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Alcohol and Drug Control Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) All members of the University community are responsible for protecting their work, academic and social environment by exemplifying high standards of professional and personal conduct. Persons who are impaired by alcohol or drugs at work or study can jeopardise their own and others' health and welfare, compromise their ability to perform their duties, and impact on the University's reputation.

(2) This policy provides the University's framework, consistent with legislative requirements, for the responsible distribution and consumption of alcohol and other drugs and sets out overarching requirements for securing, managing and using Schedule 4 and 8 Drugs in research and teaching activities.

(3) The policy has been developed with a view to harm minimisation and ensuring a safe environment for all who visit the University, and covers alcohol, over the counter and prescription medicines, tobacco and illegal drugs.

(4) The policy applies to:

  1. any person when:
    1. attending a University campus or facility (owned or leased);
    2. using University equipment (owned or leased);
    3. attending a University event, function or activity;
    4. attending any student association's event, function or activity;
    5. participating in any activity as a representative of the University (e.g. field trips, inter-University events, conferences);
  2. individuals and groups who engage in the service of alcohol on the University's premises or at a University event.

(5) Students in residence are covered by requirements stipulated by Western Sydney University Village as well as the provisions of this policy.

(6) The University urges students, staff and visitors to abide by the laws of other countries when travelling overseas and comply with requirements related to alcohol and other drugs when travelling as a representative of the University.

(7) The policy should be read in conjunction with the Scheduled Drugs and Poisons Management Procedure, Code of Conduct, Student Code of Conduct, Work Health and Safety Policy, Smoke-Free Environment Policy and Employee Assistance Program.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(8) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Schedule 4 drugs means prescribed restricted substances as per the schedule maintained by Pharmaceutical Services.
  2. Schedule 8 drugs means drugs of addiction as per the schedule maintained by Pharmaceutical Services.
  3. Staff means all University employees and includes contract and agency staff, associates and affiliates.
  4. Student Association means any student representative body, council, association, club, collective or society.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(9) The University is committed to:

  1. providing a safe and healthy work and learning environment;
  2. promoting a responsible attitude towards the use of alcohol and other drugs;
  3. respecting individual and cultural differences towards the consumption of alcohol;
  4. minimising alcohol and other drug related harm to the University community, University property and the University's reputation;
  5. meeting its legal responsibilities in relation to the sale and consumption of alcohol on University premises or at University events; and
  6. supporting students and staff through its counselling services and Employee Assistance Program.

(10) The University expects all students, staff and visitors to:

  1. act responsibly in the management and consumption of alcohol and other drugs;
  2. undertake the serving of alcohol and the consumption of alcohol and other drugs in accordance with any legal requirements and in a manner that respects cultural, social and individual differences, preferences and choices.

(11) Staff are expected to be free of the influence of legal and illegal substances that may impact their judgement and ability to perform their functions when on duty.

(12) The University does not tolerate the illegal possession, cultivation, distribution or consumption of any drug on University premises, when using University equipment, attending a University or student association event, function or activity, participating in any activity as a representative of the University, or engaging in the service of alcohol on the University's premises or at a University event.

(13) The University does not condone harassment or other unlawful behaviour that may result from the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Alcohol

Consumption

(14) The consumption of alcoholic beverages at University activities and venues must be managed responsibly in accordance with this policy, and state and federal law.

(15) The University's Code of Conduct also demands a responsible approach to the consumption of alcohol.

(16) Responsible management of consumption in the University context requires individuals to:

  1. limit their consumption of alcoholic beverages to appropriate occasions/activities;
  2. limit their consumption of alcohol to a level that does not impede or adversely affect their capacity or behaviour (or the capacity of others) in fulfilling their obligations while at or representing the University;
  3. comply with the reasonable instructions of those responsible for the service of alcohol and/or University employees;
  4. not encourage others to engage in the irresponsible consumption of alcohol; and
  5. consume alcohol only in the area/perimeter designated for an event.

(17) Individuals are not to consume alcohol:

  1. when they are under 18 years of age;
  2. where the consumption is likely to result in a subsequent breach of state or federal law. For example, consuming sufficient alcohol to raise their blood alcohol level above legal permissible driver blood alcohol limits where they intend to drive.

(18) For certain staff positions, the University:

  1. may restrict the consumption of alcohol, having regard to the requirements of the position,* including:
    1. nil consumption permitted whilst on duty;
    2. nil consumption permitted for a designated period prior to the commencement of duty; and
  2. will incorporate specific conditions in relation to the consumption of alcohol into the relevant position description where necessary, and will revise those requirements from time to time.
* Such as where a staff member is required to hold a NSW Security Licence and/or engage in activities that are inherently dangerous.

(19) Staff, students and visitors are not to consume alcohol during or prior to participating in any activity that is inherently hazardous or likely to become hazardous as a result of the consumption of alcohol, including:

  1. handling dangerous goods;
  2. operating University vehicles or controlling heavy machinery or equipment;
  3. undertaking electrical maintenance work;
  4. working at heights or in confined spaces.

Alcohol Free Zones

(20) Students must not bring alcohol onto University premises, except on-campus residents who provide alcohol for consumption within their personal student residence in accordance with this policy, the requirements of Western Sydney University Village, and state and federal law.

(21) The following staff may determine an area or event covered by this policy is an Alcohol Free Zone either temporarily or permanently:

  1. for temporary determinations - a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President, Campus Provost, the Executive Director, Estate and Commercial or the Director, Campus Safety and Security;
  2. for permanent alcohol free zones - the Executive Director, Estate and Commercial.

(22) Relevant staff are to ensure all determinations of alcohol free zones are reported to the Executive Director, Estate and Commercial.

(23) No person is to consume or publicly display alcohol in an Alcohol Free Zone.

(24) The Executive Director, Estate and Commercial will:

  1. ensure Permanent Alcohol Free Zones are clearly identified with appropriate signage; and
  2. notify any licensee on the relevant campus of the determination of an Alcohol Free Zone.

Service of Alcohol

Responsible Service of Alcohol

(25) The University's Responsible Service of Alcohol Provisions set out specific requirements governing the promotion and service of alcohol. The provisions must be adhered to at all times where alcohol is involved in a promotional activity or where it is intended to be served to members of the University community on a complimentary or retail basis.

Complimentary Service of Alcohol

(26) Alcohol may be supplied on a complimentary basis from time to time at various University events, functions and activities (i.e. free of charge and where an entry fee is not charged). The event organiser is responsible for:

  1. ensuring the service of alcohol is managed in accordance with the University's Responsible Service of Alcohol Provisions; and
  2. liaising with Campus Safety and Security to determine if any security arrangements will be required.

Sale of Alcohol

(27) Alcohol may only be sold on campus through authorised campus outlets where the licensee holds a current liquor licence and University Occupier's Licence.

(28) The sale of alcohol on campus must be managed in accordance with the requirements in:

  1. legislation;
  2. the relevant liquor licence;
  3. the University's Occupier's Licence;
  4. the Responsible Service of Alcohol Provisions;
  5. this policy;
  6. the relevant venue's House Policy; and
  7. the University's Emergency Procedures.

(29) Alcohol is taken to be part of a sale, and must be undertaken in accordance with an appropriate Liquor Licence, where tickets are sold to an event and alcohol is provided at the event, alcohol is included in the price of a ticket to an event, a donation is required to enter an event, or a person's attendance is covered by membership fees.

(30) Where alcohol is to be sold on campus, the licensee must ensure an adequate number of appropriately licensed and uniformed security personnel are engaged and on hand to manage the patrons, having due regard for the number of patrons, the venue and the nature of the event.

Licences

(31) On-campus student residents who provide alcohol for consumption within their personal residence are not required to have an Occupier's Licence.

(32) The Executive Director, Estate and Commercial is authorised to sign licensing applications (to the Licensing Court) and Occupier's Licences on behalf of the University. The Occupier's Licence must be in the form approved by the University Secretary and General Counsel.

(33) To obtain a Liquor Licence for an event, the relevant person must:

  1. submit a licensing application to the Executive Director, Estate and Commercial to endorse;
  2. submit the application to the Licensing Court;
  3. provide two signed copies of the Occupier's Licence to the Executive Director, Estate and Commercial to sign on behalf of the University, if approved. One copy will be retained by the University and the other by the applicant; and
  4. when the Licensing Court has dealt with the licensing application, provide the Executive Director, Estate and Commercial with a copy of the determination.

(34) A licensee of licensed premises within the University must participate in any local liquor accord or local licensing committee.

(35) Licensees must comply with all relevant provisions under the Liquor Act 2007 (NSW) and their Liquor Licence. This will include harm minimisation and the University's Responsible Service of Alcohol Provisions.

(36) Failure to comply with these requirements will be dealt with under the provisions of the Occupier's Licence.

Part B - Drugs

Illegal Drugs

(37) The University will report all illegal activity, including the consumption, possession or distribution of illegal substances, and any implement that might be used in the manufacture, growing, sale or distribution of drugs, to the appropriate authorities (e.g. the police).

Prescription and Over the Counter Medications

(38) The University acknowledges that some members of its community may, from time to time, consume over the counter and prescription medicines and/or may require on-going medication for their health management while at or prior to attending the University or participating in a University activity.

(39) To protect themselves and other members of the University community, staff, students and others must manage the consumption of prescription and over the counter medications responsibly, which includes:

  1. adhering to professional medical advice and instructions regarding the consumption of medications and potential side effects;
  2. taking appropriate steps to avoid potential harm to the individual or other members of the community, such as:
    1. taking a leave of absence where the medication impedes the capacity to perform appropriately; or
    2. discussing other options (e.g. short-term change of duties) with a supervisor; and
  3. disposing of any needles, syringes and similar equipment in appropriate sharps containers.

(40) Supervisors of staff and students are to provide reasonable accommodation to individuals who are required to consume prescription and over the counter medication.

(41) While the University respects the individual's right to choice, for health and legal reasons it strongly recommends members of its community refrain from consuming any medication provided by another member of the University community or offering medication to other community members.

Schedule 4 and 8 Drugs

(42) Schedule 4 and 8 drugs, used in certain research and teaching activities the University conducts, must be obtained, secured, utilised and managed in strict compliance with the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 (NSW), requirements of NSW Health, and the University's Scheduled Drugs and Poisons Management Procedure.

Tobacco

(43) Staff, students and visitors must comply with legislative requirements governing the production, distribution and consumption of tobacco and tobacco products (e.g. smokes, cigarettes, cigars, pipes).

(44) When on campus, individuals must abide by the Smoke-Free Environment Policy and have due regard for the health and safety of members of the University community.

Part C - Work Health and Safety

General Requirements

(45) Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), the University must ensure workplaces under its control are properly maintained and remain safe.

(46) The Senior Campus Security Officer on duty on the relevant campus or the Director, Campus Safety and Security may close any event or function and/or cease the trade of alcohol where a licensee, the temporary function licence holder or the designated coordinator of the particular event or function, does not comply with the Responsible Service of Alcohol Provisions, or where the University's duty of care is being placed at risk.

Intervention

(47) To meet its legal responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the University expects each person on University property or acting within the University's jurisdiction will at all times:

  1. act reasonably and responsibly;
  2. adhere to any requests that are made in the interests of preventing harm and minimising risk; and
  3. in the event of an emergency, follow any reasonable directions given under the University's Emergency Preparedness Procedures, or the emergency procedures of the relevant establishment where attending an off-campus event.

(48) The University reserves the right to ask any person who does not act reasonably in such circumstances to remove themselves from University property or from any University activity/event. Should a person refuse such a request, the University may call for any assistance it deems appropriate in the circumstances.

Support

(49) Staff and students in need of professional assistance, counselling or support regarding alcohol or other drugs may obtain confidential counselling and support through the University's Employee Assistance Program and Student Welfare Service, respectively, and staff and students are encouraged to use these services.

(50) The University will, as far as practicable, respect the rights of staff and students to privacy and confidentiality in relation to obtaining one of these services having regard to the University's duty to maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment.

Part D - Emergency Procedures

(51) To effectively manage emergency situations involving the consumption of alcohol or other drugs, the University expects:

  1. members of the University community will familiarise themselves with the University's emergency procedures;
  2. persons in control of liquor outlets are fully conversant with the University's emergency preparedness program and are able to implement the emergency management plan, which may include contacting Campus Safety and Security (Emergency Response Personnel) or external emergency services as necessary on the numbers in the table below.

(52) Persons using a University ground line as part of an emergency response, must dial zero for an outside line before dialling the external emergency services number.

Service Phone Extension
Security 1300 737 003 2300
Police 000 0 000
Fire 000 0 000
Ambulance 000 0 000

Part E - Breaches of this policy

(53) Any student or staff member who contravenes the requirements of this policy or relevant legislation, or the Code of Conduct or Student Code of Conduct, as relevant, may be subject to internal and/or external disciplinary proceedings, in accordance with the applicable employment agreement in the case of staff members, and in accordance with the Student Misconduct Rule in the case of students.

(54) A breach of this policy includes:

  1. failure to follow the reasonable directions of those responsible for the service of alcohol or of University employees (particularly security officers);
  2. any subsequent action that directly or indirectly undermines the intent of such directions;
  3. any action intended to impede an individual's right to choose not to consume alcohol or other drugs (e.g. by spiking drinks with alcohol or drugs, applying persistent or undue pressure).

(55) The University reserves the right to remove any individual from its premises or from any University activity/event, for failure to comply with its policies or the reasonable directions of its employees.

(56) The University may take civil action to recover any damages to University property caused by a breach of this policy.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(57) Individuals can refer to the following University policies and/or units for additional information/guidance:

  1. Disability Policy
  2. Assessment Policy - Criteria and Standards-Based Assessment
  3. Examinations Policy
  4. Graduation Policy
  5. Progression and Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Policy
  6. Equity and Diversity Unit
  7. Counselling Service
  8. Disability Service
  9. Student Welfare Service.

(58) Further guidance is available from:

  1. the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol
  2. the Australian Standard Drink website
  3. the University's Responsible Service of Alcohol Provisions.