Policy on Alcohol & Illegal Drugs

The Cooper Union strictly adheres to all local, state, and federal laws relating to the use or illegal manufacture of drugs and alcohol on its premises or at any college-sponsored event. Students who violate Cooper Union’s policies will be subject to disciplinary actions under A Code of Fair Practice.

On campus, students over the age of 21 may consume alcohol only in the context of official campus events where there is a security guard present to check I.D.’s. Alcohol may not be carried from the room in which it is served. Student groups recognized by the Joint Activities Committee who wish to apply for an alcohol permit must follow the Cooper Union procedures listed at the end of this section.

As a professional school that awards every student a full-tuition scholarship, The Cooper Union has historically attracted students who are serious about academic and artistic achievement and who have understood how substance addictions undermine academic performance. It is a goal of this institution to maintain an environment of academic seriousness.

The most immediate consequence of substance abuse at The Cooper Union is often a dismal academic performance, leading to academic dismissal. Long-term consequences of substance abuse can include major health problems, lowered employment prospects, and even an early demise.

Loss of a student to substance abuse not only blights the prospects of that individual to have a fulfilling career, but also deprives the community at The Cooper Union of that individual’s unique talents and contributions. To avoid such a loss, the institution is committed to providing assistance to students with substance abuse problems through appropriate education and referral.

New York State Law Regarding Alcohol

New York State has very strict laws about alcohol. Section 65 of the Alcohol Beverage Control Law states:

No person shall sell, deliver or give away or cause or permit to be sold, delivered, or given away any alcoholic beverages to:

  1. Any person, actually or apparently, under the age of twenty-one years;
  2. Any visibly intoxicated person;
  3. Any habitual drunk.

In addition, legislation enacted in November of 1991 specifies that a U.S. or Canadian drivers’ license or non-driver identification card, a valid passport, or an identification card issued by the United States Armed Forces must be used as written evidence of age for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. New York State law also prohibits the possession of alcoholic beverages with the intent to consume by a minor and makes it a crime to produce fraudulent proof of age. Students in possession of a phony identification card should know that the antiterrorism measures put in place by the New York City police department have improved the ability to detect fake ids and have resulted in several arrests.

New York State imposes liability on any person who serves alcohol illegally to a minor. This means if someone serves a minor alcohol, the person serving the alcohol can be sued for damages by anyone harmed by that minor, including the parents or family of the minor if the minor himself or herself suffers harm.

Procedures for use in The Serving of Alcoholic Beverages at Student Events Approved by The Joint Activities Committee

  1. The serving of hard liquor is not permitted at any college event involving students.
  2. Cooper Union has a New York State Liquor Authority permit for the serving of wine and beer at student events. Such serving will be limited to those persons at the legal age in New York State of 21 years. To facilitate quick identification of students of legal age at the point of service, a process of carding that requires the presentation of Cooper Union ID and an ID that complies with the 1991 New York State law will be carried out by a security guard available solely for that purpose and paid for by the sponsoring student club through allocated JAC funds. All student events must be approved by JAC. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
  3. Sponsors of JAC-approved events have primary responsibility for ensuring that only those of legal drinking age are served alcohol. Sponsors must include at least two persons 21 years of age or older, and they must sign the state required alcoholic beverage permit. Before authorization to hold an event can be given, all student sponsors must undergo a prior orientation with the Dean of Students or a designated representative of the Office of Student Services.
  4. Such events must include the serving of food, in sufficient amount for the numbers attending; and the displaying of a variety of non-alcoholic beverages must be featured as prominently as alcoholic beverages and dispensed in the same area.
  5. The promotion of alcohol in advertisements for events is not permitted. Other aspects of the event should be emphasized—such as entertainment, availability of food, etc.
  6. The serving of alcoholic beverages should be discontinued at approximately one hour before the end of the event.
  7. Event sponsors not only must refuse to serve alcoholic beverages to anyone appearing intoxicated, but also must provide appropriate assistance to such persons. Assistance may include, but is not limited to, providing safe transportation arrangements for intoxicated guests, and medical help.

Procedures for Serving Alcohol at Exhibitions

Students who wish to serve alcohol in connection with a student exhibition opening should consult the appropriate academic dean for the policies and procedures to follow, including ordering a guard. The following rules apply to all exhibitions where alcohol is served.

  1. The serving of hard liquor is not permitted.
  2. Alcohol service will be permitted at student receptions only when the student presenters are over 21 years of age. In the case of a group presentation the majority of students must be over 21.
  3. The Cooper Union has a New York State Liquor Authority permit for the serving of wine and beer at student events. Such serving will be limited to those persons who can prove attainment of the minimum legal drinking age in New York State of 21 years. To facilitate quick identification of students of legal age at the point of service, a process of carding that requires the presentation of a Cooper Union ID will be carried out by a security available solely for that purpose and paid for by the student exhibitors. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
  4. Such events must include the serving of food, in sufficient amount for the number attending, and the displaying of a variety of non-alcoholic beverages must be featured as prominently as alcoholic beverages and dispensed in the same area.
  5. The promotion of alcohol in advertisements for events is not permitted.
  6. Event sponsors must not only refuse to serve alcoholic beverages to anyone who appears intoxicated, but also must provide appropriate assistance to such persons. Assistance may include, but is not limited to, providing safe transportation arrangements for intoxicated guests and arranging for medical help.
  7. State law requires that a U.S. or Canadian driver’s license or non-driver identification card, a valid passport or an ID issued by the U.S. Armed Forces must be used as written evidence of age for procuring alcoholic beverages.
  8. The amount of alcohol permitted shall reflect the number of students over 21 years of age at the event, as approved by the dean, and in no case shall exceed 48 (12 oz.) cans or bottles of beer or 12 (750 ml.) bottles of wine.

Risks Associated With Substance Abuse

Risks are summarized here.

Federal Penalties for Illegal Trafficking of Controlled Substances

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, is a consolidation of numerous federal laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of controlled substances.

For additional details about federal illicit drug laws, download this PDF, and visit the following websites:

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency: www.dea.gov
Controlled Substances Act: www.usdoj.gov/dead/agency/csa.htm

Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988

Following the adoption of the Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, Cooper Union announced these policies for all employees:

Cooper Union intends to maintain a drugfree workplace. Drug or alcohol abuse in the workplace can result in serious mental and or physical harm to self and others, may be a violation of criminal laws and can impede or destroy the atmosphere of collegiality that is essential to the effective administering of the academic environment.

In compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, all members of the Cooper Union community are hereby notified that they are required to abide by all federal, state, and city laws and regulations concerning the sale or use of illegal drugs. The abuse of alcohol or other drugs on premises, or illegal manufacture, distribution, possession, or sale of any such controlled substance at Cooper Union is strictly prohibited.

Any employee found in violation of the prohibition will be subject to disciplinary action, including the possibility of immediate suspension or dismissal without reference and the jurisdiction of any applicable law enforcement agencies.

Any employee whose work performance is impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol will be considered a threat to the safety and well-being of him or herself and others and will be subject to immediate disciplinary action.

Cooper Union will make every effort to assist such an employee in locating and enrolling in an alcohol or drug abuse rehabilitation program. The successful continuation or completion of such a program may be a consideration in the severity of any other disciplinary actions the Cooper Union might pursue.

Any employee seeking assistance in finding drug or alcohol abuse counseling or rehabilitation may consult with his or her office administrator or designee. Such a consultation will be held in complete and strict confidence, except as necessary for the administrator or designee to direct the employee to a proper source for further assistance.

As a condition of employment, employees must abide by these policies, and if convicted of violating any criminal drug law must notify the Cooper Union within five days of the date of conviction.

Educational, Preventative, and Referral Sources

Students with concerns about drugs and alcohol should contact Student Services at 212.353.4130. In New York City, these organizations also offer help:

Hotlines

Alcoholism Council of New York
212.252.7001
800.56.sober
212.252.7021 Fax

Beth Israel Hospital Substance Abuse Information Center
212.420.2000
212.247.7180

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services substance abuse & Mental Health Service Administration
(National Drug & Alcohol treatment Referral service)
800.662.HELP

Gay Men’s Health Crisis
212.367.1000

 

Meeting Information

Alcoholics Anonymous 212.647.1680
Al-Anon Family Groups 212.941.0094
National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence 212.269.7797

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.