Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Policy
Westwood College students are expected to comply with local, state, and federal laws relating to the use of drugs and alcohol. The institution will not tolerate conduct that disrupts the campus or the academic environment. The college values its relationship with the adjoining community, and recognizes the right of its neighbors to be secure from abusive conduct and potentially dangerous behavior caused by use of drugs and alcohol on campus property.
With this in mind, Westwood College has established a clear, concise policy related to the alcohol and illicit drugs. The following are strictly prohibited on school-owned or controlled property or as part of any school-sponsored activities: the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of an illegal controlled substance and/or of alcoholic beverages; and the unauthorized possession of any alcoholic beverages. Westwood College prohibits individuals from being under the influence of illegal drugs on school-owned or controlled property or as part of school activities.
Sanctions for violations
Westwood College has also established sanctions for violations of this policy. The sanctions, range from warnings and substance abuse awareness programs for minor offenses to dismissal and/or referral to civil authorities for major and/or multiple offenses. Selling or distributing drugs will result in suspension or dismissal from Westwood College. These sanctions, as well as the judiciary process that is followed, are discussed in detail in the Annual Safety and Annual Security Report. Violators may also be subject to the loss of financial aid.
The college recognizes that while the sanctioning process is educational in nature, students must understand that they will be held accountable for their actions in both the college setting and the external world. Therefore, Westwood College administrators will cooperate fully with law enforcement actions regarding use of drugs or alcohol on school grounds.
Legal sanctions under federal, state, and local law
- Federal law - Federal law provides strict penalties for violation of federal drug laws. For a first conviction of illegal possession of a controlled substance, a person may be imprisoned for up to one year and/or fined at least $1,000 but not more than $100,000; after two or more prior convictions, the penalty increases to at least 90 days in jail but not more than three years and/or a fine of at least $5,000 but not more than $250,000. Federal trafficking penalties for controlled substances (such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, PCP and LSD) range from less than five years in prison and/or a fine of less than $250,000 to life imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $8 million (for an individual). Other penalties may apply, such as forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance, denial of certain federal benefits, and revocation of certain federal licenses. Certain federal laws may apply to unlawful manufacture, possession, and trafficking of alcohol, as well. Penalties range from fines to jail terms.
- State and local law - Each state and locality has laws relating to the unlawful manufacture, sale, use or possession of controlled (and/or imitation of) controlled substances and alcohol. In addition, states and localities have laws relating to driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit drugs. Sanctions for violations may range from local citation to state law felonies. Penalties may range from small fines to jail terms, depending on the violation and past criminal history of the individual.
Health and safety risks of drug and alcohol use
- Alcohol health and safety risks - Alcohol use carries several risks. These include drinking/driving accidents, increased incidents of rapes and assaults, academic problems, police involvement, medical problems, including alcohol abuse and dependence and fetal alcohol syndrome, and fatalities.
- Substance abuse health and safety risks - Substance abuse may result in a wide array of serious health and behavioral problems. Substance abuse has both long- and short-term effects on the body and the mind. These effects may include toxicity, HIV infection with intravenous drug use, heart attack, stroke, sudden death, pregnancy complications, birth complications and defects, physical and psychological dependence, withdrawal, disruption of normal heart rhythm, high blood pressure, stroke, bleeding and destruction of brain cells, memory loss, depression, infertility, impotency, immune system impairment, kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver, and neurological and pulmonary damage.
Westwood College - Community resources and referral information
Westwood College provides counseling services for students seeking assistance or information concerning alcohol and drug issues. Students wishing to take advantage of this service may contact the campus director of Student Support.
In addition, other resources are available. Several self-help groups hold meetings throughout the metropolitan area, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Al-Anon. Individuals can contact the National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information (800-729-6686), which is operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week; specialists provide information and referrals.
We know that there has been a lot of conflicting information in the media regarding the H1N1 virus or “Swine Flu”, and we know that it is confusing and concerning. At Westwood College, we have been monitoring the situation and have incorporated the latest guidance from the CDC and the Dept of Public Health into our Pandemic Plan. At this time, the CDC does not recommend cancelling classes or closing campuses due to suspected cases of H1N1 flu. To view an overview of our Pandemic Plan, please click here.
To avoid spread of the flu, we urge students, faculty and staff to plan to stay home if they experience flu-like symptoms, from the onset of symptoms until at least 24 hours after fever (a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius—without fever-reducing medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen) or symptoms of fever (chills, feeling very warm, flushed appearance, or sweating) have passed. Although some people may experience a relatively mild case of the flu and may feel fit to attend work or social functions, it is important for the health of the entire community to limit public exposure, especially to high-risk individuals.
Westwood will continue to monitor the situation and work with local public health officials in the areas of our campuses and will take additional steps as advised should the need arise. For more information about the flu and how to stay healthy, please visit the links provided on the right.
Because Westwood College is not a public institution, we are not required maintain a Vaccination Policy for our students; however, in the interest of public health, we do not want this to be construed as discouraging any student, employee, or staff member from voluntarily participating in routine vaccinations as recommendations by and according to the guidance of their local public health care agency.
In addition, because of potential career related exposure to bloodborne pathogens, students enrolled in the Medical Assisting Programs can expect to be required to have Hepatitis B vaccinations as a condition of their externship placement and future employment in a healthcare setting. All medical assisting students who elect to waive this vaccination must sign a waiver form that will be kept on file with their program director.