others or which results in offensive behavior or disorderly conduct is unacceptable to the community and will be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Due to the goals and purposes of the academic community, drunken behavior/intoxication, which is disrespectful, disruptive and potentially harmful, is not acceptable on campus or at College-sponsored events. Drunken behavior/intoxication is defined as observed loss of mental or physical coordination as a result of the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Persons who have consumed alcohol off-campus are expected to return to their rooms in an orderly manner.
  • Students are responsible for their own behavior at all times and under all circumstances.
  • Any student who invites a guest who is not enrolled in Simpson College onto campus assumes the responsibility of ensuring that the guest will act in an appropriate manner as well as abide by all College policies. Should the guest of a Simpson student violate the alcohol policy, the host student will be held socially and financially responsible for any offenses committed by that guest.
  • Violators of the alcohol policy will be subject to specified disciplinary consequences.
  • Exceptions to these regulations may be granted through special requests made to the Vice President for Student Development and/or the President.

IV. Beverages and Container Requirements

  • Kegs of beer, party balls or common source containers of alcohol one gallon or larger are not allowed anywhere on the campus. This restriction includes individual apartments and fraternity rooms.
  • Drinking and/or possessing alcoholic beverages (open containers) in a public place/area, designated alcohol free area or campus common area or other non-approved location is prohibited and subject to disciplinary action.
  • Transportation of alcoholic beverages to and from rooms must be in sealed containers.
  • Students should note that the possession of alcoholic beverage containers, either full or empty, will be taken as a presumption of use and possession, and, as such, may be considered policy violations. Students may also be held accountable, even if they do not have actual possession of alcohol, when they are present at alcohol-related events; or they may be accountable if they, in some other way, are in “constructive” possession of alcohol or illegal substances.
  • Display of alcohol-related advertising materials (including bottles) in student housing windows or areas outside the privacy of the student’s room is not permitted. Students are expected to promptly dispose of trash such as cans, bottles, and boxes from all hallways and not store them on balconies, decks, or outdoor areas.

V.  Events and Event Registration Guidelines

  • Individual students or student organizations wishing to host a social event where alcohol will be consumed may do so by registering prior to the start of the event according to guidelines established by the Division of Student Development.
  • Social events must be registered in advance with the host(s) completing the necessary event registration form through Student Development.
  • No alcohol may be served at all-campus functions unless approved by the President.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at membership recruitment functions of any College recognized organization (e.g. fraternities, sororities, or honoraries) or at events where potential members are invited or to attend.
  • Student organization funds administered through the College will not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  • Failure to properly register a social event in which alcoholic beverages are served will be cause for disciplinary action.

Contact the Director of Student Activities for more information about event registration or for an event registration form.

VI.  Amnesty Policy

It is a priority of Simpson College that members of the College community get the support they need. Victims who have been subjected to and witnesses to Sexual Misconduct after consuming alcohol or drugs who come forward to file a formal or informal report will not be punished under the College alcohol or drug policies for this instance.  This also applies in situations involving a medical emergency.  Please do not hesitate to call a CA, Security, or 911 in the event of a medical emergency due to fears of being held responsible for policy violations.

Statement of Intervention and Treatment

The policy of Simpson College reflects the belief that alcohol and other forms of drug addiction are serious illnesses which are usually preceded by a history of substance abuse with inappropriate and destructive behavior patterns. In view of this, the College is committed to assist any member of the student community whose behavior shows signs of alcohol/drug abuse or addiction.

This policy is established to provide the means for the College to identify and refer students who suffer from alcohol or other drug abuse or addictions to treatment alternatives. Intervention is intended where alcohol or other drug use is a contributing factor in one or more of the following:

  •  Disruptive and/or nuisance behavior
  •  Excessive intoxication
  •  Civil or criminal offenses
  •  Destruction of property
  •  Non-attendance at class
  •  Deterioration of academic performance
  •  Sexual assault or harassment in which alcohol or other drug use was a factor

Where alcohol or other drug abuse is suspected, any interested party having first-hand knowledge of the situation or event in question may refer the student to the Office of Student Development, wherein an informal assessment on the merits of the referral will be made. If the assessment suggests further action, every effort will be made by that office to encourage voluntary cooperation on the part of the student with the intervention and assessment processes recommended by the College. Should treatment alternatives be proposed by professional/evaluation staff, the College would make every effort to encourage voluntary cooperation on the part of the student.

Students, who by their behavior, are uncooperative, or who so request, will be granted an informal hearing to review the assessment recommended by the Office of Student Development. The hearing, should it be required, will focus on the specific behavioral and/or “use” problems that have been observed and reported. The student will be given an opportunity to respond to these reports, after which the Vice President for Student Development or a person designated by the Vice President for Student Development will make a final decision as to whether a formal assessment/evaluation for substance abuse by a substance abuse professional is required.

The student’s failure to attend the hearing, or to follow through with the formal assessment/evaluation (if so required) or any subsequent treatment recommendations made by a substance abuse professional, will result with the student being withdrawn from classes at Simpson. Re-entry into the college will be permitted only upon successful completion of substance abuse treatment and establishment of an ongoing recovery program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

When, in the judgment of a staff person, a student is transported for medical attention or monitoring in response to alcohol or other chemical use, the involved student will be responsible for any costs incurred.

Health Risks Associated with the Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol is the most abused drug in society as well as on college campuses. Alcohol is directly involved in many injuries, assaults and the majority of deaths in people under age 25. Other commonly abused illegal drugs include marijuana, cocaine, stimulants, hallucinogens, depressants, narcotics, steroids and inhalants. Legal drugs such as caffeine, nicotine, over-the-counter and prescription drugs also have wide use and associated health risks.

Health risks of using alcohol or other drugs include both physical and psychological effects. The health consequences of drugs depend on the frequency, duration and intensity of use. For all drugs, there is a risk of overdose. Overdose can result in coma, convulsions, psychosis or death. Combinations of certain drugs, such as alcohol and barbiturates, can be lethal. The purity and strength of doses of illegal drugs are uncertain.

Continued use of substances can lead to tolerance (requiring more and more of a drug to get the same effect), dependence (physical or psychological need) or withdrawal (a painful, difficult and dangerous symptom when stopping use of drugs). Long-term chronic use of drugs can lead to malnutrition, organic damage to the body and psychological problems. The risk of AIDS and other diseases increases if drugs are injected. The consumption of alcohol or drugs by pregnant women may cause abnormalities in babies.  For more information about the risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs, individuals may contact the Director of Campus Security, Student Health Services, or Counseling Services.