Wildcat Statue

2020 Alcohol and Other Drugs Student Notification

2020 Alcohol and Other Drugs Student Notification

Report concerns to:
Mike Bath, NMU Police Chief (906) 227-2151 mbath@nmu.edu

Northern Michigan University complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 by sending annual notifications regarding the university drug prevention program to student and employees, as well as completing biennial reviews.

This is the student annual notification sent on 8-26-2020. The employee annual notification can be reviewed here: Drug Free Workplace Act

NMU Students, 

This is your annual notification of how Northern Michigan University complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. The information provided at the end of this email and the Web page found at https://www.nmu.edu/druginformationguide outline NMU’s expectations and procedures for faculty, staff and students. The document includes:

  • Standards of conduct for students and employees, to include university imposed sanctions.
  • A description of associated and legal federal and state sanctions
  • A description of associated health risks
  • A description of available services and treatment options

Many students, faculty and staff have worked together over the years to prevent substance abuse at Northern Michigan University. We believe our efforts have contributed to a healthy living-learning community and have assisted individuals in need. If you have questions or have ways you’d like to participate in helping the university further improve these efforts, please let us know.

Thank you,

NMU Police Department
Contact Person: Mike Bath, Chief, NMU Police Department 227-2151 mbath@nmu.edu.

This document complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.  Northern Michigan University has adopted and implemented a program to educate and prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. 

Review of University Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program and Policy

Biennially the University reviews its “Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention Program and Policy” to determine effectiveness and implement changes, if needed, and to ensure that the University’s disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced. 

Northern Michigan University is committed to preventing substance abuse by:

  •  Providing numerous education and programming opportunities to the University community. 
  • Encouraging a campus environment where healthful lifestyle choices are made by students, faculty and staff.
  • Expecting acceptance of responsibility for one’s own choices and behavior.
  • Striving to balance the rights of individuals and those of the university community.
  • Encouraging chemical-free activities and supporting those who choose not to use alcohol and other drugs.
  • Enforcing university, local and state codes, ordinances and statutes, which govern alcohol and other drug use.

Summary of State and Federal Laws and Sanctions

Alcohol:  Under Michigan law it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, consume, possess, or have any bodily content of alcohol.  A first time conviction may result in a fine, substance abuse education and treatment, community service and court ordered alcohol screenings.  There is also a provision for possible imprisonment or probation for a second or subsequent offense.  Use of false identification by minors in obtaining alcohol is punishable with a fine, loss of driver’s license, probation and community service. 

Individuals can be arrested/convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at .08 or higher.  If a student is under 21, there is a “zero tolerance” law in the state of Michigan and any blood alcohol level of .01 or higher can lead to a minor in possession (MIP) ticket as well as being cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.  This is an addition to suspension of driving privileges in the state of Michigan. 

Drugs:  Michigan voters passed Proposal 18-1 (November 6, 2018) which legalizes possession and use of limited amounts of recreational marijuana by individuals 21 years and older.  Neither this new state law, nor the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, authorize the use or possession of marijuana on any property owned or managed by Northern Michigan University faculty, staff, or students.  This includes during off-campus business or events. 

Marijuana possession and use remains illegal under federal law and is categorized as an illicit substance under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989.  In addition, pursuant to Northern Michigan Universities Alcohol and Drug Policy employees, students and visitors may not manufacture, consume, possess, sell, distribute, transfer or be under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs or controlled substances on University property or at any site where university work is performed. Those violating the law may be charged with a civil infraction.  Other drug offenses will be charged per State and Federal Law. 

Northern Michigan University receives federal funding and must comply with federal law, including all current federal drug laws.  Therefore, even though the State of Michigan has legalized limited amounts of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use for some individuals, the possession, use, storage and cultivation of marijuana remains prohibited for all faculty, staff and students under Northern Michigan University’s policy. 

Employees and students who violate the policy prohibiting the use or possession of illegal drugs on campus will be subject to disciplinary action. 

Financial Aid:

Any federal or state drug conviction, whether it be for the possession, conspiring to sell or sale of illegal drugscan disqualify a student from receiving federal student aid programs.  

Convictions will count against a student for aid eligibility purposes if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, or work-study). When you complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, you will be asked whether you had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid. If the answer is yes, you will be provided a worksheet to help you determine whether your conviction affects your eligibility for federal student aid. 

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends (i.e., for a 1st or 2nd offense); or when he or she successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program that includes passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again.  

If you are convicted of a drug-related offense after you submit the FAFSA form, you might lose eligibility for federal student aid, and you might be liable for returning any financial aid you received during a period of ineligibility.

NMU Standards of Conduct

Students of Northern Michigan University 

The Northern Michigan University Student Handbook  (nmu.edu/policies/1070).

Failure to abide by these regulations may lead to any of the following sanctions:  (1) warning probation, (2) disciplinary probation, (3) suspension or (4) expulsion.  Special conditions may be attached to the sanction including, but not limited to, parental notification of the violation and mandatory participation in an alcohol or other drug education program. 

 Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy and Student Organizations

Northern Michigan University expects each student organization to adopt a policy about alcohol and other drugs to promote behavior that is consistent with this Policy.  Student organizations will be held to the highest standards and will be expected to comply with all federal, state and local laws, thus minimizing criminal and civil liability to the organization and its members, while helping to ensure the personal safety and welfare of its members and guests. The following guidelines are recommended:

  • It is illegal for student organizations to sell alcohol in the state of Michigan.  Student organizations can significantly improve personal safety and reduce liability by not providing alcohol to any person.
  • If alcohol is to be present at an organization-sponsored activity, the organization can provide for the safety of its members and reduce it liability if:

              a. Alcohol is not the focus of the event

              b. Attractive alternative beverages are provided

              c. Procedures are in place to prevent service or sale to persons under the legal age of 21                                       

              d. Alcoholic beverages are not purchased with organizations funds nor with the contributions of individual members

              e. Alcohol is not served from common or self-serve containers

              f. Service complies with this Policy, as well as the rules of the facility

             g. Designated non-drinking hosts are assigned to attend the event

             h. Assist any attendee who is intoxicated with finding alternative transportation home.

If alcohol is to be present at an event, the preferred method of serving alcohol is to use a caterer or hold the event at a site provided by a vendor who is licensed to sell and serve alcohol.  Schools, departments, units and administrative offices as appropriate are expected to encourage student organization compliance with these expectations and recommendations.

University Sanctions

The use or abuse of alcohol and other drugs also increase the risks for behavioral and social problems such as negative effects on academic work performance; conflicts with co-workers, classmates, family, friends and others; conduct problems resulting in disciplinary action, including loss of employment or dismissal from an academic program; and legal problems resulting in ticketing, fines and imprisonment.

The laws of the State of Michigan and the policies of Northern Michigan University prohibit the consumption or possession for personal consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21 years.  Further, Michigan laws and Universities prohibit the sale, service or giving of alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21.  University policies, local ordinances and laws, state laws and federal laws also prohibit the unlawful possession, use and/or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol.

Violation of University policies will be subject to campus disciplinary review and action, as follows:

Students:  The University community has established expectations for non-academic student conduct. The Code specifically addresses the illicit use of alcohol and other drugs.  The following behaviors contradict the values of the University community and are subject to disciplinary action under the AOD Policy:

  • “Illegally possessing or using alcohol”
  • “Illegally distributing, manufacturing, or selling alcohol”
  • “Illegally possessing or using drugs”
  • “Illegally distributing, manufacturing, or selling drugs”

Medical Amnesty:  To better ensure that minors at medical risk as a result of alcohol intoxication will receive prompt and appropriate medical attention, the State of Michigan provides for medical amnesty to remove perceived barriers to calling for or seeking help.

Michigan law continues to prohibit a minor from purchasing, consuming, possessing, or attempting to purchase, consume, or possess alcoholic liquor and from having any bodily alcohol content.  The medical amnesty law provides an exemption from prosecution for the following:

A minor (under the age of 21) who, after consuming alcohol, voluntarily presents himself or herself to a health facility or agency for treatment or observation, including medical examination and treatment for any condition as a result of sexual assault (as defined in Michigan law).

  • Any minor (under the age of 21) who accompanies any individual who, after consuming alcohol, voluntarily presented himself or herself to a health care facility or agency for treatment or observation, including medical examination and treatment for any condition as a result of sexual assault (as defined in Michigan law).
  • Any minor (under the age of 21) who initiated contact with law enforcement or emergency medical services personnel for the purpose of obtaining medical assistance in connection with a legitimate health care concern.
  • Any individual who seeks medical assistance for themselves because of drug overdose or use of a prescription drug that is a controlled substance or a controlled analogue.
  • Any individual who accompanies or procures medical assistance for another individual as a result of drug overdose or use of a prescription drug that is a controlled substance. 

The University maintains the discretion to refer the individual for appropriate educational intervention(s).

Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Other Drug Use 

Regular use of alcohol and other drugs (including marijuana, stimulants, depressants, cocaine, anabolic steroids, opiates, hallucinogens) may lead to:

  • psychological and/or physical dependence
  • impaired learning ability, memory, ability to solve complex problems
  • inability to perform sexually, infertility problems
  • increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases (including AIDS)
  • complications due to the combination of prescription medication and other drugs/alcohol
  • death, coma or toxic reactions, especially when combining alcohol with any other drug, including over-the-counter medicine or prescriptions
  • guilt/regret over activities performed while under the influence of alcohol/drugs, i.e., regretting sexual encounters, fighting, risk-taking, legal difficulties
  • Organic damage to brain, cardiovascular system, liver, etc.
  • increased risk of cancer
  • birth or genetic defects, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • psychosis (hallucinations, loss of contact with reality, extreme changes in personality)
  • other physiological, psychological or interpersonal problems 


Substance Abuse Resources

Counseling and Consultation Services (3405 Hedgcock)

NMU Ada B. Vielmetti Health Center


Alcoholics Anonymous                                                                                             

Great Lakes Recovery Centers                                                                                 

The Watershed (24-hour crisis hotline)                                                                

UP Health System                                                                     

Date Approved:1-1-1989
Last Revision:8-26-2020
Last Reviewed:8-26-2020
Approved By:President