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Drug Free Schools and Communities Act
MSUB Alcohol Policies
Student Code of Conduct and Alcohol
Decriminalization of Marijuana in the State of Montana 

Drug Free Schools and Communities Act

In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by Montana State University Billings employees and its students on institutional property or at any of its activities is prohibited. Montana State University Billings will uphold the standards of conduct which prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by its employees and students.

Montana State University Billings will impose misconduct sanctions (consistent with local, state, and federal laws), and consistently enforce such sanctions, relating to the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by its employees and students. Violations of this policy will result in misconduct action up to and including termination and may have legal consequences. (Refer to MSU Billings Personnel Management Memo #21A.) In the case of an enrolled student, suspension or expulsion from the institution may be appropriate. Specific misconduct procedures and sanctions for students involved in these unlawful activities are outlined in Part IX, B, 2 of this Handbook. At the option of Montana State University Billings, an employee or student violating this policy may be required to satisfactorily complete a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program as an alternative to termination, suspension, or expulsion.

Information regarding health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol, as well as alcohol counseling treatment and rehabilitation programs for students and employees is available from Student Health Services or the Employee Wellness Program Office.

1988 Drug-Free Workplace Act

In accordance with the 1988 Drug-Free Workplace Act, it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use an illegally controlled substance in the workplace. Employees in violation of this act may be suspended, terminated, or required to participate in a rehabilitation program.

As required by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, as a condition of employment under the grant, the employee will notify the employer in writing of his or her conviction for a violation of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) calendar days after such conviction.

Montana State University Billings, as an institution, agrees to notify the following agency if an employee is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute:

  1. Director, Grants & Contract Services U. S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. Room 3124, GSA Regional Building no. 3 Washington, D.C. 20202-5140
  2. This notice will also:
    1. be in writing and done within ten (10) calendar days of employee’s notification of the employer (Montana State University Billings).
    2. include the employee’s name and job title/position.

Furthermore, Montana State University Billings agrees to take one of the following actions within 30 days of receiving notice from the employee of a drug conviction:

  1. Take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee, up to and including termination, consistent with the 1972 Rehabilitation Act and/or binding collective bargaining agreement, or
  2. Require the convicted employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse/rehabilitation program as approved by the appropriate federal, state, or local health or law enforcement agency.

 A brochure is communicated and given to all employees and students of Montana State University Billings, who agree to comply with its terms and conditions.

MSUB Alcohol Policies

Liquor Consumption on Montana State University Billings Campus

A. Board of Regents Policy

Montana State University Billings understands that the service of alcoholic beverages in a controlled and responsible manner is consistent with the laws and practices of society. Board of Regents Policy (503.1) states:

  1. Consumption of alcoholic beverages on property belonging to the Montana University System is prohibited except as expressly permitted.
  2. Alcoholic beverages may be consumed by students and their guests in individual residence hall rooms or in individual family student housing units, provided such consumption is in compliance with state law.
  3. Unless otherwise authorized by the Chancellor, alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in the halls, lounge areas, utility rooms, other public areas of residence halls, or in any other campus locations.
  4. Authorizations by the Chancellor for consumption of alcoholic beverages in locations other than individual residence hall rooms or individual family student housing units shall conform to the following conditions:
      consumption shall be in connection with a substantive event, such as a banquet, official entertainment, reception;
    1. food and non-alcoholic beverages shall also be available;
    2. the event shall be monitored to prevent consumption by a person not of legal age.
  5. Each unit may establish additional regulations, not in conflict with this policy, controlling the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

 “Alcoholic beverage” means any beverage which is subject to the “Montana Alcoholic Beverages Code.”

Property belonging to the Montana University System means any property which is owned, leased or otherwise controlled by any unit of the Montana University System.

B. Montana State University Billings Liquor Consumption Policy and Guidelines

According to the Board of Regents’ policy, Montana State University Billings will allow the serving of alcoholic beverages on campus provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The Chancellor or his designee must approve all requests for the serving of alcoholic beverages on or off campus. All requests must be presented at least twenty (20) days prior to the event.
    Note: The “Request to Serve Alcoholic Beverages On/Off Campus” form (online) must be completed and proper signatures obtained before final approval from the Chancellor or his designee.
  2. All functions using alcoholic beverages and sponsored by student groups or organizations must channel their requests to the Vice Chancellor for Student Access and Success who will in turn send them to the Chancellor with a recommendation.
  3. All functions where alcoholic beverages are approved by the Chancellor must be coordinated with the Montana State University Billings Dining Service General Manager. The Dining Service General Manager will either make the arrangements with the caterer or secure the beverages. 
  4. A licensed or state approved vendor must be used wherever a charge is involved. The vendor must then be responsible to prevent serving minors or control excessive consumption by an individual.
  5. In the absence of a vendor, the sponsoring group or organization shall assume the responsibility for preventing consumption by minors or excessive consumption by an individual.
  6. The alcoholic beverages served under this policy shall be limited to beer, wine, and punch. 

 Groups or organizations that are requesting permits to serve alcoholic beverages must meet the following qualifications:

  1. The events must be substantive (i.e., Foundation events, receptions of various types, large dinners, etc.).
  2. Limited time - normally three (3) hours or less, with exceptions for special events.
  3. All occasions where alcoholic beverages will be served must be accompanied by food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  4. Registered student organizations may not serve alcohol at any event, on or off campus, unless prior approval has been obtained from the Vice Chancellor for Student Access and Success. The organization’s advisor must be present for the duration of the event.
  5. Locations must be approved by the appropriate building manager (i.e., Liberal Arts Building, Dean of Arts and Sciences). Building manager information can be obtained from the Student Union and Activities Office, SUB 219 (657-2387).
  6. All efforts must be made to insure that the event be held in a private area.
  7. Violations of any University regulation and local, state or federal laws, ordinances or regulations shall justify discontinuance of the event and denial of all future requests.

Student Code of Conduct and Alcohol

Alcoholic Beverages

  1. The unlawful possession, sale, manufacture, distribution, or consumption of alcoholic beverages, public drunkenness, driving under the influence or violation of state or local laws regarding alcohol use or possession.
  2. The University does not allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons not of legal age at functions sponsored by Montana State University Billings organizations. Organizations will be held responsible for the conduct of their members at functions sponsored by the organization and may be charged under this Code for failure to comply with Montana state laws related to alcoholic beverages.
  3. Repeated or flagrant violation of the University Alcohol Policy as set forth in Part VIII.
  4. If a student agrees with and signs a release of information form, Montana State University Billings may notify parents when their underage (under 21) student has a second or third time violation of campus alcohol and drug policies or state laws. Parents may be notified on first time violations if the violation includes a medical emergency, vandalism, any violence or gross disrespect of residence hall staff or law enforcement officials (IX.B.2.A.4).

Narcotics or Drugs

The unlawful use, possession, manufacture, sale, or distribution of marijuana or any narcotic, drug, drug paraphernalia, medicine, chemical compound, or other controlled substance defined as illegal under federal, state, or local laws. Although Montana state law permits the use of medical marijuana, i.e., use by persons possessing lawfully issued medical marijuana cards, federal laws prohibit marijuana use, possession and/or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. Possession of a valid and appropriately held Medical Marijuana Permit identification card does not authorize a student to possess, use, or distribute marijuana in any university-owned property or in any public area of the university.

Decriminalization of Marijuana in the State of Montana FAQ

As of January 1, 2021, Montana law may allow certain marijuana related activities, such as limited medical marijuana use and other recreational use and possession. However, using and possessing marijuana in any form remains a crime under federal law. At the federal level, the Controlled Substances Act criminalizes the growing and use of marijuana.

As a controlled substance, the MSUB Code of Student Conduct prohibits the use and possession of marijuana in any form, including without limitation: tinctures, edibles and topicals.  Marijuana use or possession is prohibited across the entire campus, including all open areas and buildings, such as the residence and dining halls. Students who use or possess marijuana are subject to discipline.

In addition to being a federal offense under the act, the use of medical marijuana in the workplace and on campus is restricted by federal laws, such as the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act and the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.

Recreational marijuana use, possession, and distribution is also a violation of University Housing Policy and the Code of Student Conduct. These activities are illegal for persons under 21; for those 21 and older, these activities cannot occur on any University property.  The possession of a medical marijuana permit does not allow for the possession or use of marijuana in the residence halls. Marijuana obtained for medicinal purposes cannot be stored or used in the residence halls.

In addition, the use of objects that produce smoke or vapor including, but not limited to: paraphernalia or materials, electronic cigarettes, and vape pens are prohibited in the residence halls.

Students found to be violating this policy, will be held accountable through MSUB’s Code of Student Conduct.

As a recipient of considerable federal funding, such as financial aid and federal grants and contracts for research, the university is required to continue to prohibit the use and possession and distribution of all federally controlled substances – including marijuana.  Consequently, such activity will remain prohibited by university policy and the MSUB Code of Student Conduct. The Montana State University Billings Police Department will continue to enforce the campus-wide prohibition of marijuana.

Here are on-campus resources:

MSUB Code of Student Conduct: Dean of Students Office 406-657-1696

Living on campus and Residence Life Policies: Associate Dean of Student Engagement, Aaron Like 406-657-2376

University Police 406-657-2147