Use back arrow for previous page

Federal law site map

Federal Statute Home Page
Update--Governmental Failure to Enforce Failure to Enforce Federal Law to Protect Students-Confirmed-see IG Report-3/14/12


Federal Law aimed at altering campus alcohol culture

Executive Summary

  • A federal law has existed since 1989 which requires colleges and universities to seriously address underage and binge drinking practices on college campuses.  A summary of the law and the failure to enforce follows.
  • The first section of the act provides the Sense of the Congress which instructs colleges and universities work towards an environment which provides "maximum opportunities for students to live in an alcohol-free environment and to engage in stimulating, alcohol-free recreational and leisure activities."
  • The law establishes requirements as a condition for eligibility for Federal funding including any federally funded or guaranteed student loan program.  
  • Central to those requirements are:
    • Establishment of standards of conduct that clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students,
    • A clear statement that the institution will impose sanctions on students and employees (consistent with local, State, and Federal law), and a description of those sanctions,
    • A biennial review by the institution of the institutionís program to
      • Determine the programís effectiveness and implement changes to the program if the changes are needed; and
      • Ensure that the sanctions required are consistently enforced.
    • The institution must provide a certification of compliance that the above requirements are satisfied
  • Violations under the statute are cited by US Department of Education regulations to be:
o       Failure to adopt or implement its drug prevention program; or
    •     Consistently enforce its disciplinary sanctions for violations by students and employees of the standards of conduct
  • The law was initially passed in 1989
  • In the seventeen years since enactment, no sanctions have been issued by the US Department of Education
  • Furthermore, before the spring of 2007, no on-site compliance review has been conducted by the Department
  • The first such  review is now underway with respect to compliance at Paul Smith's College


Top of page  

Information on Federal Law addressing campus drinking

ACT NOW-Before Events Leave You With No Choice

Leave your comments on the CompelledToAct Blog


Concerned about the drinking culture on campuses?

This site provides information as to the seriousness of the problem.


In loving Memory of Kristine Guest