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Document outlines MIT alcohol/drug policy

MIT's updated policies on drug and alcohol abuse are detailed in Policies and Procedures (Section 9.3.2 and 9.3.3), which may be accessed electronically at <>

The excerpt below is taken from the section titled "Relations and Responsibilities Within the MIT Community."


MIT observes all laws and regulations governing the sale, purchase, and serving of alcoholic beverages by all members of its community and expects that these laws will be adhered to at all events associated with the Institute. This includes activities on the MIT campus, in MIT independent living groups, and at off-campus functions sponsored and supported by MIT or any of its affiliated groups.

The Institute does not intend through its guidelines or policies to restrict the responsible use of alcohol by members of the MIT community who are at or above the legal drinking age. Efforts, however, to observe existing laws and regulations in an environment in which the majority of the undergraduate student body is not of drinking age will almost certainly impose some constraints on those who are of age.

No alcoholic beverages may be served or consumed in any work area of the Institute at any time, except in Institute dining areas or at official Institute functions when expressly authorized by a member of the Faculty Council or the Administrative Council. All student events with alcohol must be registered through the Residence and Campus Activities Office. All non-student events with alcohol must be registered through the Conference Services Office. Violations of this policy may be grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.


The unlawful use, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale or possession of any illegal drug is prohibited in any work area of MIT at any time. Violations of this policy may be grounds for serious disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

The use of illegal drugs in the workplace can obviously affect the work of the drug user, and it can also affect those who work or study with the drug user. Problems arising from drug abuse can be successfully handled in a majority of cases, provided they are recognized in the early stages and referral is made to the appropriate source.

The federal government requires that each employee directly engaged in the performance of work under a federal grant or contract must a) be provided with a copy of a statement describing the employer's policy, and b) be notified that, as a condition of employment on that grant or contract, the employee will abide by the terms of the policy and will notify the employer if he or she is convicted of any criminal drug statute violation in the workplace no later than five days after such a conviction.

All individuals subject to the federal requirements should report to their employer any conviction, and the employer, in turn, is required to notify the awarding federal agencies of any convictions. At MIT, notification of the federal agencies will be made by the Office of Sponsored Programs. Department heads and other supervisors, in consultation with the Personnel Office, will have the responsibility for any disciplinary action, or for requiring offenders to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug treatment program, or both.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 1, 1997.

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