Policies + Disclosures

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Controlled Substances


The use, possession or distribution of any controlled substance or prescription drug not accompanied by a proper prescription is forbidden within the residence halls. Additionally, we do not permit any paraphernalia that could reasonably be expected to be used in relation to non-prescribed drug use. Violations of this regulation will result in confiscation, disciplinary action and, if appropriate, civil/criminal action. All items confiscated are destroyed. RISD offers no safe environment for, nor protection of, any individual subject to criminal investigation, and cooperates fully with local authorities.


Rhode Island state law and college policy forbid the possession or consumption of alcohol by individuals under the age of 21. It also prohibits individuals of legal age from supplying alcohol to minors. For students who are 21 years of age or older, alcohol consumption in the residence halls is permitted within certain guidelines and stipulations as outlined below.

The spirit of the alcohol policy strives to permit acceptable, responsible use of alcohol by students of legal age who choose to do so. Students are reminded that consistent or excessive use of alcohol, even without contributing to other behavioral problems, is not acceptable. In support of this position, collections or displays of empty alcohol containers are not allowed.

No alcohol is permitted in any of the First-Year Residence Halls (Homer, Nickerson, East and South Halls, Carpenter and Pardon Miller Houses). Also, containers that could reasonably be expected to contain alcohol, such as kegs, or alcohol bottles or cans, are not permitted, even if empty.

Guidelines for Alcohol Use in Upperclass Housing

• Students of legal drinking age may possess and consume alcohol subject to other guidelines contained herein. Alcohol may only be consumed within the private room, apartment, suite or loft of the student who is of legal drinking age. Alcohol may not be consumed in any lounges, hallways or other areas accessible to all residents of the building.

• No alcohol may be sold in a residence hall at any time. Also, no brewing, fermenting or distillation to produce any type of alcohol is permissible.

• No student may possess more than two liters of wine, or one liter of spirits, or a dozen 16 oz. bottles or cans of beer, cider, or similar alcoholic beverage. No kegs, beer balls or similar items are allowed.

• Parties for “of age” students where alcohol is served may be permitted with prior approval from the Director of Residence Life. If students younger than 21 will be present, no alcohol is allowed under any circumstances. A party is defined as any gathering of more than six people.

Violations of Policy

In instances when misconduct occurs, being under the influence of controlled substances is not a mitigating factor or excuse when judging responsibility and determining consequences. Consequences for residents who violate RISD’s controlled substance policies include parental notification when deemed appropriate. Serious or repeated violations may also result in relocation within, or removal from, RISD housing or suspension or dismissal from the college.

As provided in RISD’s Good Samaritan Policy, students who voluntarily and proactively seek help for their own use of such substances or for that of others ordinarily will not be charged for such use under the controlled substances provision of the Code of Student Conduct.


Graduates let loose at the close of RISD's colorful outdoor Commencement.