Alcohol and Other Drugs on Campus – Policy and Information

It is the policy of Rockford University to promote a campus environment that is free of drug and alcohol abuse. In order to ensure a safe, secure and healthy environment for its community and to comply with its obligations under the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, Rockford University prohibits students from unlawfully possessing, using, consuming, purchasing, distributing, manufacturing, dispensing, or selling on the University’s premises or as a part of any of the University’s activities: 1) illicit substances; 2) drug paraphernalia; 3) lawful controlled substances, except as medically authorized and used in accordance with their prescriptions; and 4) alcohol.
Both State law and Rockford University policies prohibit the purchase, possession and/or consumption of alcohol by any person under the age of 21 (twenty-one). Under strict supervision, alcohol may be served at approved events. Any individual or recognized group sponsoring an event associated with Rockford University must obtain approval before an event when alcohol will be available.

Federal and state laws, and Rockford University policy, prohibit the sale, re-sale, possession, use or distribution of any controlled substances or prescription medication. The sole exceptions to this policy are (1) the use of prescribed medications by the patient for whom the medication was prescribed where such medication is used only as directed by the physician who prescribed the medication; and (2) the sale and/or dispensing of prescription medications by healthcare professionals within the scope of their licenses to do so and in accordance with the law.

Students found in violation of this policy are subject to serious University disciplinary action (suspension or dismissal) and arrests under the state and federal laws.

 Medications used at the University must be taken and/or disposed of properly and according to safe and acceptable medical practices. The University will facilitate counseling and referral to treatment as appropriate.

The University has the authority to enter and search any room or area of the campus where there is reason to believe that established standards of conduct or health and safety regulations are being violated, or when there is reason to believe that illegal drugs/substances may be stored, used, sold or otherwise distributed.

Finally, Rockford University reserves the right to notify the Rockford City Police Department whenever drugs or drug-paraphernalia are found on campus. Therefore, in addition to College-related disciplinary action, students violating drug policies risk arrest and prosecution for violations of drug-related laws by city, state, or federal offices. Therefore, in addition to College-related disciplinary action, students violating drug policies risk arrest and prosecution for violations of drug-related laws by city, state, or federal offices.

Violations of this policy will be processed through the Student Code.


Alcohol and Other Drugs – Policy Review

The Chief Student Life Officer is that person designated by the University to be responsible for the administration of University policies concerning drugs and alcohol. Working closely with representatives from various departments, the Vice President will conduct a review of Rockford University’s policies on alcohol and other drugs every two years to ensure that the University is in compliance with federal and state laws and that policies effectively address conditions regarding students, University organizations, student activity policies, and University employment issues.

Alcohol at University-Sponsored/Hosted Events

  • Alcohol at University-Sponsored/Hosted Events
  • Permits are required for events in residence hall rooms that involve 10 or more individuals. Permits are also required for any event that involves alcohol. Permits at Rockford University are commonly referred to as an SOR (Statement of Responsibility).
  • If a student wishes to host a party and wants to serve alcohol, s/he must be 21 or older and first attend an alcohol education program. (A non-alcohol SOR does not require this program.)
  • Alcohol Permits will not be issued during Orientation Week, exam weeks, or during times when children are invited to campus.
  • The event host(ess) must meet with the Director of Student Development or designee at least two weeks prior to the event. An Alcohol Permit will be reviewed and completed by the sponsor, indicating responsibility for the event.
  • Completed permits must be submitted at least 24 hours prior to the event.
  • The event host(ess) must be at least 21 years of age. To obtain a permit for the consumption of alcohol, the host(ess) must agree not to consume alcohol prior to or during the event he/she is hosting. The host(ess) is responsible for the compliance with the alcohol policy and will be held accountable for any violation of the policy.
  • The host/ess must agree not to consume alcohol at least eight hours before or during the event. S/he also agrees to be responsible for making sure that guests comply with all campus regulations and the alcohol policy. Violations may result in the immediate closing of the party.
  • An effective means for ID checking must be implemented and students who are less than 21 years old as well as intoxicated persons may not be served.
  • A bartender will be hired through Chartwell’s Food Service and Campus Security will be contacted to monitor the event (one officer attending the event if attendance is expected to exceed 50).
  • The use of University or organizational funds to purchase alcohol is prohibited.
  • Approval of an Alcohol Permit implies institutional registration of the event, but does not imply that Rockford University is responsible for the event.
  • Be advised that leaders of campus organizations and departments sponsoring campus events at which alcohol is served could be held liable for any damages and injuries caused by intoxicated guests during or following the event.
  • The club advisor must be present at club-sponsored events where alcohol is served.
  • Times for Events – In Residence Halls an event may be held on days prior to non-class days and other special occasions with approval from the Director of Student Development. In other areas an event may be held with the approval of the Director of Student Development, with the exception of the following: No more than two campus events where alcohol is served can be held in a 24 hour period; Alcohol Permits will not be issued during orientation weeks, exam weeks, or on weekends where children are invited to campus.
  • Events at which alcohol is served on a Friday or Saturday may not extend past 2 A.M.
  • Events which serve alcohol on weekdays prior to classes will not extend past midnight.
  • Attendance at Campus Events with Alcohol – Campus events at which alcohol is served are open only to Rockford University students, faculty, staff, alumni, ELSC students and their invited guests. Each member of the Rockford University community is responsible for the behavior of his/her guest. Rockford University students must present a valid Rockford University ID for admittance to campus events. Valid proof of legal age must be presented to purchase alcohol.
  • Types of Alcohol Allowed – The only alcohol allowed is beer, wine, and wine coolers. These may not be served for a time period of more than four hours.
  • Food and Other Beverages – Nonalcoholic beverages must be featured as prominently as alcohol and available in sufficient quantity to serve the anticipated number of persons under the age of 21 and half of the anticipated persons over the age of 21. All beverages must be served in clear plastic cups. Food must be available in sufficient quantity to last the duration of the event and served free to guests. The serving of alcohol must end one hour prior to the end of the event or when the food runs out, whichever comes first.
  • Intoxicated Students and Driving – Anyone driving on campus who is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be stopped and detained by the Rockford University Security Officers. If a student is determined to be unable to safely drive a vehicle, a security officer will park the student’s vehicle and retain the keys until the student is sober. The incident will be reported to the Chief Student Life Officer and appropriate action will occur. The City of Rockford Police may also be called if deemed necessary. If the student is found to be intoxicated while driving the vehicle by the Rockford Police, the student will be arrested. It is expected that the legal use of alcohol on campus will conform to the laws of the State of Illinois and to the health and welfare of self and others. Anyone who chooses to use alcohol will be held fully responsible for his/her behavior while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Intoxicated commuter students or guests (non-students) on campus, under age 21 or otherwise, will be asked to leave campus. If they arrived in their own transportation, their keys will be confiscated by a security officer and they will need to find other transportation. They may return the following day for vehicles and keys.
  • Event Locations
    • Burpee Center: Regents Hall, Grace Roper Lounge, Grace Roper Patio, Forrest Cool Lounge
    • Clark Arts Center: Multipurpose Room, Courtyard, Lobby, Loggia, Art Gallery, Cheek Theater
    • Library: Patio
    • Lion’s Den: (Chartwell’s Food Service has a liquor license to serve from Lion’s Den Snack Bar)
    • Other Areas (Indoors): With special approval from the Chief Student Life Officer or Director of Student Development.
    • Grounds: Alcohol is not permitted at outdoor events, except as approved on Grace Roper Patio and the Library Patio unless special permission is obtained from the Chief Student Life Officer or Director of Student Development. Alcohol which is consumed on University grounds without a permit or in a hallway will be disposed of regardless of the person’s age. The individual will be documented and sanctioned for policy violation.

Alcohol Use in the Residence Halls

Students must be at least 21 years old to possess/consume alcohol in rooms and anywhere else on campus. Furthermore,

  1. Alcohol is permitted in residence hall rooms/suites (except for Emerson and Dayton residence halls) where at least one of the occupants is of legal drinking age. Those consuming alcohol must be at least 21 years old. Residents of these rooms/suites are responsible for ensuring that appropriate laws, ordinances, and University policies are upheld.
  2. Beer, wine, and wine coolers are the only forms of alcohol permitted in the residence halls. Rockford University prohibits all other kinds of alcohol in the residence halls. Kegs and any other shared containers that dispense alcohol are also prohibited.
  3. Emerson and Dayton residence halls are alcohol-free. No alcohol is permitted at any time, by anyone, of any age in these halls.
  4. Alcohol is not allowed in common areas (hallways, lounges, restrooms, outside, etc.) without an approved permit. (Statement of Responsibility, SOR). If alcohol is present in a common area without a permit, it will be disposed of immediately regardless of the age of the individual in possession.
  5. If all roommates who occupy a room/suite are below the age of 21, the room/suite must remain alcohol-free at all times.
  6. If a Rockford University student or guest is below the age of 21 and is found possessing and/or consuming alcohol, the alcohol will be disposed of immediately and the student in possession will be charged with a violation of the Rockford University alcohol policy.
  7. If a Rockford University student or guest is below the age of 21 and found possessing or consuming alcohol in a room/suite that is occupied by residents of legal age, the legal age residents/occupants of the room will be held responsible for allowing individuals under the age of 21 to consume alcohol.
  8. A Statement of Responsibility (SOR) is required for any event in a residence hall room/suite (or on the Rockford University property) that involves ten (10) or more individuals where alcohol is present. Failure to complete an SOR prior to an event with ten or more individuals is an alcohol violation and will result in the event being shut down.
  9. In the event that a room/suite is being confronted for policy violations, an Incident Report will be completed. For accuracy of reports, names of all individuals present will be gathered by an authorized staff member of the University. This does not mean that all individuals will be charged with a policy violation.

Alcohol and Other Drugs – State and Federal Laws


The following criminal penalties are applicable to the identified categories of offenses:

Illinois Law
In Illinois, it is against the law to sell or deliver alcohol to anyone under 21 (twenty-one), or to any intoxicated person [235 ILCS 5/6-16]. Violations can result in fines of up to $1,000 and one year in jail.

It is also illegal for a person under 21 to present false identification in an attempt to purchase alcohol, to purchase, accept delivery or have possession of alcohol, or to consume alcohol. [235 ILCS 5/6-20] Violation of the law is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison.

Recent legislation signed by the Governor provides further penalties: (1) The Secretary of State is authorized to suspend or revoke without a hearing the driver’s license or instruction permit of a person under 21 who has purchased or attempted to purchase alcohol from a duly licensed establishment or who has consumed alcohol on licensed premises. (2) Local liquor commissioners have the duty to report to the Secretary of State any conviction for a violation of the Liquor Control Act, or a similar provision of a local ordinance, prohibiting a person under 21 from purchasing, accepting, possessing, or consuming alcohol and prohibiting the transfer or alteration of identification cards, the use of the identification card of another or a false or forged identification card, or the use of false information to obtain an identification card. (3) The Secretary of State is authorized to suspend or revoke the driver’s license or learner’s permit of any person convicted of violating any of the prohibitions listed above in “(2)” or similar provisions of local ordinances.

Substantial penalties exist in Illinois for the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 or greater. Arrests are also possible at lower alcohol levels if driving is impaired. The first offense can result in a $1,000 fine, incarceration for up to one year, and suspension or revocation of the offender’s driver’s license. Subsequent offenses entail penalties of significantly greater severity. Transporting open alcohol containers in a motor vehicle is also punishable under Illinois law.

Possession and delivery of illicit drugs are prohibited in Illinois through the Cannabis Control Act [740 ILCS 40/0.01 et seq.] and the Controlled Substances Act [720 ILCS 570/100 et seq. and 720 ILCS 570/401 et seq.]. Penalties vary with the amount of the drug confiscated; the type of drug found; the number of previous offenses by the individual; and whether the individual intended to manufacture, sell, or use the drug. A first-time conviction of possession of a controlled substance can result in a one- to three-year prison sentence, plus a fine of up to $15,000. More severe penalties may be imposed for conviction of class 2, 3, or 4 felonies involving manufacture or delivery to a minor.

Vehicles used with knowledge of the owner in the commission of any offense prohibited by the Cannabis Control Act or Controlled Substances Act can be seized by the government; all ownership rights are forfeited.

Federal Law
Under the revised federal sentencing guidelines, federal courts can sentence simple-possession first offenders to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Penalties for subsequent convictions are significantly greater [21 U.S.C. 844(a)]. A sentence of life imprisonment can result from a conviction for possession of a controlled substance that results in death or bodily injury. Possession of more than five grams of cocaine can trigger an intent-to-distribute penalty of ten to sixteen years in prison [U.S.S.G.S. 2D2.1(b)(1)].

Excerpt used with permission of University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign, Division of Public Safety


Rockford University: A Commitment to Help

A problem exists when one’s use of alcohol causes physical or emotional harm, impairs one’s judgment, infringes upon the rights of others, or interferes with one’s work, relationships, or daily life. Rockford University regards an alcohol problem as it does other behavioral/medical ones and does not attach a moral or social stigma to such personal difficulties. Alcohol and other chemical dependency problems can be treated successfully if they are identified as early as possible and if appropriate treatment programs are promptly instituted. Rockford University is committed to providing resources for prevention programs and referral for treatment as needed.

RU Department of Public Safety
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
fax: 815-394-5293
Tim Trevier, Director of Public Safety
Jason Mallo, Deputy Director of Public Safety