Substance Use

Frequently Asked Questions

Is NDSU a dry campus?

Absolutely. North Dakota State University seriously cares about you and your ability to succeed at college. Statistics show that students who drink in high-risk ways are more likely to experience harm or put others at risk. Besides that, for a large portion of NDSU's students who are underage, drinking and possession is illegal. For those 21 years and older, supplying or selling alcohol to minors is illegal. That's the law. 

For that reason, the State Board of Higher Education and NDSU prohibit the possession, sale, dispensation or consumption of alcohol on board-owned property. 

Does drinking really affect my academics?

According to a national study conducted at four-year colleges and universities by Henry Wechsler of the Harvard School of Public Health it was found that, nearly one-third of high-risk drinkers had missed class and 21 percent had fallen behind in their school work because of their drinking. 

Among frequent high-risk drinkers (students who had engaged in high-risk drinking three or more times in the previous two weeks) over 60 percent had missed class and 46 percent had fallen behind in school because of their drinking.

Also, a national survey of nearly 94,000 students from 197 colleges and universities conducted over a three year period found in the third year that students with an 'A' average consume a little more than 4 drinks per week, 'B' students have 6 drinks per week, 'C' students average almost 8 drinks per week, and students with 'D's or 'F's consume almost 10 drinks per week. 

For more information on this please see the College Academic Performance and Alcohol and Other Drug Use fact sheet.

Don't all college students drink?

While movies and tv shows have promoted the idea that college students get drunk constantly, don't be fooled. Binge-drinking is less common on college campuses than you might think.

  • According to a survey conducted on the NDSU campus in 2016, 17% of NDSU students abstain from drinking completely.
  • The survey also showed 31% percent of NDSU students under 21 years of age do not drink at all and 39% have not used alcohol in the last 30 days.
  • 95% of NDSU students say alcohol is NOT necessary to have a good time.

Not all students want to be involved in drinking in high risk ways; many students at NDSU don't even drink at all. Just know this: Should you choose not to drink, you are not alone.

What is high-risk drinking?

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion advises moderate drinking (no more than 1 standard drink per day for women and no more than 2 standard drinks per day for men) should you choose to consume. Excessive drinking can lead to short- and long-term health consequences. Excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking:

  • For women, 4 or more drinks consumed on one occasion.
  • For men, 5 or more drinks consumed on one occasion.

For more information about Alcohol Use and Your Health, visit the CDC - Alcohol and Public Health.

What is Alcohol Poisoning or Alcohol Overdose? What are the symptoms?

The dangers of Acute Alcohol Intoxication, more commonly known as Alcohol Poisoning or Alcohol Overdose, are real and can happen anywhere. Your awareness and knowledge about the signs and symptoms could mean life or death to a person you care about.

If you discover any of the below symptoms, call 9-1-1 or NDSU campus police at 231-8998.
Only one of the symptoms is reason enough to call 9-1-1.

  • Try to wake them up. Call their name, shake them, pinch them. If they do not respond - GET HELP!
  • Check the person's skin. If his/her skin is pale or is cold or is clammy - GET HELP!
  • Listen to their breathing. If it is irregular, or too slow/shallow (less than 8 breaths per minute or more than 10 seconds between breaths) - GET HELP!
  • Stay with the person while waiting for help to arrive, don't ever just let them 'sleep it off'. If their breathing stops, perform CPR.
  • Turn the person on his/her side to prevent choking.

Better SAFE than SORRY.
When in doubt, call 9-1-1.

If I call 911 for help, but I am underage and have also been drinking, am I going to get in trouble?

The state of North Dakota has information about this in their Century Code, it states: 

"An individual under twenty-one years of age is immune from criminal prosecution under this section if that individual contacted law enforcement or emergency medical services and reported that another individual under twenty-one years of age was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption, provided assistance to the individual in need of medical assistance until assistance arrived and remained on the scene, or was the individual in need of medical assistance and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene. The maximum number of individuals that may be immune for any one occurrence is five individuals." 

You can find more information here: ND legislative website.

At NDSU we have the Good Samaritan Responsibilities to uphold. As stated in the NDSU Rights and Responsibilities of Community: A Code of Student Behavior,

"All students are expected to protect the well-being of fellow students and others wherever events occur. If a person needs emergency medical attention, particularly resulting from the use of alcohol or other drugs, students are expected to call an ambulance or other appropriate emergency response personnel (ambulance, police, fire, etc.) to gain that assistance."

NDSU policy and ND law work together in making sure nothing gets in the way of seeking medical attention when it is needed and to point out that there should be no reason not to call 9-1-1.

What happens if I get caught violating the NDSU Alcohol and Other Drugs policy?

Students and student groups who violate university policy on alcohol or other drugs either on or off campus are subject to penalties, depending on the severity of the violation and previous history of drug and alcohol use. 
Sanctions, determined on a case-by-case basis, may include:

  • Alcohol education class
  • Written reflection
  • Restitution
  • Restricted access to university facilities
  • Loss of privileges
  • Probation
  • Suspension and/or expulsion from the university. 

You should be aware that, if you are under 21, your parents may be contacted without your consent by an NDSU official. On top of NDSU penalties, you could face local, state and federal charges involving the possession or sale of controlled substances. Municipal court fines and fees may exceed $500 for first-time alcohol-related violations, minor-in-possession or consumption charges.

Policy 155 - Alcohol and Other Drugs - Unlawful and Unauthorized Use by Students and Employees

Top of page