Revised: N/A
Effective Date: April 4, 2012
Review Date: April 4, 2015
  • Table of Contents
  • 100.00 Introduction and Purpose
  • 200.00 Standards of Conduct
  • 300.00 Alcoholic Beverages
  • 400.00 Alcohol Marketing Guidelines
  • 500.00 Illegal Drugs
  • 600.00 Education Prevention and Treatment Programs
  • 700.00 Counseling and Rehabilitation
  • 800.00 Health Risks
  • 900.00 Treatment
  • 1000.00 Enforcement/Sanctions
  • 1100.00 Biennial Review

100.00 Introduction and Purpose

Montana State University is committed to a campus community environment that promotes the health, safety, personal development and academic success of students, faculty and staff. The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, [20. U.S.C. 1145g, (34 CFR Part 86)], requires institutions of higher education to enact policies for preventing the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by students and employees.

The Board of Regents has adopted Policy 503.1, Alcoholic Beverages which establishes certain requirements and guidelines for the possession, consumption, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages on Montana University System property.

200.00 Standards of Conduct

Montana State University is an environment where unlawful possession, consumption, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on campus property is prohibited.

Montana State University’s standards of conduct prohibit the unlawful possession, use, distribution, or sale of alcohol and other drugs on institutional property. See Section 635.00 of the Student Conduct Code; Section 1230.00 of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.

300.00 Alcoholic Beverages

Under Regents policy 503.1, consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted on property belonging to the Montana University System as follows:

  1. Within student living quarters, consumption of alcohol is allowed only by persons of legal age. Legal consumption by students in student living quarters shall not interfere with the rights of other residents and their guests or cause the normal operation of residence halls/student housing to be disrupted.
  1. Within approved areas on campus property that are used or rented as approved by the President.

All other service or consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus property is prohibited.

310.00 Approval Process.

MSU has established procedures for obtaining approval for events where alcohol will be available. See Section 890, Facilities Use Manual.

The approval process for all events involving alcohol held on campus must originate with University Catering. University Catering will provide information about policies, laws, and the procedures to initiate the University's approval process.

The following requirements apply to all events.

  1. Consumption and/or sale of alcohol must be in connection with an event approved under Section 890.00 of the Facilities Use Manual.
  2. Consumption of alcohol by persons under age 21 is prohibited. A system must be implemented to insure that alcohol is not available to under-age persons or to persons who appear to be intoxicated.
  3. Access to the event must be controlled.
  4. All sales and service shall be in compliance with Montana laws.
  5. No consumption of alcohol by persons selling or serving alcohol is permitted.
  6. Unless using a licensed alcohol vendor, any server of alcohol at University sponsored events on and off campus must have completed a responsible alcohol server training program which has been approved by the Montana Department of Revenue. Programs approved are shown on the Department of Revenue Website.
  7. Any person who is authorized to serve or sell alcohol who has reason to question the age of a person ordering alcohol must verify age by requesting a photo identification that proves the individual is over 21.
  8. Any sale of alcohol must be by an authorized vendor holding a valid liquor license. Sale of tickets to an event where complimentary alcohol is served will be considered a sale of alcohol.
  9. Consumption and possession of alcohol must be permitted only within designated and monitored areas for the event.
  10. Reasonable amounts of food and non-alcoholic beverages must be served for the duration of the event.
  11. Service and consumption of alcohol must not exceed the duration of the event.
  12. Competitive alcohol consumption games are prohibited.
  13. Carpooling, bus, “home free” programs, and/or designated driver options must be strongly encouraged by the Event Sponsor.

320.00 Residence Halls and Family and Graduate Housing

  1. The possession and consumption of alcohol is permitted in the privacy of a student's room or individual family and graduate housing unit, in accordance with applicable State law (legal drinking age in Montana is 21). Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in hallways, lounges, utility rooms, and other public areas. If a public area such as a lounge is used for an event where alcohol will be available, the event sponsor must follow the requirements of Section 890, Facilities Use Manual.
  2. Parties or activities involving large amounts of alcohol, as determined by residence hall policy, are prohibited in student's rooms.
  3. Residence hall social funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  4. Approved residence halls and family and graduate housing sponsored functions involving alcohol shall also adhere to the state law and the policies of the university.
  5. Any off-campus event organized and/or sponsored by the Residence Halls and Family and Graduate Housing which is open to the public and at which alcohol will be served shall be subject to the requirements of this policy. The Event Sponsor is responsible for assuring the event is in compliance.
  6. Incident reports involving Montana State University students may be forwarded to the Dean of Students Office. MSU disciplinary action will be considered and imposed as appropriate.

330.00 Greek Organizations

  1. The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages at houses and functions must conform to policies established by the Board of Regents, Montana State University, IFC/Panhellenic policies, and with national chapter policies, local ordinances, and State laws.
  2. When sponsoring an approved event, each chapter and the Greek system shall adhere to the state law and the policies of the university.
  3. Open parties, meaning those with unrestricted access, which involve the consumption of alcohol are prohibited.
  4. No Greek organization will serve or permit the possession, or consumption of alcohol at rush functions.
  5. Chapter funds cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol.
  6. Planned social functions at the house at which alcohol is served must be registered with the Dean of Students Office with copies to MSU Police and Bozeman City Police not less than 5 academic days.
  7. Any off-campus event organized and/or sponsored by the Greek organizations which is open to the public and at which alcohol will be served shall be subject to the requirements of this policy. The Event Sponsor shall be responsible for assuring the event is in compliance.
  8. Incident reports involving Montana State University students will be forwarded to the Dean of Students Office. MSU disciplinary action will be considered and may be imposed by the Dean of Students Office in accordance with the MSU Student Conduct Code and IFC/Pan-Hellenic policy.

340.00 ASMSU, Departmental and Other Registered Student Organizations

  1. ASMSU, registered student organizations or any organized student group assembled independently or on behalf of Montana State University or ASMSU, whether or not they are registered are subject to university policies and state law governing the service or consumption of alcohol at its events.
  2. Any event held on University property that involves the service of alcohol must approved under Section 890.00, Facilities Use Manual.
  3. Organizational or ASMSU funds shall not be used to purchase alcohol.
  4. Incident reports involving Montana State University students may be forwarded to the Dean of Students Office. MSU disciplinary action will be considered and imposed as appropriate.
  5. Any off-campus events organized and/or sponsored by a student organization or ASMSU which is open to the public and at which alcohol will be served shall be subject to the requirements of this policy. The Event Sponsor is responsible for assuring the event is in compliance.

350.00 University Events - Stadium and Sports Facilities

  1. No alcohol will be allowed in the Fieldhouse Arena or Stadium except in the rented suites and Stadium Club and as authorized under Section 890, Facilities Use Manual. University policies will apply to all entities that rent Sports facilities, whether an MSU entity or an outside organization.
  2. Alcohol Concessions (Football Games): Concession sales of alcoholic beverages will be contracted by MSU to a private licensed vendor. Operations are subject to MSU policies and state statutes.
  3. Tailgating is an activity undertaken by university guests and does not require university approval. Tailgating is restricted to MSU Football Games and is subject solely to MSU’s Tailgating Rules and Regulations which are published here.

360.00 University Employees

  1. Any event held on University property that involves the service of alcohol must be scheduled with University Catering and approved in accordance with Section 890.00 of the Facilities Use Policy.
  2. Organizational funds of employee groups shall not be used to purchase alcohol.

370.00 Outside Groups Using University Facilities

  1. Private parties who rent university facilities for an event must request approval to serve alcohol at the event in accordance with Section 890.00 of the Facilities Use Policy.
  2. Outside groups sponsoring an approved event must adhere to the state law and university policies.

400.00 Alcohol Marketing Guidelines

  1. In on-campus advertising, no reference to alcoholic beverages is   permitted. Suggested wording is: drinks or drink specials.
  2. Advertising free drinks or 2-for-1 or other multiple-drink specials is prohibited.
  3. Advertising of competitive drinking games is prohibited.
  4. In all on-campus advertising, including posters, banners and table tents, reference to drinks must be in smaller print than the print size for the event advertised.
  5. Availability of food and non-alcoholic beverages must be prominently displayed in the advertising.
  6. Advertising must be accompanied by a non-use message such as "Drink Responsibly," "Don't Drink and Drive," "Do not allow your friends to drink and drive.”

500.00 Illegal Drugs

Use, possession, manufacture, sale, or distribution of any illegal  drugs on University property or at University sponsored activities is prohibited and may be grounds for suspension or expulsion of students and the suspension or dismissal of faculty members, administrators and other University employees.
The fundamental purpose of the University is to maintain an environment that supports and encourages the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. That environment is damaged by illegal drug use. Therefore, all members of the academic community, students, faculty members, administrators, and other University employees, share the responsibility for protecting the environment by exemplifying high standards of professional and personal conduct.

510.00 Prescription Drug Abuse

The non-medical use of prescription drugs is not allowed on the University campus.  Students’ use of these drugs inappropriately such as to “get high”, cram of exams, or use to enhance sports performance is a violation of this policy.  Prescription drugs, when mixed with alcohol, are particularly dangerous and potentially lethal.  This is especially true of opiates, such as OxyContin, Vicodin or other pain killers.  Harmful effects of prescription drug abuse include:

  • Mental health: increased irritability, agitation, anger, apathy, depression, paranoia (delusions and Hallucinations), violence, and dependence.
  • Physical health: drastic changes in sleep patterns, sudden weight loss or gain, stunted growth, and dependence.

520.00 Medical Marijuana

Although Montana state law permits the use of medical marijuana, i.e., use by persons possessing lawfully issued medical marijuana cards, federal laws prohibit marijuana use, possession and/or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. The use, possession or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes is therefore not allowed in any Montana State University housing or any other Montana State University property; nor is it allowed at any University-sponsored event or activity off campus.

600.00 Education Prevention and Treatment Programs

Montana State University provides alcohol and drug abuse prevention education, counseling and treatment programs designed to reach all segments of the campus community.

610.00 Alcohol and Drug Assistance Center/Insight Program

MSU is dedicated to providing a voluntary, confidential resource to assist all students who are impacted directly or indirectly by chemical abuse. The Alcohol and Drug Assistance Center/Insight Program, including the MIP (Minor in Possession) program, is a three-level assistance and intervention program open to all MSU students, either by self-referral or by referral from MSU offices, departments or the local court system. This program can be contacted at (406) 994-5937, and is located at 1215 Gopher Court (across the street from the SOB Barn). Student confidentiality will be respected. The Center provides referral and pre-assessment support.

The Center:

  • Offers referral assistance to students and their friends who have alcohol and other drug use issues.
  • Offers workshops, seminars and training related to substance abuse.
  • Provides support to friends and family who are affected by someone else's substance use/abuse.
  • Supports other MSU offices, faculty and staff in issues relating to alcohol/drugs.
  • Provides factual information and dispels myths about alcohol and other drugs.
  • Disseminates information on local treatment and recovery program options.
  • Provides information, support and referral for those students affected by behavioral compulsions and for students who are/were affected by chemical abuse within a family.

MSU’s Alcohol and Drug Assistance Center offers limited family counseling and referral.  A licensed counselor will meet and consult with family or friends of students on a limited basis in order to discuss options and offer support. The Center also provides treatment referrals.

The three levels (Focus Seminar, Brief Alcohol Screening and Interventions for College Student—BASICS, and Intervention and Referral) are described in detail at the Insight website. Students can also call Insight at 406-587-2306.

Montana State University employs a full-time licensed counselor to work specifically with substance abuse issues (this individual is a licensed clinical counselor, as well as a licensed addiction counselor). If students have paid the health service fee, they can make an appointment at no additional charge.

Other than the licensed counselor, the Insight office staff includes an MIP Case Coordinator and up to three graduate student employees. Graduate students facilitate the Level I Focus Seminars; the licensed counselor conducts the BASICS program and oversees the Levels III interventions.

620.00 AlcoholEDU for College
MSU Health Promotion oversees the administration of AlcoholEdu for College, a science-based, interactive online program that provides students with facts and skill-based information on alcohol and sexual assault, other consequences of alcohol abuse, including alcohol’s impact on the brain, body, and behavior. All incoming MSU students under the age of 21 are required to take AlcoholEdu. The program matches course content to each student based on his or her behavior, attitudes, and what he or she already knows about alcohol.

Whether students choose to drink or not, AlcoholEdu is designed to encourage informed decision-making about alcohol use as well as providing skills to respond to the drinking and risk behaviors of friends and peers. The program delivers information with a non-judgmental tone that supports students in making their own plan to reduce the risk of harm associated with drinking while in college.

This program is one of many efforts at MSU to support better decision-making and a healthier campus environment where everyone every can live, study, work and have fun safely. MSU Health Promotion also works on campus and community education and policies to reduce risk and prevent intoxicated driving.

Details about AlcoholEdu and MSU Health Promotion are available at 406-994-7337 or the links above.

700.00 Counseling and Rehabilitation

Additional counseling and rehabilitation programs are available through MSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services.  The university’s benefit program for employees also offers an Employee Assistance Program. 

Assessments, treatment groups, and individual counseling for students whose lives have been affected by their own or someone else’s substance abuse are available. Persons who voluntarily avail themselves of university services shall be assured that applicable professional standards of confidentiality will be observed.

Counseling and rehabilitation services include:

  1. Training professional staff and student staff on drug abuse information, intervention and referral;
  2. Conducting education programs for students who have demonstrated abusive behavior with drugs;
  3. Conducting individual and group counseling for members of the university community with drug problems;
  4. Conducting drug abuse assessments;
  5. Organizing campus self-help groups;
  6. Providing consultation, information and referral for students, staff and faculty with drug problems;
  7. Designing and developing referral opportunities for members of the university community who desire to seek professional assistance beyond the campus. This will be done in cooperation with the employee assistance program and MSU Human Resources; and
  8. Providing, with peer involvement, a system of intervention and referral services for students, faculty and staff.

This program has been designed to make faculty, students, administrators, and other employees served by the program comfortable, to give choice in the selection of assistance, to maintain confidentiality of clients, and to provide professional service.

The University Counseling and Psychological Service is located in 211 Swingle, 406-994-4531.

800.00 Health Risks

Abusive use of alcohol and/or the use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription drugs can be detrimental to the physical and mental health of students and members of the surrounding community. The various risks are classified and described in the following subsections.

810.00 Social, Academic, and Personal Risks of High-Risk Substance Use

Social, academic and personal risks are associated with students who drink alcohol, use illicit drugs or abuse prescription drugs. High-risk and illegal use of alcohol and illicit drugs are the most salient health and safety risks to the MSU student population, which can result in significant legal and academic problems. Prevalence of this type of alcohol use (also known as "binge drinking" or heavy episodic drinking) and/or use of drugs can directly or indirectly lead to:

  1. Social problems: driving under the influence, fighting, unwanted sexual contact, vandalism, trouble with authorities, unsafe sexual behavior, among others.
  2. Academic problems: poor grades, missed classes, memory loss, falling behind in class work or projects.
  3. Personal problems: depression, illness and injury, experiencing unwanted attempted or completed sexual intercourse, suicide, being the victim of violence or racial harassment, being unable to control drinking or drug use.

820.00 Second-hand effects

”Second hand” effects result from other peoples' drinking or drug use, often experienced by students who choose not to use drugs or alcohol in a high-risk manner. These problems are typically most prominent among students living in close quarters (e.g., residence halls or Greek houses). Effects include: disruptions of sleep or studying, having one's property damaged, feeling unsafe, having one's membership in an organized group adversely affected, and decreased enjoyment of campus activities. Non-students, i.e., community members, are also at risk of experiencing problems as a result of student drinking or drug use (e.g., intoxicated driving, vandalism, violence, sexual assault).

830.00 Risks associated with dependency (also known as addiction):

For some students, substance use escalates to dependency. Adverse effects of dependency can include illnesses such as liver disease, peripheral neuropathy, and cerebella degeneration. Additional health risks to students with chemical or psychological dependency include the personal problems listed above in addition to blackouts, alcoholic hallucinations, and delirium tremens. Prescribed medications and illicit drugs can be abused with or without dependency, leading to potential dependency, acute intoxication (can include depression or euphoria, altered time perception, impairment of immediate memory, overdose, stupor, shock, coma or death), acute withdrawal, psychosis, or aggravation of existing mental illness.

Symptoms of dependency include the following:

  1. psychological craving: intense feeling of need for the drug which may be accompanied with antisocial behavior involved in the procurement of the  substance;
  2. physiological dependence: withdrawal symptoms are displayed when use of the  substance is discontinued; and
  3. tolerance: need to increase the dose of the substance to obtain the desired effects.

900.00 Treatment

Student Services

MSU offers substance abuse prevention, early intervention, treatment and counseling services.

Prevention services are coordinated through the MSU Health Promotion program (994-7337) in the Swingle Health Center.  Activities include education, outreach, and research with the focus on creating a safe and healthy campus environment.

Counseling services are provided through Counseling & Psychological Services (994-4531) in the Swingle Health Center. Early intervention is provided through the Alcohol and Drug Assistance Center/INSIGHT Program. Clients requiring long-term addiction therapy are referred to Alcohol & Drug Services of Gallatin County.  A listing of community-based services is  available from the Center.

Employee Services

An employee assistance program (EAP) is available to provide information or confidential referral to drug and/or alcohol counseling or rehabilitation programs. An employee wishing to access the services may go to:; click on TLC button and access the TLC website (company code MUS) or call toll free 1-866-248-4532.

Employees needing help in dealing with drug/alcohol problems or information on insurance coverage for treatment and rehabilitation programs may also contact Human Resources.

The University's Counseling and Psychological Services, provides counseling and/or referral services to employees. The Counseling and Psychological Services Center is housed in the Swingle Health Center.

1000.00 Enforcement/Sanctions

Individuals who violate the University policy, city or state laws are subject to disciplinary action as a student under the Student Conduct Code; and as an employee under personnel policies or applicable collective bargaining agreement.  Individuals may also be subject to criminal prosecution.

Student sanctions may include reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion and/or restitution as well as required attendance at educational and/or treatment programs.
Employee sanctions may include disciplinary measures up to and including termination. MSU may require the satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program by any employee who violates ... policy." (Section 1230.30 Personnel Policies and  Procedures Manual)

Criminal sanctions, regardless of status, may include jail, probation, mandatory counseling and/or education, fines, and suspension or revocation of driving privileges.

Groups displaying unreasonable and irresponsible conduct or violating this University Alcohol/ Other Drugs policy will jeopardize continuance of the University-recognized or supported event and access to University service and facilities.

1100.00 Biennial Review

MSU’s Dean of Students Office reviews the University’s drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs for students and employees biennially to determine the program’s effectiveness and to implement changes to the program if needed.  The review will include the collection of information about a) the number of drug and alcohol-related violations and fatalities that occur on campus or as part of the institution's activities which are reported to campus officials; and b) the number and types of sanctions imposed by the institution as a result of those drug and alcohol-related violations and fatalities.

A written report of the review shall be prepared and maintained by MSU for a period of at least three years.