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9.0 Relations and Responsibilities Within the MIT Community

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9.3 Substance Use

The following policies address the use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs at MIT.

9.3.1 Campus Smoking Policy

Smoking is generally prohibited in all spaces of all MIT buildings. The only exceptions are private residences (e.g., housemasters' apartments and private apartments), student dormitory rooms where all occupants are smokers who have requested in writing that smoking be permitted in their room, designated rooms at Endicott House, and enclosed outdoor areas. This policy is intended to be self-enforcing, and the cooperation of all members of the MIT community is expected. Violators of this policy may be subject to serious sanctions. (For employee sanctions, see MIT Personnel Policy Manual Section 3.3.3 Corrective Action. For student sanctions, see MIT's Committee on Discipline "Rules and Regulations.")

9.3.2 Policy on the Use of Alcohol

MIT observes all laws and regulations governing the sale, purchase, and serving of alcoholic beverages by all members of its community, and expects that these laws will be adhered to at all events associated with the Institute. This includes activities on the MIT campus, in MIT independent living groups, and at off-campus functions sponsored or supported by MIT or any of its affiliated groups.

The Institute does not intend through its guidelines or policies to restrict the responsible use of alcohol by members of the MIT community who are at or above the legal drinking age of 21. However, efforts to observe existing laws and regulations in an environment where the majority of the undergraduate student body is not of legal drinking age will impose some constraints on those who are of legal drinking age.

Where Alcohol May Be Possessed, Served, or Consumed

Alcoholic beverages may only be possessed by, served to, or consumed by persons of legal drinking age:

  1. at events that have been registered with or approved by MIT, as described below;
  2. in areas of the MIT campus that are licensed to serve alcohol (for example, the Muddy Charles Pub, the Thirsty Ear Pub, the R&D Pub, and the MIT Faculty Club);
  3. in faculty or staff on-campus residences; and (4) for students of legal drinking age, in individual student dormitory rooms.

Possessing, serving, or consuming alcohol is prohibited under all other circumstances on the MIT campus.

Student-Sponsored Events

All student-sponsored events at which alcohol will be served must be authorized by a member of the Academic Council or an appropriate designee. In addition, undergraduate students or organizations must register events where alcohol will be served with the Student Activities Office; the Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups Office; or the Residential Life Programs Office, and graduate students or organizations must register events where alcohol will be served with the Graduate Students Office or a designee of the Dean for Graduate Students.

In general, student organizations may not use Institute funds, including "house taxes" and student activities fees to purchase alcohol, though such funds may be used to hire bonded bartenders and/or party monitors. However, for events hosted by graduate student dormitory governments or by housemasters in graduate student housing, MIT funds may be used to purchase alcohol where no one under the age of 21 will be present, and provided the event has been appropriately registered.

MIT Academic Departments, Laboratories, Centers, and Administrative Units

Events that are sponsored by MIT academic departments, laboratories, centers, and administrative units and are being held on the MIT campus (except at Gray House) where alcohol will be served must be authorized by a member of the Academic Council or an appropriate designee. In addition, such events must be registered with the Information Center. (In certain circumstances, the Director of Conference Services in his/her discretion may waive formal registration.) Events that are sponsored by MIT academic departments, laboratories, centers, and administrative units and that are being held off the MIT campus, must be authorized by a member of the Academic Council or an appropriate designee but need not be registered.

MIT academic departments, laboratories, centers, and administrative units may not use Institute funds to purchase alcohol for events where persons under the age of 21 may be present unless a waiver has been granted by a member of the Academic Council or an appropriate designee. A waiver may be granted based on a determination that all relevant state and local laws and regulations, as well as MIT policies, are understood and will be observed.

Violations

Violations of this policy may be grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including termination for employees and expulsion for students.

9.3.3 Policy Regarding a Drug-Free Workplace

The unlawful use, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, or possession of any illegal drug is prohibited in any work area of MIT at any time. Violations of this policy may be grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

The use of illegal drugs in the workplace can obviously affect the work of the drug user, and it can also affect those who work or study with the drug user. Problems arising from drug abuse can be successfully handled in a majority of cases, provided they are recognized in the early stages and referral is made to the appropriate source. The Institute's Personal Assistance Program, within the Social Work Service of the Medical Department, provides specialized counseling and referral services to individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol. Individuals who are suffering from drug abuse are encouraged to seek assistance from this program. All referrals and treatment records are strictly confidential. In instances where it is necessary, sick leave will be granted for inpatient treatment or rehabilitation on the same basis as it is for other health concerns.

The federal government requires that each employee directly engaged in the performance of work under a federal grant or contract must

  1. be provided with a copy of a statement describing the employer's policy, and
  2. be notified that, as a condition of employment on that grant or contract, the employee will abide by the terms of the policy and will notify the employer if he or she is convicted of any criminal drug statute violation in the workplace no later than five days after such a conviction.

All individuals subject to the federal requirements should report to their employer any conviction, and the employer, in turn, is required to notify the awarding federal agencies of any convictions. At MIT, notification of the federal agencies will be made by the Office of Sponsored Programs. Department heads and other supervisors, in consultation with the Human Resources Office, will have the responsibility for any disciplinary action, or for requiring offenders to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug treatment program, or both.

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