The University of Rhode Island expects its students to treat other persons with respect and human dignity. All members of the community share the responsibility for protecting and maintaining community health, safety, and the rights of other persons. Because of the University's concentrated housing, varied activities, and the individual needs of students and faculty to pursue their work free from hazards and intrusions on their privacy, the cooperation of all is needed in order to maintain these standards.
Repeated unwanted contact or communication by any means, including by the use of any form of technology, or behavior or verbal abuse that threatens to injure or endangers the health, safety, or welfare of oneself or another person is unacceptable. Harassment is a knowing and willful course of conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment or which intends to cause a person to suffer substantial emotional distress. (See also Sections 2.10 Hate Crimes and 2.11 Bias-Based Incidents.)Back to Top
Stalking includes unwanted, repeated, or cumulative behaviors that serve no purpose other than to annoy, threaten, or cause fear for another individual. Common stalking acts include, but are not limited to, harassing, threatening or obscene phone calls, any written or electronic communication, following, vandalism of personal property, and/or leaving unwanted gifts or objects. Stalking is unacceptable as well as unlawful under State Law.Back to Top
Privacy violations such as video or audio taping in private space without permission, voyeurism, or watching others from a place of 12 concealment are prohibited. Examples of private space would include but are not limited to sleeping areas, bathrooms, and locker rooms. Disseminating or threatening to disseminate sensitive personal material (e.g. photos, videos) by any means to any person or entity without consent is prohibited.Back to Top
Physical or verbal threats which endanger the health, safety or welfare of oneself or another person are unacceptable.Back to Top
Physical abuse or other inappropriate physical action that injures, threatens or endangers the health, safety, or welfare of oneself or another person is unacceptable.
Sexual harassment is sex discrimination and is unlawful under State and Federal laws and University of Rhode Island policy. Sexual harassment includes verbal and physical behaviors that range from sexual gestures or teasing to sexual assault.
Verbal sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to sexual remarks, comments, jokes and innuendoes, whistles and cat calls, crude and offensive language, comments on physical attributes, use of demeaning or inappropriate terms, discussion of sexual activities, the posing of personal questions, the spreading of stories about someone's social or sexual life, and propositions or pressure for social or sexual contact.
Physical sexual harassment may include but is not limited to, unwanted touching, patting, grabbing, pinching, or hugging, stares, leers or sexual gestures, following someone or blocking their path, the display of sexually explicit or suggestive picture(s), sexual assault and rape.
Peer sexual harassment is a form of prohibited sex discrimination where the harassing conduct creates a hostile environment when it is unwelcome and when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program, or to create a hostile or abusive educational environment.
Welcomeness. In order to be actionable as harassment, sexual conduct must be unwelcome. Conduct is unwelcome when the student being harassed did not solicit or incite it and regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive. Mere acquiescence in the conduct or the failure to complain does not always mean that the conduct was welcome. The fact that a student may have accepted the conduct does not mean that he or she welcomed it. Also, the fact that a student willingly participated in conduct on one occasion does not prevent him or her from indicating that the same conduct has become unwelcome on a subsequent occasion.
Acquaintance Rape. Acquaintance rape is rape by a date, boyfriend, girlfriend, casual friend or acquaintance. Regardless of the relationship between a perpetrator and victim, acquaintance rape is the same crime as stranger rape and the same criminal laws and penalties apply to both. Date rape often occurs following some level of mutually acceptable intimate activity. At some point the victim has stopped consenting.
Consent. Consent is an informed agreement to participate in specific sexual acts that is not achieved through manipulation, force or coercion of any kind, and requires having cognitive and emotional ability to agree to participate. Impairment due to alcohol and drug use, permanent/ temporary psychological or physical disability, and being below the age of consent (age 16) are factors which detract from or make consent impossible. Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
Rhode Island Sexual Assault Law In Rhode Island, sexual assault is defined legally in three degrees:
1st degree - any forced or coerced penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth, by any part of another person's body or by an object.
2nd degree - any forced or coerced contact with a person's genital area, inner thighs, buttocks, or the breast of a female.
3rd degree - penetration when one person is age 18 or older and the other is over the age of 14 but under the age of consent (age 16). The state of Rhode Island does not recognize the ability of people under the age of 16 to give informed consent to sexual intercourse with an adult.
The Role of Alcohol. In many cases of campus acquaintance rape, alcohol is involved. Alcohol use may impair judgment or lessen the victim's ability to resist. In some cases the victim is incapacitated, or has 14 passed out, and usually is isolated. It is important to note that alcohol is not the direct cause of sexual assault, but it is an exacerbating factor. Alcohol frequently contributes to the social conditions that lead to acquaintance rape. "On average, at least 50% of college students' sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use. Koss (1988) reported that 74% of the perpetrators and 55% of the victims of rape in a nationally representative sample had been drinking alcohol before the assault."
Source: Abbey, A. (2002). Alcohol-related sexual assault: A common problem among college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Supplement No. 14, p. 118-128.
Impact of Sexual Assault. Sexual assault victims experience profound emotional trauma. Although victims react in different ways, common responses include initial feelings of shock and disbelief; intense fears about personal safety; preoccupation with recurrent, intrusive thoughts about the assault; sleep disturbances; anxiety; impaired concentration; mood swings; depression; and feelings of anger, shame and self-blame. These reactions are called "post-traumatic stress disorders" or "rape trauma syndrome."
Victims of acquaintance rape often experience especially intense feelings of shame and self-blame. Many also feel betrayed because they have been violated by someone they initially trusted. Some victims lose confidence in their own judgment and find it hard to learn to trust again. In order to facilitate the healing process, it is important for victims to seek services from appropriate departments or agencies.
What to Do Following a Sexual Assault. Get the victim to a safe place: her/his home, a friend's house, or a place where there are several people.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is extremely important to be examined for physical injury as well as to discuss the options for prevention of disease and pregnancy. Even if the incident was not recent, you should still consider a medical discussion (and perhaps examination) about the possible physical consequences of the event.
If the assault has taken place within 72 hours, it is recommended that a "rape kit" be performed in order to gather possible physical and medical evidence for immediate or later legal action. To facilitate the gathering of evidence, victims should not bathe; change their clothing, douche, etc. However, if these have been done, a "rape kit" may still be performed. If the victim changes clothing, those items worn at the time of the assault should be collected and placed in individual paper bags. It is important to 15 note that the police will not be notified of a sexual assault without the victim's consent.
Medical services are available at Health Services until 8:00 p.m. After that time, transportation is provided to South County Hospital. It is recommended that you call Health Services as the initial step in getting the proper medical attention. All medical information will remain confidential unless you choose to take formal action and give permission for the information to be released.
Options for Victims of Sexual Assault and Harassment. For emotional support the Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services Program and the URI Counseling Center are available for students and Day One operates a 24-hour hotline statewide. Advocates are available 24 hours a day, statewide, to provide this essential service. Ongoing support is crucial to the emotional recovery of victims. Many sexual assault cases go unreported because the victim fears retaliation or possible humiliation if word gets around that she/he has been the victim of a sex offense. Victims tend to feel guilty, as though they did something to bring it on themselves, and often keep the incident to themselves or share some of the incident with a close friend. Students who have been raped or sexually assaulted in any way have been victimized. Their assailants are at fault and the behavior is not acceptable. In order to stop this type of criminal activity, we encourage victims to help start the healing process by reporting what has happened to them. Recognizing the different needs of victims, there is a range of ways to report the perpetrator's behavior. A student may pursue any or all of these options. At no time should any victim of sexual assault be advised or counseled not to pursue legal action.
The incident may be reported to the police, whether or not criminal prosecution is desired. A police report does not require a victim to prosecute, that decision can be made later. If the incident occurs on campus, Campus Police have jurisdiction and can be of help in exploring this option. The victim may bring an advocate and a female victim will almost always be able to talk with a female Campus Police officer.
If the offender is a University of Rhode Island student and the incident happened on campus or if University jurisdiction applies to the off campus incident (see Section 12), the University is obliged to take action. To initiate conduct action, the student contacts the Office of Student Life. Please consult the URI Student Handbook Section 10 through 30 or call the 16 Office of Student Life, Student Conduct. In addition, a student may initiate criminal action by contacting the Campus Police.
Domestic violence is the use of emotional, physical and/or sexual attacks by an individual against his/her intimate partner in order to maintain power and control in the relationship. Threats and/or physical actions which endanger the health, safety, or welfare of an individual are unacceptable (refer to Section 2.4 and 2.5) regardless of the relationship between the parties. As in sexual assault, victims are often reluctant to report or prosecute incidents of domestic or dating abuse.
Options for Victims of Domestic Violence. For emotional support and advocacy, the Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services Program and the URI Counseling Center are available. Assistance is also available through the 24-hour hotline at the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County.Back to Top
Behavior that results in the sexual abuse, harassment, or intimidation of another person, or any unwanted sexual attention toward another person, is unacceptable. Forced or coerced contact with intimate body parts is prohibited. If the individual to whom it is directed does not give consent or is physically or mentally unable to give consent, sexual attention is considered unwanted.Back to Top
Harassment on the basis of one's race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disabled and/or Vietnam era veteran status, is considered to be discrimination. Because some students may be reticent to initiate complaints based on this type of harassment, specialized advice is available. For example, women students may feel more comfortable speaking to another woman about a particularly sensitive grievance. Seeking information and advice from a staff member does not obligate the student to file a formal complaint. Lists of staff who can provide such advice are available in the following offices:
Section 504/ADA Coordinator, AAEOD Office, Carlotti Administration Building
AAEOD Officer, Carlotti Administration Building
Counseling Center, Roosevelt Hall
Office of Student Life, Memorial Union
Title IX Coordinator, Athletics
University Ombud, Green Hall
Behavior that results in the abuse, harassment, or intimidation of another person based on race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disabled and/or Vietnam era veteran status is prohibited.
"A hate crime is any crime motivated by bigotry and bias, including, but not limited to threatened, attempted, or completed acts that appear after investigation to have been motivated by racial, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender or disability prejudice." (Section 42-28-46 of the General RI Laws).Back to Top
A bias-based incident is one which has a negative effect on an individual or group and which is based on or motivated by bias against race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disabled and/or Vietnam era veteran status. The incident is experienced as hurtful by one or many and may involve harassment, the creation of a hostile environment, property damage, verbal threats of violence, or physical violence. The incident may or may not involve breaches of university policies or state or federal law.
When you report a bias-based incident, you can expect
confidentiality (rare exceptions to confidentiality will be explained to you)
a timely response
reasonable protection against retaliation
established procedures will be followed
there will be a defined conclusion to the process
In response to such incidents, the University may plan campus programs or enhance educational efforts to help prevent future incidents. If the perpetrator of the incident can be identified and if established policies or laws are violated, conduct or criminal action will be taken.
Student complaints regarding students are generally directed to the Office of Student Life. Student or faculty complaints regarding faculty or classroom concerns are generally directed to the chair of the department or to the dean of the college in which the class is taught. In any case, complaints may be directed to the Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity (AAEOD).
Lists of staff who can provide such advice are available in the following offices:
Campus Resources for Students:
Off-Campus Resources for Students:
If the alleged perpetrator is a student, go to the Office of Student Life; if the perpetrator is a faculty member, go to the Department Chair, Dean or Provost. If the perpetrator is a non-faculty staff member, go to the Department Director or to the AAEOD Office. When in doubt, contact the 19 AAEOD Office and ask for someone who can help you understand your options. (Please note this is a general guideline.)
Campus Resources for Students:
It is the policy of the University of Rhode Island not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disabled and/or Vietnam era veteran status in the recruitment, admission or treatment of students, the recruitment, hiring, or treatment of faculty and staff, and in the operation of its activities and programs, as specified by State and Federal laws, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title IX of 1972 Educational Amendments to the Higher Education Act, Executive Order 11246, as amended, Sections 503/504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and all other laws which pertain to access and equality.
The AAEOD Office handles all complaints on discrimination and sexual harassment. Any member of the University community (e.g., faculty, staff, or student) may file a discrimination complaint or a sexual harassment complaint with the AAEOD Office. The University of Rhode Island Sexual Harassment Policy and the Discrimination Complaint Process for the University of Rhode Island are both available at the AAEOD Office. Seeking information and advice from the AAEOD Office does not obligate the campus community member to file a formal complaint.Back to Top
The person designated to coordinate the University's efforts to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act as they pertain to students and staff is the AAEOD Officer.Back to Top
The University is obligated to take action when incidents of discrimination are reported. If you believe you have been discriminated against as an employee or student on the grounds of race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disabled and/or 20 Vietnam era veteran status you may lodge a complaint by following the steps specified below. The AAEOD Office and the Office of Student Life will make a preliminary investigation and attempt to resolve the complaint through informal means. The AAEOD Officer and the Office of Student Life may also refer the complainant to the appropriate body for further action.
As an employee, you may discuss the complaint with your immediate supervisor and/or consult with the AAEOD Officer or designee.
As a student employee with a complaint about a supervisor, discuss the complaint with the supervisor of the alleged offender in the department or office where the alleged discrimination occurred and/or with the AAEOD Officer or designee.
As a student with a complaint against another student, discuss the complaint with the Office of Student Life and/or with the AAEOD Officer or designee.
Prospective employees and students who believe they have been discriminated against may register their complaints directly with the AAEOD Officer who will make a thorough review of the facts in the case and report these along with recommendations, to the appropriate office or supervisor. Where necessary, the AAEOD Officer will bring the report to the attention of the President.
URI students, faculty, and staff are expected to provide the compassion, understanding, and support necessary to help individuals with AIDS and HIV infection. As part of this responsibility, the University will vigorously enforce individual rights of confidentiality and freedom from discrimination as outlined in two existing policies: "Reasonable Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities" and "Life Threatening Illness." Copies of these policies may be obtained at the Office of Human Resources Administration, the front desk at Health Services, and Disability Services for Students at the Office of Student Life.Back to Top
Hazing is prohibited. Hazing is any action taken or situation created (the willingness of an individual to participate notwithstanding) upon which initiation, admission into, or affiliation with an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned and which is likely to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities and situations may include, but are not limited to, 21 paddling in any form, extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation, exposure to the elements, consumption of any substance, physical and psychological shocks, quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips, or any other such activities, engaging in public stunts, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities, or any other physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of the student or any other person.Back to Top
The physical abuse of animals (pets, laboratory subjects, wild animals such as ducks, squirrels, etc.) is prohibited.Back to Top
Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings and in all University owned or operated residences. Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of all University controlled residences. For smoking cessation information, contact Health Services or see http://www.uri.edu/smokefree.Back to Top
On-campus possession of firearms (including blank pistols, replicas, pellet guns and BB guns), ammunition, explosives, knives, fireworks, and other articles or substances recognized as weapons is prohibited. The only possible exceptions are some non-hazardous martial arts devices designed for practice, and weapons used in authorized ROTC activities, or weapons used for police science or crime lab activities.Back to Top
Safety equipment such as exit lights, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, or other safety or fire fighting equipment must not be used inappropriately or rendered inoperable. Emergency exit charts cannot be removed or covered. Sprinkler heads cannot be obstructed and sprinkler system piping may not be used to hang personal property. Nothing may be attached, taped, or tacked to any and all electrical, fire alarm, sprinkler piping or devices on the walls or ceilings. Self-closing mechanisms on interior doors cannot be disabled and interior doors cannot be propped open. Responsibility for a false fire alarm, where there is no reasonable belief there is a fire, will result in the minimum sanction of removal from campus residence. Tampering with or damaging other fire safety equipment may also result in sanctions of residence removal or worse. Students may also be billed by the Kingston Fire Department for the cost of responding to a false alarm. Deliberate tampering with any part of a fire alarm system is a criminal offense and may be adjudicated in the state court.Back to Top
The use, possession, sale or distribution of narcotics, steroids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, marijuana and its derivative, or any other controlled substance or paraphernalia without a prescription is prohibited. Being in an on-campus room where illegal drugs are knowingly used or negligently being allowed may result in conduct charges. Drug paraphernalia such as, but not limited to bongs, is prohibited on campus and may be subject to investigations for drug presence. Students may be subject to random drug testing as part of a sanction for a drug-related offense. The U.S. Department of Education has recently required students receiving federal financial aid to sign a no-drug use oath. Students should be aware of Department of Education regulations stipulating that those "who engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, or use of any controlled substance" may lose their federal financial aid, and/or be prosecuted for fraud. Students who voluntarily take illegal drugs or drugs not prescribed for them assume the risk associated with such use and cannot hold the school responsible for any consequences. See Sections 2.35-2.39.
Students cannot be in an on-campus room or location where drugs are being consumed or possessed. A second proximity will result in a $25 fine and an educational sanction. Sanctions for a third proximity will be the same as for alcohol and other drug violations, see Section 2.34.
The University of Rhode Island supports students in demonstrating responsible conduct in the best interest of their personal health and well being, the community's general welfare, and the rights of others. Students are expected to assume responsibility for their behavior and must understand that being under the influence of drugs/alcohol in no way lessens their accountability.
Although alcohol is a drug socially accepted by many, it can be used abusively. Misuse of alcohol may damage physical, mental, and emotional health. It may produce mild symptoms such as stomach upset, frequent colds, or mild depression, ulcers, malnutrition. Emotional and behavioral problems such as depression, poor social interactions and low achievement levels are all compounded by alcohol or other drug use. Information about alcohol and its effects is available through the Office of Student Life Substance Abuse Services. Students whose consumption is abusive to themselves or to others should seek supportive services through the University's Counseling Center or the Office of Student Life. Members of the University community will be held accountable for inappropriate behavior while under the influence of alcohol. Neither the Office of Student Life's Substance Abuse Education Program, Health Services or the Counseling Center issue alcohol citations when students seek assistance. All substance abuse treatment services are confidential.
The policies listed below are to be followed for the consumption and use of alcohol and other drugs at the University of Rhode Island. The described consequences of substance abuse are not totally inclusive and do not cover all possible legal implications of the possession, consumption, manufacture or sale of alcohol and other drugs. Students will obey all state laws pertaining to the possession, consumption, manufacture, and sale of alcoholic beverages as defined in Title 3 of the General Laws of Rhode Island and in Town Ordinances. These statutes are available in the Reference Section of the University Library.Back to Top
Illegal consumption and possession of alcohol. Possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages is limited to individuals who are 21 years of age or older. Students under 21 cannot transport alcohol in their cars nor have it in their possession while on campus. The University prohibits the advertising of alcohol and tobacco products at University activities. Empty alcohol containers randomly located in a room of someone under 21 may result in charges.
Proximity to alcohol. Students under 21 cannot be in an on-campus room or location where alcohol is being consumed or possessed. A second proximity will result in a $25 fine and an educational sanction. Sanctions for a third proximity will be the same as for alcohol and other drug violations (see Section 2.34).
Students over 21 years of age. Only a small percentage of students are of legal drinking age. Therefore, it is expected that most socializing will be alcohol-free. Residents of legal age are asked to act responsibly and not to have excessive amounts of alcohol in their rooms. If a student over 21 years of age has excessive quantities of alcohol in his or her room or on his or her person, he or she may be asked to remove it from the residence or dispose of it. Excessive shall be defined as a quantity greater than twelve 12-oz. cans or bottles of malted alcoholic beverage or one liter of distilled alcohol beverage. Individuals 21 years and older may not bring alcohol into a University residence unless it is to the room of a student who is 21 or older and in that case, no more than one six-pack or its equivalent may be brought. See Sections 2.21-2.39 of this handbook for a more complete list of regulations and guidelines concerning alcohol & other drugs.
The University prohibits the advertising of alcohol and tobacco products at University activities.Back to Top
Serving alcoholic beverages to an individual under 21 years of age, purchasing alcoholic beverages for an individual less than 21 years of age, or negligently allowing a minor to consume alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Serving alcoholic beverages to someone who is visibly intoxicated is prohibited.Back to Top
Public consumption of alcoholic beverages on University grounds is prohibited. The consumption of alcohol or possession of an open container of alcohol is prohibited in public areas. A public area is any area outside of a student's room, such as, but not limited to corridors, stairways, bathrooms, lounges and balconies, or any other public areas in or around the residence halls, fraternity/sorority houses, and on-campus apartments. Students 21 and older who publicly consume alcohol or have an open container in public are in violation of this policy and are also subject to the mandatory minimum sanctions.Back to Top
The sale and/or service of alcohol is permitted on the Kingston Campus in the following locations: University Club, President's House, Ryan Center, Alumni Center and the Foundation Building. The sale or service of alcohol at the Providence Campus and the Narragansett Bay Campus, and locations not listed above, require the written approval of the President or designee. Generally, requests to serve alcohol at on-campus functions will be denied if students are in attendance. Possession and consumption in all other non-residential University buildings is prohibited.Back to Top
No alcohol may be purchased with student organization funds, including fraternity and sorority dues and other sources of chapter income.Back to Top
No permanent tap systems, whose use is to distribute alcoholic beverages, may be owned or operated by a student organization, including fraternities and sororities. Drinking games are prohibited.Back to Top
Common source alcohol containers (e.g., beer kegs, punch bowls) are prohibited. Paraphernalia for drinking games or quantity consumption (funnels, beer bongs, etc.) are prohibited.Back to Top
If a student organization plans an off-campus function at an establishment where alcohol is served, and if the establishment accepts any remuneration from student organizations, there must be a contract establishing that the license holder is responsible and liable for all carding, security, and handling of alcohol. The Director of the Memorial Union and Student Involvement can assist with this contract.Back to Top
The sanctions set forth in this policy are minimum sanctions and do not limit or restrict the imposition of additional or other sanctions. Any URI student organization or recognized student group that sponsors, permits, allows a social event with alcohol and/or fails to prevent the consumption of alcohol will be sanctioned as follows.
A minimum mandatory sanction of a $500 fine and two semesters probation will be applied to a student group which fails to prevent alcohol consumption by minors, or which sponsors, permits or fails to prevent gatherings where alcohol is consumed.
If it is the second offense within a period of three semesters, the mandatory sanction will be a $1,000 fine and probation for three semesters. Responsible members of the organization must be trained to issue citations and actively monitor policy compliance. Educational sanctions and work service may also be assigned.
The sanctions set forth in this policy are minimum sanctions and do not limit or restrict the imposition of additional or other sanctions. Individuals may be sanctioned personally as well as members of a group. Parents/guardians of students under 21 years of age are routinely notified concerning violations of policies concerning alcohol and other drugs after the second violation. Parents may be notified after the first violation if it involves the violation of more than one policy or if it is a serious incident.
Any student under the age of 21 who consumes and/or possesses alcohol in violation of Rhode Island law will be sanctioned as follows. The same minimum recommended sanctions for alcohol violations apply to marijuana violations. Drug violations may also carry additional serious consequences (e.g., criminal charges, suspension or dismissal for selling or intent to sell, and so forth).
Rhode Island penalties for driving while impaired are as follows.
Rhode Island statutes cover a wide range of drug offenses, including the use, possession, sale, distribution, transportation and manufacture of various types of drugs (21-28-4 Rhode Island General Legislation). Among other provisions the State law creates the following mandatory minimum prison sentences for first-time offenders who are not "drug dependent" persons. Actual sentences depend on the severity and the circumstances of the offense, and the character and background of the offender.
Imprisonment of not less than ten years for possession of enumerated quantities of controlled substances: heroin, coca leaves, cocaine, ecgonine, phencyclidine (PCP), Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and marijuana plus fine.
Possession of larger enumerated quantities results in a minimum prison sentence of not less than twenty years plus fine.
Distribution of a controlled substance to persons under age 18 is penalized by imprisonment for not less than 15 years.
Education and counseling may be required.
Many people are unaware of the potential physical and psychological consequences of their drug use. Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. The vast majority of Americans who drink alcohol, for example, do so without any serious problems. However, it is important to remember that alcohol is a powerful drug - and like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin, it can pose certain risks to your health and well being. Alcohol abuse is responsible for an average 200,000 deaths annually in the United States. Half of all accidental deaths, suicides, and homicides in the United States are estimated to be alcohol-related. In addition, alcohol use is implicated in many cases of sexual assault (see Section 2.6e).
Personal Risk Factors. Frequently, people who drink abusively do not consider themselves to be problem drinkers. Certain factors pose an increased risk for developing a serious alcohol problem. These are: 1) having one or more blood relatives with a history of alcohol or other drug problems; 2) growing up in a family in which alcohol was associated with family dysfunction; 3) drinking to get drunk; 4) being able to "hold your liquor" - seeming to be less affected by alcohol than most people; 5) excessive drinking at a young age and/or having a history of other drug abuse; 6) having one or more memory "blackouts" due to drinking; 7) drinking to relieve bad feelings or to escape from problems; 8) having friends who are heavy drinkers; 9) a history of impulsivity and/or behavioral problems, such as conduct disorder; 10) using other drugs which, when combined with alcohol, increase the effects and dangers of drinking.
Sources: Miller, William R., Alcohol and You. Prepared for Project MATCH by the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions (CASAA). The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Also Marlatt, G.A., Baer, J.S. & Larimer, M.E. (1995). Preventing alcohol abuse in college students: A harm reduction approach. In G.M. Boyd, J. Howard, & R.A. Zucker (Eds.), Alcohol problems among adolescents: Current directions in prevention research (pp. 147-172). Northvale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates, Inc.
Birth Defects. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is among the three leading causes of birth defects. FAS refers to a pattern of physical and mental defects that may occur in infants whose mothers drink during pregnancy. Currently, 1 to 3 per 100,000 live births suffers from FAS.
Experts estimate that by the year 2000 there will be more than 4 million cocaine-addicted babies born in this country. The cost of this epidemic is approximately 100 billion dollars. In the past few years, New York City has seen a 200% increase in the incidents of drug addicted babies.
Acute Alcohol Poisoning. Certain high-risk practices - drinking games, drinking grain alcohol punch for example, involve the quick ingestion of large amounts of alcohol that can shut down breathing and heart functioning. This can be fatal. Chronic alcohol abuse has also been linked to liver disease, gastrointestinal disorders, birth defects, depression, impotence, and malnutrition. Alcohol and other drug use can impair judgment, reasoning, communication, and perception. In addition, it may lead to risky sexual encounters such as unprotected sex and sexual assault. Alcohol may be a contributing factor in cases of acquaintance rape. Alcohol does not cause a person to commit sexual assault. Furthermore, drunkenness does not absolve a guilty party from the act of rape. Drunk or sober, sexual assault is a crime.
Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning.
The person is unconscious or semi-conscious and cannot be roused.
The person has cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin.
The person's breathing is slow or irregular.
The person vomits while passed out and is not waking up after vomiting.
If someone you know has any of these symptoms after drinking alcohol, it is possible that he/she is suffering from acute alcohol poisoning. Do not leave the person alone. Do not let them "sleep it off." Turn the person on their side to prevent choking should vomiting occur. Call the police for immediate medical attention. If in a residence hall, get a Resident Assistant or Hall Director.
If you have ever wondered whether your use of alcohol or other drugs is causing problems for you, it might be helpful to speak with someone who can give you specific information about your particular patterns of use and the associated risks. Confidential assistance is available at the following locations on campus:
Substance Abuse Services. This comprehensive outreach program sponsors a range of activities aimed at reducing the risks and consequences associated with alcohol and other drug abuse. Consultation, peer education, in-service training, early intervention programs, and referral information are among the services offered to the university community. Under the sponsorship of various academic departments, students frequently complete internships in Substance Abuse Services, incorporating their interests in college student development, psychology, marketing, nursing, journalism, fine arts, public relations, multimedia technology, pharmacy, and research. The JADE program (Judicial Alcohol and Drug Education) balances enforcement with education when students are referred through the conduct system for violations of campus drug policies.
Counseling Center. Confidential counseling and mental health services are offered through individual and group sessions. Specialized treatment and education is provided by a substance abuse specialist.
Psychological Consultation Center. Assessments, individual, couple, and family counseling. Sliding fee available based on need.
Health Services. On-going programs for students include physician/nurse practitioner services; nursing services; specialists' physicians clinics (dermatology, gynecology, internal medicine, orthopedic, psychiatry, surgical); health screening; women's clinic; counseling services; and health education.
Al-anon & Alateen
Driver Re-Training at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles
Meadows Edge Recovery Center
Rhode Island Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence