CONSEQUENCES OF STUDENT ALCOHOL MISUSE AT UW-MADISON
Depending on factors such as the student’s behavior, level of impairment and degree of disruption to themselves or others, a student may experience one or more of the following consequences as a result of consuming alcohol:
The Office of Student Conduct and Community (OSCCS), a department in Student Affairs, administers the disciplinary process outlined in Chapter 17 of the UW System Administrative Code, and applies to the behavior of a university student, whether on or off campus. OSCCS staff talk with several hundred students each year about alcohol use or abuse, as well as the behaviors that often accompany irresponsible alcohol consumption.
If a student is arrested or cited for possession of alcohol or is found to have consumed alcohol in an illegal, unsafe and/or irresponsible manner — particularly on university property —it may be a violation of the University of Wisconsin System Administrative Code, and may be referred to the OSCCS. Students who harass, intimidate, or assault another student while using alcohol may also be referred to OSCCS for violating the Administrative Code.
While one violation of this nature may result in a warning or written reprimand, multiple violations or first violations with other dangerous behavior could result in disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion from the university or dismissal from University Housing. These more serious disciplinary sanctions are recorded on a student’s transcript and can be viewed by potential graduate programs or employers. The Division of Student Life wants all students to have a Wisconsin Experience free from the negative impacts of alcohol and will take all appropriate actions to address alcohol misuse.
Detailed information about student sanctions can be found here.
Excessive alcohol use can lead to serious medical consequences, including injuries from falls and traffic accidents, frostbite and hypothermia, and death from alcohol poisoning. When UW Police or Madison Police officers encounter a student who is nonresponsive, disoriented and unable to answer simple questions or otherwise determined to pose a risk to themselves, the officers may transport the student to a detoxification facility or hospital for medical monitoring.
When the OSCCS is notified a student was transported for alcohol incapacitation, we will reach out to that student to encourage them to meet with someone from that office and alert them to the non-academic misconduct process.
Citations for underage drinking, possession of a fake ID, and other alcohol-related violations may be issued by the University of Wisconsin Police Department (UWPD) or the City of Madison Police Department (MPD). In both cases, they have the full force of law. Fines must be paid and court-ordered sanctions must be fulfilled.
The OSCCS regularly receives notification from both the UWPD and MPD of students who receive alcohol-related citations.
Be aware alcohol is often a contributing factor in other crimes, including vandalism, disorderly conduct, robbery, assault and battery, driving while intoxicated, and sexual assault. Reduce your chances of becoming a perpetrator or victim of such crimes by using alcohol in a moderate and responsible manner.
The OSCCS or University Housing may, when in the best interest of the student, contact a parent or guardian to enlist their assistance in addressing behaviors of concern if a:
- Student’s conduct posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the campus community.
- Example: A student was transported to a detox facility or hospital due to alcohol incapacitation or drug overdose.
- Student (under 21 years old) has a disciplinary sanction of disciplinary probation imposed for alcohol or other drug-related nonacademic misconduct.