University Policy relating to Drugs and Alcohol

The City University of New York Policy on Drugs and Alcohol

The City University of New York (“CUNY”) is an institution committed to promoting the physical, intellectual, and social development of all individuals. As such, CUNY seeks to prevent the abuse of drugs and alcohol, which can adversely impact performance and threaten the health and safety of students, employees, their families, and the general public. CUNY complies with all federal, state, and local laws concerning the unlawful possession, use, and distribution of drugs and alcohol. Federal law requires that CUNY adopt and implement a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol by students and employees. As part of its program, CUNY has adopted this policy, which sets forth (1) the standards of conduct that students and employees are expected to follow; (2) CUNY sanctions for the violation of this policy; and (3) responsibilities of the CUNY colleges/units in enforcing this policy. CUNY’s policy also (1) sets forth the procedures for disseminating the policy, as well as information about the health risks of illegal drug and alcohol use, criminal sanctions for such use, and available counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation programs, to students and employees; and (2) requires each college to conduct a biennial  review of drug and alcohol use and prevention on its campus. This policy applies to all CUNY students, employees and visitors when they are on CUNY property, including CUNY residence halls, as well as when they are engaged in any CUNY-sponsored activities off campus.

CUNY Standards of Conduct

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of drugs or alcohol by anyone, on CUNY property (including CUNY residence halls), in CUNY buses or vans, or at CUNY-sponsored activities, are prohibited. In addition, CUNY employees are prohibited from illegally providing drugs or alcohol to CUNY students. Finally, no student may possess or consume alcoholic beverages in any CUNY residence hall, regardless of whether the student is of lawful age. For purposes of this policy, a CUNY residence hall means a residence hall owned and/or operated by CUNY, or operated by a private management company on CUNY’s behalf. In order to make informed choices about the use of drugs and alcohol, CUNY students and employees are expected to familiarize themselves with the information provided by CUNY about the physiological, psychological, and social consequences of substance abuse.

CUNY Sanctions

Employees and students who violate this policy are subject to sanctions under University policies, procedures and collective bargaining agreements, as described below. Employees and students should be aware that, in addition to these CUNY sanctions, the University will contact appropriate law enforcement agencies if they believe that a violation of the policy should also be treated as a criminal matter.


Students are expected to comply with the CUNY and college policies with respect to drugs and alcohol. Any student found in violation may be subject to disciplinary action under Article 15 of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, which may result in sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University. In addition, any student who resides in a CUNY residence hall and who is found to have violated any CUNY or college policy with respect to drugs and alcohol may be subject to sanctions under the CUNY Residence Hall Disciplinary Procedures, up to and including expulsion from the residence hall. In lieu of formal disciplinary action, CUNY may, in appropriate cases, seek to resolve the matter through an agreement pursuant to which the student must see a counselor or successfully participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program. In accordance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), CUNY may also choose—when appropriate—to contact parents or legal guardians of students who have violated the CUNY policy on drugs and alcohol.


Any employee found to have violated this CUNY policy may be subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with the procedures set forth in applicable CUNY policies, rules, regulations, and collective bargaining agreements. Sanctions may include a reprimand, suspension without pay, or termination of employment. In lieu of formal disciplinary action, CUNY may, in appropriate cases, seek to resolve the matter through an agreement pursuant to which the employee must successfully participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

Hostos School Alcohol Policy

In order to ensure the continued enhancement of the positive image and reputation of all members of the college community and in the interest of promoting student and faculty welfare at the college, the following Code of Behavior is in effect at Hostos Community College. Use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on campus except for the consumption of wine at special events approved by the Office of the President and in consultation with the Office of Public Safety.

Information for the CUNY Community on the Risks and Consequences of Drug and Alcohol Use


The City University of New York’s Policy on Drugs and Alcohol, adopted by the Board of Trustees on June 22, 2009, prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of drugs or alcohol by employees, students or visitors, on CUNY property, in CUNY buses or vans, or at CUNY- sponsored activities.  It prohibits all students (regardless of their age) from possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages in CUNY residence halls. It also prohibits CUNY employees from illegally providing drugs or alcohol to CUNY students. As the Policy states, sanctions for violation of the Policy, following appropriate disciplinary proceedings, may include, in the case of students, expulsion from the university, and in the case of employees, termination of employment. This document sets forth additional information required to be provided under federal law, including the legal sanctions for drug and alcohol use, health risks of such use, and information regarding available counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation programs.

Legal Sanctions

Federal and New York State laws make it a criminal offense to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess with intent to distribute, or simply possess a controlled substance. Such substances include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD, PCP, marijuana, and a number of common pharmaceutical drugs if unlawfully obtained. The sanctions for violation of these laws, ranging from community service and monetary fines to life imprisonment, depend upon the particular offense, the drug type, and the drug quantity. Students convicted under these statutes may also forfeit federal financial aid eligibility.

Note that an individual need not be in actual physical possession of a controlled substance to be guilty of a crime. The unlawful presence of a controlled substance in an automobile is presumptive evidence of knowing possession of such substance by each passenger unless the substance is concealed on the person of one of the occupants. Similarly, the presence of certain substances in plain view in a room can sometimes be presumptive evidence of knowing possession of such substance by anyone in close proximity.

Further, pursuant to New York State law:

  • Any person under age 21 who is found to be in possession of alcohol with the intent to consume it may be punished by a fine and/or required to complete an alcohol awareness program and/or to provide up to 30 hours of community service. Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, § 65-c.

  • Giving or selling an alcoholic beverage to a person less than age 21 is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a sentence of imprisonment up to one year. Penal Law § 260.20

  • Any person who operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated or while his ability to operate such vehicle is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or drugs, is subject to suspension or revocation of driving privileges in the State, monetary fines up to $1,000, and imprisonment for up to one year. Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192

  • A person under 21 who presents false written evidence of age for the purpose of purchasing or attempting to purchase any alcoholic beverage may be punished by a fine, community service and/or completion of an alcohol awareness program. Alcoholic Beverage Control Law § 65-b(1). Possessing such false evidence may also be criminal possession of a forged instrument, which is a felony in New York, punishable by a fine of up to $5000, imprisonment up to 7 years, or both. Penal Law§ 170.25.

  • Appearing in public under the influence of narcotics or a drug other than alcohol to the degree that a person may endanger him or herself or other persons or property, or annoy persons in his vicinity, is a violation, punishable by a fine and imprisonment up to 15 days. Penal Law § 240.40

Health Risks

The following is a brief summary of some of the health risks and symptoms associated with use of many of the most-publicized drugs, including alcohol and tobacco. This information was obtained from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), and the Mayo Clinic. Please note that individuals experience such substances in different ways based on a variety of physical and psychological factors and circumstances.

LSD (Acid)

LSD is one of the strongest mood-changing drugs, and has unpredictable psychological effects. With large enough doses, users experience delusions and visual hallucinations. Physical effects include increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; sleeplessness; and loss of appetite.


Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. Common health effects include heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, and seizures. Large amounts can cause bizarre and violent behavior. In rare cases, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter.

MDMA (Ecstasy)

Ecstasy is a drug that has both stimulant and psychedelic properties. Adverse health effects can include nausea, chills, sweating, teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision.


Heroin is an addictive drug. An overdose of heroin can be fatal, and use is associated – particularly for users who inject the drug – with infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.


Effects of marijuana use include memory and learning problems, distorted perception, and difficulty thinking and solving problems.


Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that is closely related to amphetamine but has long lasting and more toxic effects on the central nervous system. It has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Methamphetamine increases wakefulness and physical activity and decreases appetite. Chronic, long-term use can lead to psychotic behavior, hallucinations, and stroke.


PCP causes intensely negative psychological effects in the user. People high on PCP often become violent or suicidal.

Prescription Medications

Prescription drugs that are abused or used for non- medical reasons can alter brain activity and lead to dependence. Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioids (often prescribed to treat pain), central nervous system depressants (often prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (prescribed to treat narcolepsy, ADHD, and obesity). Long-term use of opioids or central service system depressants can lead to physical dependence and addiction.  Taken in high does, stimulants can lead to compulsive use, paranoia, dangerously high body temperatures and irregular heartbeat.


Tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. The tar in cigarettes increases a smoker’s risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders. The carbon monoxide in smoke increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults and greatly increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in children.


Adverse effects of steroid use in males may include shrinking of the testicles and breast development. In females, adverse effects may include growth of facial hair, menstrual changes, and deepened voice. Other adverse effects can include severe acne, high blood pressure and jaundice. In some rare cases liver and kidney tumors or even cancer may develop.


Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health problems, including cancer of the pancreas, mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and liver, as well as breast cancer, pancreatitis, sudden death in people with cardiovascular disease, heart muscle damage leading to heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, miscarriage, fetal alcohol syndrome in an unborn child, injuries due to impaired motor skills, and suicide.

Substance Abuse

You or someone you know may have a problem with drugs and alcohol if you/they are:

  • Using drugs and/or alcohol on a regular basis.

  • Losing control of the amount of drugs and/or alcohol used after being high or drunk.

  • Constantly talking about using drugs and/or alcohol.

  • Believing that drugs and/or alcohol are necessary in order to have fun.

  • Using more drugs and/or alcohol to get the same effects as in the past.

  • Avoiding people in order to get high or drunk.

    pressuring others to use drugs and/or alcohol.

  • Foregoing activities that were once priorities (i.e. work, sports, spending time with family and sober friends).

  • Getting into trouble at school, at work, or with the law.

  • Taking risks, including sexual promiscuity and driving while intoxicated.

  • Lying about things, including the amount of drugs and/or alcohol used.

Feeling hopeless, depressed, or even suicidal.

If you suspect that you or someone you know has a problem with drugs and/or alcohol, please utilize the resources listed below.

Resources on Campus

For assistance and referrals, students should (1) consult the relevant college website; or (2) contact their Student Affairs Office and/or Counseling Center. Any Hostos C.C. student may contact our counselor at 718- 518 -4319, our nurse practitioner at 718-518-6542 or Disabilities Coordinator at 718-518-4454.

For assistance and referrals, employees should consult with the Human Resources office at 718-518-6650. Assistance is also available through union employee assistance programs or through the CUNY Work/Life Program.

CUNY Work/Life Program (800) 833-8707 RESOURCES OFF-CAMPUS

12 Step Recovery Programs Narcotics Anonymous (212) 929 6262

Cocaine Anonymous (212) 262-2463

Marijuana Anonymous (212) 459-4423

Alcoholics’ Anonymous (212) 647-1680

Nicotine Anonymous (631) 665- 0527

Al-Anon/Alateen (888) 425-2666

Detoxification and Outpatient/Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities

detox facilities

facilities cont.

Resources Off-Campus

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

Tel: (877) 846-7369

New York State Smokers’ Quitline Tel: (866) 697-8487


A full-time counselor is available to students. The counselor also conducts workshops and facilitates support groups on a number of topics including test anxiety and stress management. The counselor’s office phone number is 718-518-4319

The appearance of this information does not imply endorsement by Hostos Community College, which has no control over the accuracy, content or availability of products, goods or services offered by outside entities.