Alcohol & Other Drug Policies 

Winona State University prioritizes the personal, social, and academic growth of students. Therefore, we provide an environment free of mind-altering chemicals including drugs and alcohol.

WSU recognizes that drugs and alcohol constitute significant personal and social problems within colleges in particular. WSU supports, promotes, and expects adherence to federal and state laws regarding alcohol and drugs.

WSU demonstrates its values concerning an excellent educational environment, encouragement of a student’s maturity, and federal and state laws regarding drugs and alcohol by:

  • promoting and presenting drug and alcohol awareness programs that address issues proactively
  • offering programs on student development
  • providing programming to students on developing the skills necessary to be effective at WSU and in life
  • empowering students who choose not to drink
  • offering easy access to services that are intended to assist students who have alcohol or drug problems
  • providing students with the opportunity to choose a substance-free living and learning experience
WSU Policy

WSU’s policy supports the Minnesota State Board policy, which prohibits excessive or illegal use, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and University-sponsored events on or off-campus.

  1. Student: all persons who:
    • Are enrolled in one or more courses, either credit or non-credit, through the University
    • Withdraw, transfer or graduate, after an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct
    • Are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the University
    • Have been notified of their acceptance for admission or have initiated the process of application for admission or financial aid
    • Are living in a University residence hall although not enrolled in the University
  2. University Recognized Organization: Any student group and/or organization that has successfully completed the process outlined by the Student Senate on forming a club or organization.
  3. Travel Status: The period from departure until return to campus by students who have obtained travel authorization through the appropriate University representative for a University sponsored event.
  1. Violation of the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy, the Student Code of Conduct, Minnesota State and University policies including Residence Life policies, Technology policies and/or local, state, or federal laws regarding use, possession, or distribution of alcohol and/or other drugs, or drug paraphernalia which may result in issuance of a court summons, arrest, or referral for University conduct action or any combination of the above.
  2. This policy applies to all on-campus and off-campus activities that are considered University activities, such as events and officially sanctioned field trips. This policy also applies to student organization-sponsored activities and events.
  3. This policy applies to students, student groups and organizations, and their guests or visitors on University property and facilities engaged in a University activity. WSU employees should refer to the Office of Human Resources for applicable policies.
  4. Violations or alleged violations of local ordinances, state or federal laws may subject student(s) and/or student organizations to conduct action by the University when these violations occur on campus, on University owned property, during a University activity or event, or when behavior on or off-campus adversely affects the University’s educational, research or service functions.

Examples of off-campus behavior which may be subject to University conduct action include, but are not limited:

  • underage consumption
  • selling or otherwise providing alcohol to underage persons
  • hosting underage drinking or disruptive parties
  • actions that threaten or endanger the health or safety of individuals
  • using, selling, or distributing illegal drugs
  • sexual violence
  • hazing

1. On-Campus

The use, possession, distribution, manufacture or sale of any controlled substances, illegal drugs, or alcoholic beverage is prohibited on campus. Students may use and possess prescription drugs (including controlled substances) for which they have a valid/current prescription

2. Off-Campus

As members of the University community, students are expected to behave responsibly and comply with the law. University community members violating civil or criminal law may be subject to University conduct procedures when that conduct occurs off-campus and adversely affects the educational, research, or service functions of the University.

Unlawful behavior by individual students or student organizations should be reported to the University (i.e. President, Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors and Supervisors either verbal or in writing). If reported, the University may take appropriate conduct action.

The illegal use, possession, distribution, manufacture or sale of any controlled substance, drugs, or alcoholic beverages is prohibited for individual students and/or student organizations:

  • at University events on or off-campus
  • on travel status when representing the University (e.g., as a member of athletic team, sports club, Student Senate, student organizations and groups, member of a University group, delegation, etc.). Further restrictions or allowances for legal and responsible use of alcohol may apply to individual students or student groups on travel status, based on the specific program’s needs and direction of the faculty or staff supervisors and advisors.

Student leaders, faculty, staff supervisors/advisors and coaches assume responsibility for ensuring University policies and local, state, and federal laws are followed

3. Disruptive Use
Disruptive use of alcohol and other drugs is prohibited.

Disruptive use of alcohol and other drugs, regardless of where consumed or ingested, includes behavior that disrupts the University community, endangers the health or safety of self or others, results in damage to University or personal property, or requires the intervention of University or community resources. Examples of disruptive use include, but are not limited to, disorderly conduct, excessive noise, violence, threats, vandalism, or intoxication (regardless of age), that leads to intervention by University personnel, law enforcement personnel or medical personnel.

4. Public Display or Promotion

The public display of advertising or promotion of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs, in University buildings or any other public campus area including all University-owned housing areas is prohibited. This includes alcohol containers, banners, lighted beer or liquor signs, and large inflatable advertising.

The possession or display of alcohol “trophies,” or other forms of empty alcohol containers, is not allowed on campus. The presence of empty containers, devices designed or intended to be used for the rapid consumption of alcohol (i.e., races, games, etc.), or drug paraphernalia, is prohibited. Possessing any of these materials may be considered evidence of use, consumption, or distribution.

The following advertising and promotional activities are prohibited for any student, University employee, registered student organization, or University office, department or program:

  • Using alcoholic beverages as awards or prizes in connection with University events
  • Providing promotional items or advertising associated with alcohol and illegal drugs at University sponsored student events. This includes, but is not limited to, such items promoting alcohol or drug use on cups, shirts, beverage can coolers, or any other items advertising or promoting alcohol or illegal drug use
  • Advertising alcohol and/or illegal drugs in University controlled or affiliated publications, or on University premises, including University affiliated websites
  • Advertising that includes brand names, logos, prices, visual images or phrases that refer to consumption of alcoholic beverages and use of illegal drugs
  • Use of alcohol for recruiting and student organization fund-raising activities and events
  • Purchasing alcohol and other drugs with University or organization funds, including student activities fee allocations
  • Consuming or transporting alcohol and other drugs in University vehicles
  1. An exception for instructional purposes in accordance with Minnesota State Board Policy 5.18 allows for the use of alcohol in laboratory and classroom instruction or experiments
  2. Students may use and possess prescription drugs (including controlled substances) for which they have a valid/current prescription
  3. The Chancellor or the Office of the Chancellor, and the President of Winona State University have delegated authority to approve use of alcohol at specific special events on campus or University sponsored events off campus. Students who are of legal age to consume alcohol may choose to do so at these events. Approval shall be consistent with the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy and with Minnesota State procedures. The procedures shall address the following:
    1. compliance with local ordinances and state law relating to sale
    2. possession or consumption of alcohol
    3. providing adequate dram shop/public liability insurance
    4. and any other matters deemed necessary
  4. Students studying abroad are expected to comply with the laws of the foreign country and the policies of the host institution or sponsoring program. Additionally, all enrolled students, including students who are studying abroad, must abide by all University policies, including but not limited to the Student Code of Conduct.
  5. The University recognizes that various violations of the Student Code of Conduct involve use of alcohol. The University encourages the reporting of conduct violations such as sexual assault, hazing, physical violence, harassment. Therefore, the University may choose not to hold students accountable for Student Code of Conduct violations related to alcohol and other drugs when a more serious violation/crime has occurred.

Prevention, counseling, treatment services, and referrals.

The University recognizes that chemical abuse and chemical dependency impact academic and personal success. This policy is not designed to discourage people from seeking counseling or rehabilitation.

Assistance and information are available on campus at Health & Wellness Services and/or the Counseling Center (Integrated Wellness Complex).

Off campus resources include Winona Health, Hiawatha Mental Health Center, or First Call for Help (800.362.8255).

Information about the health risks associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs can be obtained at Health & Wellness Services or through the Health & Wellness Promotion Coordinator. In addition, WSU offers programs to students during New Student Orientation, in Residence Halls, and through classroom presentations.

Know the Health Risks

  • Depressants: Alcohol is the most widely used depressant, but this category also includes barbiturates, tranquilizers, and methaqualone. These drugs act as a central nervous system depressant and cause slowed reaction time, impaired coordination, slurred speech, and impaired decision making. These drugs are addictive and abuse may result in overdose with coma and death as possible consequences.
  • Stimulants: Cocaine, diet pills, amphetamines, and ecstasy. These drugs stimulate the central nervous system and cause excitation, increased pulse, respiration and blood pressure. Abuse can lead to malnutrition, extreme agitation, convulsions and possible death.
  • Marijuana: THC is the psychoactive chemical in this plant. It can cause increased heart and pulse rate, increased appetite, an altered sense of time, impaired memory and decreased concentration, reaction time and coordination.
  • Hallucinogens: This classification of psychoactive drugs includes LSD, Psilocybin, peyote, PCP, and other amphetamine based derivatives. Use of these drugs can create visual hallucinations, altered perception of one’s own body, agitation, paranoia, and hyperactivity.
  • Narcotics: These drugs are primarily pain relievers such as codeine, morphine, darvon, heroin, demerol and percodan. Use of these drugs produces euphoria, drowsiness, slowed respiration, clammy skin, nausea, and possibly death.
  • Solvents & Inhalants: These are toxic chemicals that are found in common household and industrial products and can be abused by inhaling the fumes. This activity brings about a feeling of lightheadedness, euphoria, loss of appetite, forgetfulness, headache, nausea, flushed, dizziness and possibly death by heart or respiratory failure.
  • Predatory/date rape/club drugs: Drugs used for this purpose are typically central nervous system depressants such as rohypnol, ketamine, and GHB. These drugs can cause muscle relaxation, loss of consciousness and blackouts.
Dr. Karen Johnson
Dean of Students

Kryzsko Commons 230

Email Dr. Johnson
Candice Guenther
Associate Director of Housing & Residence Life

Kryzsko Commons 230

Email Candice Guenther