Biennial Compliance Review

Description of AOD Program Elements

Strict enforcement of standards of conduct

  • Promotion of Onondaga as a dry campus; no tolerance policy on alcohol and other drugs
  • Standards of conduct are enforced by the Office of Student Conduct, Campus Safety, Residence Life Staff, and all faculty, staff, and administrators

Standard sanctions for AOD violations

  • For AOD 1 violations, an educational AOD Workshop presented by Prevention Network & OCC’s AOD Prevention Coordinator ; 6 months’ disciplinary probation
  • Prevention Network’s 1 ½‐hour AOD Workshop provides information on short‐ and long‐term health and other consequences of alcohol and other drug use; includes local statistics and trends related to substance abuse, such as the recent heroin epidemic in Central New York; requires active participation from all students; reviews Onondaga’s Student Code of Conduct and standard sanctions for alcohol and drug violations; and is designed to help students set goals and find alternatives to alcohol and drug use.
  • Upon completion of the workshop, students then also need to complete the e‐checkup online screening tool (version based on the type of violation‐alcohol or marijuana).For AOD 2 violations, 2 BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students) or CASICS (Cannabis & Alcohol Screening & Intervention for College Students) Sessions with a trained BASICS practitioner; disciplinary probation 1 year
  • Students are required to attend 2 sessions with the AOD Prevention Coordinator or other trained practitioner. These sessions are based on motivational interviewing, harm reduction and discussing student’s current educational and future educational goals. A student will complete an online screening tool and will track their potential use for 2 weeks prior to second appointment. During second appointment, student and practitioner create a plan to help student reduce risk and reduce harm causing behaviors. Online screening tool is reviewed with student and the student is provided feedback on various factors including current risk score, family risk for addiction, and tips for reducing consumption of alcohol and drugs.
  • For AOD 3 violations, suspension from Housing and/or the College; possible referral to Counseling; submission of Good Citizenship Petition and documentation of substance abuse assessment by a licensed agency prior to consideration for re‐enrollment
  • Students who are referred to Counseling must make an appointment by the due date indicated and follow through with the recommended treatment plan (students who are suspended from Housing but not the entire College are more likely to be sanctioned to attend on‐campus Counseling as a stipulation for remaining enrolled in classes).
  • For the Good Citizenship Petition, students are required to write a personal reflection statement that clearly addresses the personal growth they have undergone since leaving Onondaga and how that growth will contribute to their experiences on campus if they are permitted to return. Students are encouraged to be honest, sincere, and forthcoming in their reflections and to include documentation of work, volunteer, or other pro‐social activities they have engaged in since leaving Onondaga.

Strict enforcement of sanctions for AOD violations

  • For one missed AOD workshop, a hold is placed on the student’s account
  • For more than one missed AOD workshop, a $26 fine is imposed, a hold is placed on the student’s account, and the student is required to complete the workshop requirements before the end of the current semester. If the student does not complete the workshop, they are required to submit a three page double spaced paper on their policy violation.
  • For all other incomplete sanctions, a hold is placed on the student’s account until the sanction is completed. Other sanctions may be imposed based on situation; ex‐community service, letter of apology.

AOD programming presented by Residence Life

During the first few weeks of each semester, programming in the residence halls focuses on campus policies, including Alcohol and Other Drugs; this includes:

  • 1 large scale program
  • 4 RA facilitated programs (one per residence hall)
  • Passive programming (e.g., bulletin boards, mailbox stuffers, door knocking, etc.)

There is also an additional week of AOD programming each semester, in collaboration with the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, which includes:

  • 1‐2 large scale programs
  • 4 RA facilitated programs
  • Passive programming

Professional and Student staff training in the residence halls:

  • Protocol Response – staff are trained on the protocols and procedures for incident management
  • “Behind Closed Doors” – This allows staff to run though potential incidents that occur in the residence halls prior to the start of the semester with the support of returning staff members
  • Additional training is facilitated by Campus Safety, the Office of Residence Life & Student Conduct, Counseling, etc. on their collaborative role with Residence Life in terms of incident response, resources, and necessary follow up

AOD prevention and response training for RAs and RHDs, presented by the Office of Student Conduct

  • Review of the Student Code of Conduct and standard sanctions
  • Training on how to respond to incidents involving alcohol and/or other drugs in the residence halls
  • Training on how to write AOD‐related incident reports
  • AOD sanctions and procedure for referral to each sanction
  • Focus on strict and consistent enforcement of standards of conduct in the residence halls
  • Bystander intervention training

Presentation of AOD and Student Code of Conduct‐related material to parents at Parent Information Sessions during summer Orientation sessions

  • Reminder of Onondaga’s status as a dry campus and our no tolerance policy on alcohol and other drugs (regardless of a student’s age)
  • Review of the Student Code of Conduct and standard sanctions
  • Information on counseling and other support services available to students

Distribution of AOD and Student Code of Conduct‐related material to students during Orientation, Welcome, and other campus events

  • Student Conduct tabling and distribution of Student Conduct Process Handbooks
  • Creation of an “8 things to know while living on campus” handout that describes OCC’s current drug and alcohol policies, as well as “The Good Samaritan Law.” This handout also details current on and off campus resources‐ including Campus Safety, Residence Life, Counseling Center, Student Conduct and Vera House.

“Friends of Bill W” alcohol support group, presented by the Counseling Department

  • In the past, this group met regularly throughout the academic year; however, the facilitator has retired, and the group has not met in the past few semesters. We hope to renew some type of recovery support group on campus, starting with students in the CASAC Degree program and growing the group based on need and participation of current students.

Coordination of Community Policing initiative by Campus Safety and Security

  • Robust surveillance systems in the residence halls and on campus
  • NARCAN training for response to heroin use
  • Field sobriety and drug interdiction training
  • Meetings with local police, fire, and emergency management offices to support new methods of alcohol and other drug use prevention

Identification of and intervention for high‐risk students through We Care, Onondaga’s Behavioral Intervention Team

  • Review and discussion of incident reports, submitted by faculty, staff, administrators, or other students, for students whose behavior is of concern (often AOD‐related)
  • Identification of support person(s) best suited to intervene and reach out to students
  • Discussion of students’ progress and identification of alternative strategies for intervention, as needed

Voluntary AOD programming available to all students, including:

  • Weekly tabling events during April for Alcohol Awareness Month
  • Twisted Halloween, an alcohol and other drugs awareness event

Mandatory AOD education for student‐athletes

  • AOD education is presented by faculty and staff in the athletics department for approximately 300 student‐athletes annually

Additional support for students provided by the Counseling Center

  • OCC students can receive ongoing counseling and mental health support related to their substance abuse and for help resolving issues connected to their use. In addition, students involved in the student conduct process are highly encouraged to visit the OCC Counseling center for an in‐depth individual biopsychosocial evaluation by a licensed counselor. The intent of the interview is twofold: (1) to determine if professional alcohol and drug rehabilitation counseling are needed; (2) and to provide the student with informational and support resources in order to help the student succeed. A lack of attendance/compliance may result in an unfavorable recommendation to the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct. 

Additional support for students provided by Onondaga’s Community Care Hub

  • The Community Care Hub is a system of community‐based support services and resources for OCC students to remove non‐academic barriers, such as food and housing insecurity, which inhibit educational progress.  Based on a Public Health and Social‐Ecological Model, the Hub reflects the unique needs of OCC students and leverages community partnerships to focus on prevention for all students, destigmatize help‐seeking, increase access to services, and help students develop long‐term resilience to avoid future emergencies.  The project includes a social norms campaign focusing on AOD prevention.

Receipt of 5 year OASAS Environmental Prevention Grant‐ September 2017

  • The OASAS (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services) Grant led to the hiring of Alcohol & Other Drug Prevention Coordinator Sarah Hartman who is an OASAS Certified Prevention Specialist. Through this grant, many campus initiatives have been started and are in progress. These initiatives include‐ a campus community coalition with members from OCC as well as surrounding community and other campus partners, an Alcohol & Other Drugs Committee (which serves as the steering committee for the Onondaga Cares About Prevention Coalition), the creation of a social norms campaign using data collected from the College Prevention Survey in 2017, creation of BASICS & CASICS sanction for all second time alcohol and other drug offenses, enhanced policies surrounding alcohol and other drugs, social norms training workshop, and other continued enforcement efforts.

Receipt of the Truth Initiative Grant Spring 2018

  • The Truth Grant purpose is to engage 10% of students on campus in the process of raising awareness to harmful effects of smoking and tobacco. This is a student lead project using targeted guerilla marketing to raise awareness to areas of improvement for current smoking and tobacco policy on campus.   Before the end of the grant, a joint committee representative of various areas of the college will submit a smoke‐free campus policy to OCC President Dr. Crabill for review and potential passing on campus.

Receipt of the OASAS SUNY Recovery Grant December 2018

  • OCC received the OASAS Collegiate Recovery grant in December of 2018. This grant will allow us to expand on available services for students who identify as being in recovery. This grant will also offer an opportunity for students to become Certified Peer Recovery Advocates through a 5‐day training institute. The project will be student centered and will work to create an on campus recovery support group. This group will see referrals from the Counseling Center, WeCare (the behavioral intervention team), SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment), and BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students).  With this grant, we plan on making more sober activities available to students, as well as having more trainings of interest on campus for staff, faculty and students (ex: narcan).

AOD Program Goals

  • *Reduce heavy episodic alcohol use
  • Reduce rates of alcohol‐related incidents (e.g., physical altercations, domestic violence, sexual misconduct, hospital transports, etc.)
  • **Reduce overall rates of alcohol and drug use
  • ***Reduce recidivism rates (i.e., repeat offenders)
  • Ensure that the Conduct process is an educational experience for all students; assist students with the development of effective coping skills, resiliency, goal-setting skills, effective decision-making skills, and the ability to take responsibility for their own actions. 


*Goal = Reduce heavy episodic alcohol use
Code Violation:  I.03 – Alcohol – Impairment/Behavior Number of students found “responsible” for this violation:

Fall 2016: 10   
Spring 2017: 1    
Fall 2017: 5 
Spring 2018: 7 
Fall 2018 (up to December 11th 2018): 5

**Goal = Reduce overall rates of alcohol and drug use Alcohol: 
Code Violations:  

  • I.01 – Alcohol use, sale/distribution, possession 
  • I.02 – Alcohol paraphernalia
  • I.03 – Alcohol – Impairment/Behavior

Fall 2016: 96 
Spring 2017: 58  
Fall 2017: 74 
Spring 2018: 29 
Fall 2018 (up to December 11th 2018): 40

The number of alcohol violations increasing is likely due to the addition of “in the presence of alcohol under age 21” to the student code of conduct for the fall of 2018 semester.  

Code Violations:  

  • I.04 – Drugs – Consumption, under the influence, display, sale, distribution, possession 
  • 1.05 – Drugs paraphernalia

Number of students found “responsible” for at least one of these violations:

Fall 2016:  91 
Spring 2017: 96  
Fall 2017:  148  

Spring 2018: 55  

Fall 2018 (up to December 11th 2018):  61

(Although these numbers have increased over time, this trend may be due in part to increased/improved surveillance in the residence halls and on campus by Residence Life staff and Campus Safety, and/or to improved response and incident report writing by RAs and RHDs.) ***Goal = Reduce recidivism rates  
Code Violations:  

  • I.01 – Alcohol use, sale/distribution, possession 
  • 1.02 – Alcohol paraphernalia
  • 1.03 – Alcohol – Impairment/Behavior

Number of repeat offenders for one or more of these violations:

Fall 2016:  4 (4.2%) 
Spring 2017:  2 (3.4%)   
Fall 2017: 2 (2.7%) 
Spring 2018: 0  
Fall 2018 (up to December 11, 2018): 0

Code Violations:  

I.04 – Drugs – Consumption, under the influence, display, sale, distribution, possession 

1.05 – Drugs paraphernalia

Number of repeat offenders for one or more of these violations:

Fall 2016:  5 (5.5%) 
Spring 2017:  10 (10.4%)  
Fall 2017: 20 (13.5%) 
Spring 2018: 4 (7.3%) 
Fall 2018 (up to December 11th 2018) :  3 (4.9%)

Description of AOD Program Elements for Employees

  • Before proceeding to their individual work area, employees receive an “onboarding” session in Human Resources by a member of the Human Resources Team.  Each employee receives the Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”) pamphlet from our service provider, Crouse Hospital’s “HelpPeople”.  An explanation of the free and confidential nature of the program is provided to new employees.  Questions are solicited at this time.

All employees and ongoing efforts

  • An “Alcohol and Other Drug College Prevention Coordinator” joined the staff in October 2017. This person’s role is to look at our efforts to curtail and prevent the use of alcohol and other drugs on our campus. Her primary focus is prevention for students, but is available to provide education and training to employees as well.  Human Resources will be collaborating with her to offer programs that apply to students as well as employees (for example, marijuana usage and addiction).
  • Human Resources is staying abreast of current New York State legislation that has legalized medical marijuana use for certain illnesses, and is carefully monitoring the legislation that could legalize marijuana sale and usage.
  • Training on risks and signs to look for from employees possibly “under the influence” will be added to the section on “Performance Management” as part of the “OCC Supervisor Academy”.

  • Human Resources is exploring drug and alcohol awareness and prevention programs for employees and students (working with the College Prevention Coordinator) through an online training program called “EduRisk”.  This is available through the College’s Risk Management vendor. 

  •  A new, multidisciplinary Safety Committee is in place. The Committee is tasked, in part, with examining safety issues, accidents and injuries in the workplace and making recommendations for decreasing risk. 

  • All Campus Safety Officers have received training through AMR Ambulance Services in the use of Narcan for suspected overdoses. Their patrol cars are equipped with a “go‐bag” that contains basic first aid supplies as well as Narcan doses.  

  • An employee webinar series held in fall, 2018 touched on topics that included the use of drugs and alcohol, and the effects that it has on college student behaviors. The programs were through “Everfi” and made available in one standard place for all staff, faculty and employees to view on campus. The programs were titled: 

    “The Future of Mental Health & Wellbeing in Higher Ed” 

    “The Future of Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention in Higher Ed”  

    “The Future of Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention in Higher Ed” 

  • There is a supply of EAP pamphlets outside the Human Resource Department for easy access for employees. 

  •  A member of the Employee Assistance Program attends the annual Employee Benefits Fair and is available not only for employee questions, but to provide information on the services. 

  • All employees covered under the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) Collective Bargaining Agreement receive the set of work rules for Onondaga County, which includes the prohibition of illegal substances in the workplace or coming to work or being under the influence of an intoxicant at work and the potential penalties for violations of these work rules. 

  • Employees are invited to attend programming on campus geared toward students such as speakers/presenters on AOD topics as well as the ability to attend projects like Twisted Halloween. 

  • The campus complies with all regulations regarding drug testing for persons who hold a CDL License or operate College vehicles. 

  • Efforts have been stepped up to ensure all drivers of College vehicles have had their drivers licenses run against convictions, and that they have attended the NYS 6‐hour Defensive Driving Class. From January, 2017 to November 2018, 79 employees who drive College vehicles have completed the class. The class covers the risks and consequences of drinking and driving and provides an overview of alcohol and drug topics related to impairment behind the wheel. 

  • Policy I‐8, “Drug and Alcohol Policy” is reviewed at least on a biennial basis and updated as needed. 

  • Employee health insurance includes coverage for addiction/substance abuse treatment for covered persons. 

  • Any employee who seeks rehabilitation through an inpatient program may be eligible for an unpaid leave of absence in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act.

AOD Program Goals and Results

The goal is zero incidents on campus for violations of the employee policy I‐8, “Drug and Alcohol Policy”.  Adherence and enforcement of this Policy will lead to a safer, injury‐free workplace from on the job accidents because of employee intoxication.  Efforts to date have proven successful.  Data shows that over the last two years, (1/1/17‐11/30/18),  Onondaga Community College has had no accidents or injuries as a result of intoxication (alcohol or other substances) on the job.  Further, there have been no warnings, discipline or sanctions levied against any employee for violation of the Policy.   The employees who hold and require a class CDL license received a random drug test per Policy I‐8 and in conformance with the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 and applicable Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.   No violations were found during this testing.

AOD Program Strengths and Weaknesses

Onondaga Community College has been free from accidents and injuries or other incidents as a result of employees’ use of alcohol or other drugs.  Certainly, across all supervisors and departments, the message from the top down of “zero tolerance” is clear, but more effort can go in to prevention.


  • Organization‐wide, top down message of zero tolerance.
  • Having a “Prevention Specialist” on staff who has expertise in the area of drug and alcohol use, abuse and prevention is important and helpful to our message and allows access to newest drug and alcohol information and topics based on regular professional development.
  • A Safety Committee that meets monthly while classes are in session.
  • The creation of an Alcohol & Other Drug Committee (formed in October 2017) which meets to review and discuss potential alcohol and other drug policy changes or current issues on campus. This Committee also serves as the Steering Committee for the newly formed Onondaga Cares About Prevention Coalition.
  • The Onondaga Cares About Prevention Coalition (formed in October 2018) with representation from campus and community members. This coalition meets every 3 months to discuss and work on environmental prevention strategies based on current needs assessments and maxient incident data.
  • At least biennial review of Policy I‐8.
  • Procedures are in place for random drug testing for those holding class CDL licenses.
  • Funds are available and budgeted annually for the Employee Assistance Program (“HelpPeople”).
  • Expanded annual Employee Benefits Fair, which includes more health resources and vendors including representatives from EAP.
  • Available support in Human Resources‐The Director of Labor Relations at the College is available to address concerns about employee behavior that may include substance use or abuse.
  • Before an employee works, he/she is provided information on the EAP benefit.
  • EAP information is folded in to other training programs such as Prevention of Workplace Violence.


  • Advertising/promotion of EAP services is not on going or “in your face” after hire.
  • Other than random drug testing for employees with CDL licenses, there is no other random drug testing performed, which may send a message that it will not be uncovered or is not important.
  • Our Collective Bargaining Agreement(s) may limit our ability as an employer to perform random drug testing or to mandate the use of the Employee Assistance Program.
  • There is now a Safety Committee, but still no Employee Wellness Committee which could help promote healthy living and safe practices for employees. This may become a sub‐committee of the Safety Committee, and there has been discussion of this committee working in partnership with the Truth Grant Initiative to create and help implement a “smoke‐free” campus policy.

AOD Annual Distribution Procedures

  • The annual notice will be emailed as an “AllUsers” to all employees.
  • The annual notice is provided to all new hires in hard copy form and reviewed during their onboarding session in Human Resources.
  • Hard copies will be made and distributed to supervisors who have employees who typically do not check email. This will include groups such as Maintenance and Custodial.
  • The notice will be posted on the employee intranet site.
  • There is an annual email notice sent out from the Assistant to the President to all employees alerting them to changes to policies, and the link to that policy.


Recommendations for Revising Employee AOD Programs

  • Reconvene the employee wellness committee and utilize it to do more promotion and education on drug and alcohol free workplaces as well as healthy living lifestyles.
  • After the annual review of Policy I‐8, add a review date, even if no changes were made.
  • Increase safety training and safety awareness for those driving any type of College vehicle, not just those with CDL licenses.
  • Continue to offer and ensure compliance with Defensive Driving for those required to drive College vehicles.
  • The College is moving to the LENS system for checking licenses for required drivers. This will alert the College if an employee has incurred an alcohol or drug violation on their license, which could preclude them from driving College vehicles.
  • Work with the College Prevention Coordinator to ensure employees have access to applicable alcohol and other drugs seminars.
  • Utilize the new Hirezon Applicant Tracking System to store and send new hires the Annual AOD Notice so that they can read it prior to their first day of employment.
  • Explore resources such as EduRisk seminars on alcohol and drug free workplaces as provided by our Risk Management vendor.