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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

Policy Number:
Alcohol Policy
Effective Date:
January 10, 2024
Revision Date:
December 7, 2023
Approved by:
Jacket Leadership Team


100.00 Introduction and Purpose

Montana State University Billings is committed to a campus community environment that promotes the health, safety, personal development and academic success of students, faculty and staff. The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, [20. U.S.C. 1145g, (34 CFR Part 86)], requires institutions of higher education to enact policies for preventing the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by students and employees.

The Board of Regents has adopted Policy 503.1, Alcoholic Beverages, which establishes certain requirements and guidelines for the possession, consumption, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages on Montana University System property.  These requirements include:

  1. Within student housing, including Family Housing, consumption of alcohol is allowed only by persons of legal age. Legal consumption by students in on campus housing or their guests shall not interfere with the rights of other residents or cause the normal operation of residence halls/student housing to be disrupted.
  2. Consumption of alcohol is allowed within approved areas on campus property used or rented by University employees or external customers. Refer to formal approval process for guidelines.
  3. All other service or consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus property is prohibited unless approved through the formal approval process.

200.00 Approval Process and Expectations:

  1. Any request to serve alcohol at an on or off campus University sponsored event must go through the formal approval process. Requests must be submitted at least 20 days prior to the scheduled event to allow for sufficient time for all necessary approvals.
  2. Consumption shall be in connection with a substantive event, such as a banquet, official entertainment, reception and must be facilitated after business hours (5:00 pm). Alcohol will not be permitted at any undergraduate and/or graduate student event. 
  3. Non-alcoholic beverages and food must be made available at events where alcohol is served or sold.
  4. Approved beverages include beer and wine only.
  5. Any sale of alcohol must be by an authorized vendor holding a valid liquor license and catering endorsement. Sale of tickets to an event where complimentary alcohol is served will be considered a sale of alcohol.  The vendor must submit a copy of those documents to the Event Sponsor/Center for Engagement Event staff prior to the event.
  6. Consumption of alcohol by persons under age 21 is prohibited. A system must be implemented to ensure that alcohol is not available to under-age persons or to persons who appear to be intoxicated.  All sales and service shall be in compliance with Montana laws.
  7. Any person who is authorized to serve or sell alcohol who has reason to question the age of a person ordering alcohol must verify age by requesting a photo identification that proves the individual is over 21.
  8. Alcohol may only be served or consumed in approved locations and access to the event must be controlled by the Event sponsor.  University Police are notified of all events where alcohol will be served and may have an officer present during the event.  
  9. Service and consumption of alcohol must not exceed the duration of the event.
  10. No consumption of alcohol by persons selling or serving alcohol is permitted.
  11. 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.

300.00 Residence Halls and Family Housing

  1. The possession and consumption of alcohol is permitted in the privacy of a student's room or individual family housing unit, in accordance with applicable Montana State law (legal drinking age in Montana is 21). Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in hallways, lounges, and other public areas.
  2. Parties or activities involving large amounts of alcohol, as determined by residence hall policy, are prohibited in student rooms.
  3. Residence hall social funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  4. Incident reports involving Montana State University Billings students may be forwarded to the Dean of Students Office. MSUB disciplinary action will be considered and imposed as appropriate.

400.0 ASMSU Billings, Departmental and Other Registered Student Organizations

  1. ASMSUB, registered student organizations or any organized student group assembled independently or on behalf of Montana State University Billings or ASMSUB, will not be approved to serve alcohol on campus property.
  2. Any off-campus events organized and/or sponsored by a student organization or ASMSUB which is open to the public and at which alcohol will be served shall be subject to the requirements of this policy. Refer to formal approval process for guidelines.
  3. Organizational or ASMSUB funds may not be used to purchase alcohol.

500.00 University Events - Sports Facilities

Alcohol Concessions: Concession sales of alcoholic beverages will be contracted by MSU Billings to a private licensed vendor. Sales may begin no sooner than (1) hour prior to athletic events. Operations are subject to MSU Billings policies and state statutes.

600.00 External Groups Using University Facilities

  1. External groups who rent university facilities for an event must request approval to serve alcohol at the event through the formal approval process
  1. External groups sponsoring an approved event must adhere to Montana State law and University policies.

700.00 Exceptions

The following campus locations do not require the use of an exclusive alcohol vendor for events with fewer than twenty-five (25) guests but are required to be in compliance with Montana State Law and University policies:

  • Chancellor’s Residence
  • MSUB Foundation and Alumni Office

Events exceeding twenty-five (25) or more guests are required to have a licensed vendor or a staff member who has completed an alcohol server training program which has been approved by the Montana Department of Revenue. Programs approved are shown on the Department of Revenue Website.

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