DATE:       October 15, 2014

TO:            All Employees and Students

FROM:       Sister Diane Steele, SCL, PhD, President

SUBJECT: Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Notice

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 require all schools and institutions of higher education to adopt and implement a program to prevent the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees on university property or as part of any university activities.

The following statement, which is part of USM’s program adopted to comply with this act, is being distributed to you as required by law. If you have any questions regarding this statement or wish to receive further information on the university’s Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act program, you are encouraged to contact Teresa Lee, Director of Human Resources or Deborah Shaddy, Counselor, Office of Student Life.

University of Saint Mary

Statement of Prevention of Alcohol Abuse and Drug Use on Campus and in the Workplace


The University of Saint Mary supports and endorses the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act amendments of 1989 (“Acts”). Pursuant to these Acts, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance or abuse of alcohol (as defined in these Acts) by an employee or student on university property or as part of any university activity is prohibited. Any employee or student of the university found to be abusing alcohol or using, possessing, manufacturing, or distributing controlled substances in violation of the law on university property or at university sponsored events shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with applicable policies of the university. For employees and students, the university will take appropriate action for such infractions, up to and including termination or dismissal. 

As a condition of employment, all employees shall abide by the terms and conditions of the Acts. As such an employee must notify the university of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after such conviction. Such notice shall be provided in writing by the employee to the Director of Human Resources. The university will in turn, notify as appropriate, the applicable federal agency of the conviction within ten days of its receipt of notification of the conviction. For such conviction, the university will take appropriate personnel action, up to and including termination, within thirty (30) days of receiving notice of such conviction. Employees may also be required to satisfactorily participate, at their expense, in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program as approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement or other appropriate agency before being allowed to return to work. For purposes of this policy, a conviction means a finding of guilt (including a plea of nolo contendere) or imposition of sentence, or both, by any judicial body charged with the responsibility to determine violations of the federal or state criminal drug statutes.


The University of Saint Mary strives to maintain a drug-free educational environment and requires all students to remain free of the unlawful and/or inappropriate use of controlled or illegal substances while enrolled as a student. Students will be held accountable for consuming illegal substances, regardless of state/local laws in the location where the substance was ingested. A student is subject to testing to show proof of a physical condition free from the unlawful and/or inappropriate use of controlled or illegal substances or the use of prescription medication for which the student does not have a valid prescription or which a student is using in a manner inconsistent with a physician's directions. Drug testing (at the college's expense) will be required whenever the Vice President of Student Life, or his/her designee, suspect or have reason to believe that a student might be engaging in the unlawful and/or inappropriate use of a controlled or illegal substance, or the inappropriate use or abuse of a prescription medication, whether on or off campus.

Reasonable grounds for requiring a student to submit to a drug test may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Incoherent communication or inexplicable behavior

  • A pattern of tardiness and/or absenteeism from class

  • Suspicious odors on person, clothing, and/or other property

  • Sudden, inexplicable decline in academic performance

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

  • Prior positive drug test results

  • Arrest, citation, or conviction for a substance-related offense by college or public law enforcement authorities

  • Observation of substance use or physical symptoms or manifestations of impairment, incoherency, or erratic, inexplicable conduct

  • A report of substance abuse or use provided by a reliable and credible source

A student who refuses to submit to a request for drug testing from an authorized college official, refuses to authorize the release of test results to the college, or tampers with a drug test sample will automatically be considered as failing a drug test and disciplined up to and including dismissal from the college. A positive drug test that confirms that a student has engaged in the unlawful or inappropriate use and/or abuse of controlled or illegal substances, or inappropriate use or abuse of a prescription medication, whether on or off campus, will result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension or dismissal from the college.

Drug testing may be conducted on campus or also at a lab selected by the college and certified to conduct drug testing.


Employees and students are reminded that unlawful possession, distribution or use of illicit drugs or alcohol may subject individuals to criminal prosecution. The university will refer violations or proscribed conduct to appropriate authorities for prosecution. Federal regulations and state laws provide penalties of fines and imprisonment for violations of the criminal statutes which include possessing, offering for sale, possessing with the intent to offer for sale, distributing or manufacturing controlled substances such as opiates, narcotics, depressants, stimulants or hallucinogenic drugs.

In the State of Kansas, the legal drinking age is 21. Consumption of alcohol by a minor is punishable by a minimum $200 fine.  Furnishing alcohol to a minor is also punishable by a minimum $200 fine.  Violation of Kansas drinking law can result in increased fines and incarceration.  A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also result in fines in excess of $500, community service, mandatory treatment programs, license revocation, and/or incarceration.

In the State of Kansas, it is also illegal to be involved with controlled substances, including prescription drugs obtained or used contrary to the prescription.  Violation of the Kansas drug laws also may result in incarceration and substantial fines. 

Federal law contains other laws regulating drugs and controlled substances.  Under federal law, illegal possession of a controlled substance can result in a fine of at least $1,000 and up to one year imprisonment for a first offense.  Penalties increase when an offender has been convicted of prior drug-related offenses.  Illegal possession of a controlled substance can also result in the forfeiture of property, civil fines, and the loss of federal benefits.  Trafficking controlled substances can also lead to substantial fines and lengthy prison sentences, including life in prison. Conviction for violation of federal drug laws may also result in loss of federal aid for financing education. 

The City of Leavenworth regulates alcoholic beverages including places of public consumption.  Conviction for violation of the Leavenworth Ordinances can result in fines and incarceration. 

Additionally, most municipalities have ordinances criminalizing possession of marijuana, and in the case of Leavenworth and Overland Park, mandatory jail time is imposed even for first time convictions under its ordinance.

More details on federal, state, and local drug and alcohol law can be obtained in consultation with the vice president for student life or the director of human resources. 


Abuse of alcohol and use of drugs is harmful to one’s physical, mental and social well-being. Accidents and injuries are more likely to occur if alcohol and drugs are used. Alcohol and drug users can lose resistance to disease and destroy their health. Tolerance and psychological dependence can develop after sustained use of drugs.

Alcoholism is the number one drug problem in the United States. Alcoholism takes a toll on personal finances, health, social relationships and families. It can have significant legal consequences. Abuse of alcohol or use of drugs may cause an individual driving a motor vehicle to injure others and may subject the abuser to criminal prosecution. Drunk drivers are responsible for more than half of all traffic fatalities.

More specifically, the major categories of drugs are listed below and include the significant health risks of each.

AMPHETAMINES - Physical dependency, heart problems, infections, malnutrition and death may result from continued high doses of amphetamines.

NARCOTICS - Chronic use of narcotics can cause lung damage, convulsions, respiratory paralysis and death.

DEPRESSANTS - These drugs, such as tranquilizers and alcohol, can produce slowed reactions, slowed heart rate, damage to liver and heart, respiratory arrest, convulsions and accidental overdoses.

HALLUCINOGENS - may cause psychosis, convulsions, coma and psychological dependency.


Many community agencies are available to assist employees and students seeking alcohol and drug counseling and treatment. Among these agencies are the university-sponsored Employee Assistance Program (for full-time and part-time regular university staff and dependents), the Guidance Center, Johnson/Leavenworth/Miami Regional Prevention Center, Johnson County Mental Health Center and the Johnson County Substance Abuse Center. In addition to these, many area hospitals and community agencies are available to provide drug and alcohol counseling services. Employees may receive this additional information through Human Resources (Mead 200).  Students may receive additional information through Campus Counseling (Saint Mary Hall, 4th floor).


An employee who violates any provision of this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action including suspension, demotion, non-renewal and/or termination as provided in the Employee Handbook. In addition, any employee who violates the Standards of Conduct as set forth in this Statement of Prevention of Alcohol Abuse and Drug Use may be subject to referral for prosecution.

A student who violates any provision of this policy or of the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy found in the Student Handbook are subject to sanctions.  A violation will be governed by the University’s Non-Academic Conduct Disciplinary Procedures and, if a violation is found, appropriate sanctions will be implemented, up to and including dismissal and/or a referral to appropriate law enforcement authorities.


The term “controlled substance” as used in this policy means substances included in Schedules I through V as defined by Section 813 of Title 21 of the United States Code and as further defined by the code of Federal Regulations, 21 C.F.R. 1300.11 through 1300.15. The term does not include the use of a controlled substance pursuant to a valid prescription of other uses authorized by law.

The term “alcohol” as used in this policy means any product of distillation or a fermented liquid which is intended for human consumption and which is defined in Chapter 41 of the Kansas statutes.

Revised:  03/15/2016