Drug Policy

It has also become increasingly evident that the routes to assistance for students with drug-related problems at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges are unclear and often misunderstood.  This document attempts to clarify the kinds of resources available in the bi-college community, as well as to define the Colleges’ policy on drugs.  The Colleges are neither law enforcement agencies nor sanctuaries from the larger society and its laws.  The drug policy, therefore, in conjunction with planned educational activities and support services, is designed to achieve the following goals:

  1. To remind students that the Social Honor Codes, the federal laws and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania do apply to their behavior with respect to the use of drugs;
  2. To stress individual accountability for those who choose to use illegal drugs;
  3. To maintain a bi-college community where the harmful effects of drug use can be minimized;
  4. To inform the members of the bi-college community of the availability of confidential and effective guidance and resources for those with questions and concerns related to drug use, dependence and abuse;
  5. To encourage all members of the bi-college community to become familiar with the physiological, psychological and legal aspects of drug use, dependence and abuse.

All members of the bi-college community are expected to be familiar with and abide by the principles of the Drug Policy.  This policy stresses prevention and concern;  it charges the community with the responsibility for drug education, intervention and heightened awareness of campus resources for dealing with drug problems.  It also asks us to consider the relationship between the individual and the community, and the question of responsibility to one’s peers.  In many cases, choosing not to intervene in another person’s abuse of drugs is not a neutral position.   By not interfering, we become “an enabler”.  In claiming to allow abusers their individual freedom of choice, we may in fact be limiting their choices by reinforcing their attitudes and behavior.  In summary, we have a responsibility not to withdraw from the community either by abusing drugs or by ignoring the abuse of drugs.

Pennsylvania State Law
Narcotics violations are felonies under Pennsylvania law, and the penalties are severe.  Pennsylvania’s version of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act (a model act which the various states have incorporated into their own codes under different names) is called the “Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act”.  It was originally passed in 1972 and subsequently amended.

The Act, 35 PaC.S. 780 101 et seq., has a schedule of controlled substances and prohibits the sale, use, possession, administering, making, concealing, giving and delivering of the named controlled substances.  The Act includes as prohibited and controlled substances marijuana, hashish, cocaine, heroin, opiates, PCP, LSD and other psychedelics, amphetamines, tranquilizers and virtually any form of “street drug”.  Copies of this act are available at the Reserve Desk of Canaday and Magill Libraries, and in the Dean’s Offices of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges.


  1.  The illegal possession, use, sale, or distribution of drugs is in violation of the law, and the Colleges will not protect students from prosecution under federal, state, or local law.
  2. Students have the responsibility to confront and/or intervene on the behalf of individuals whose use of drugs or actions under the influence of drugs presents a danger to themselves and/or to the community at large.
  3. The Colleges as educational institutions, being concerned about the harmful effects of the illegal use, possession, sale, or distribution of drugs on the individual, and on the integrity, safety and security of this academic community, do not condone the illegal use, possession, sale, or distribution of drugs.  The administrations of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges reserve the right to act when they have reason to believe that involvement with drugs is having an adverse effect upon the life and/or academic performance of students or adversely affects or legally implicates others in the academic community.  College action may take such forms as education, counseling, referral to outside agencies, separation, or exclusion, depending on the situation.

Procedures: A student’s response to a violation of the bi-college drug policy should be governed, first of all, by the care and concern for other individuals which are embodied in the Social Honor Codes.  The following guidelines are not meant to cover all situations.  They are intended, instead, to remind students of the variety of resources available and to reassure them about the consequences of seeking help. When a student is concerned about another student’s drug use and its self-destructive potential, he or she should express his or her concern and, if appropriate, encourage that student to seek confidential help from one of the counselors, nurses, or physicians on either campus or from a professional off-campus.  If confrontation does not seem appropriate or proves ineffective, the concerned individuals should turn to one of the peer educators, a counselor, or dean for advice on how to intervene and help.  Advice may be sought without revealing the identity of the student needing help, if that seems best. If a student’s behavior as a result of drug use has disturbed or harmed other individuals or the community in a more general sense, the behavior itself should be dealt with through the usual Honor Code procedure at the appropriate college, beginning with confrontation.  If mediation is necessary, the members of the Bryn Mawr Honor Board or the Haverford Honor Council should be consulted.  The drug use which may have caused the behavior should not be viewed as an excuse, but as a second problem for which the individual may be encouraged to seek help from a professional counselor.  In cases where the Honor Council or Board is asked to intervene, they will deal with the specific behavior which has been brought to them and may recommend that the individual go to a counselor for evaluation and help with any underlying substance abuse.  Problems with behavior related to drug use which involve Bryn Mawr graduate students or special students who are not bound by the social Honor Code should be referred to the Dean of the Graduate School or the Director of the Division of Special Academic Programs if they cannot be resolved by the individual concerned. If an individual’s involvement with drugs is such that it, or behavior associated with it, is violent or life-threatening, it should be brought to the attention of a dean or college physician without delay by any member of the community who becomes aware of the situation.  Thus, a counselor, peer educator, dean, physician or an Honor Board/Council member who was working with a student or any aspect of his or her involvement with drugs would, as in any other life-threatening situation, feel bound to report the problem to the Dean of the appropriate college when the potential for violence or loss of life requires immediate administrative action. Some cases, such as drug sale and distribution, may not present immediate danger to life but may have legal implications which are administrative concerns.  In these situations, joint action by the Dean and the Honor Board/Council may be necessary.

For additional information about alcohol and other drugs, including resources available to Haverford students and the effects of alcohol and drug use, see: