Statement of Context

As a women’s residential college within The University of Queensland, Grace College is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all residents, staff, contractors, voluntary workers and visitors to the College. This commitment extends to its activities as a function and conference venue for the purposes of supporting its core activities.

In this commitment to a safe and healthy environment, Grace College actively:

  • encourages behaviours and actions which promote respect and consideration towards all persons associated with the College including residents, staff, contractors, voluntary workers and visitors, as well as the community and the environment in which the College is located; and
  • discourages behaviours and actions that do not produce a positive, safe and respectful work, study and living environment.

The College recognises that:

  • the cohort for which it primarily caters (young women 16 to 23 years) are potentially high risk-takers, particularly in relation to the use of alcohol and other drugs;
  • the provision of alcohol and cigarettes to persons under 18 years of age is illegal except if supplied by a parent or legal guardian, a status which neither the College nor any member of staff holds for our residents;
  • the use, possession, cultivation or trafficking of certain drugs is illegal;
  • the misuse and abuse of drugs of any kind is harmful to individual health and community wellbeing.

This Alcohol & Drug Policy forms part of the College’s Risk Management Plan and Work Healthy, Safety and Environmental Policy. It is disseminated via Resident and Staff Handbooks, the College website, and Resident and Staff Induction Programs.

 

Objectives

In the development and implementation of this policy, the College seeks to:

  • provide a work, education and residential environment that is free from alcohol, tobacco or other drug related harm;
  • minimise the risks associated with any such harm;
  • encourage and promote moderation and responsible attitudes towards the use of alcohol in the college community;
  • provide a smoke-free work, education and residential environment; and
  • uphold a no-tolerance policy in relation to the use, possession, cultivation or trafficking of illicit drugs;
  • ensure that appropriate resources are available for education and action in relation to this policy, alcohol, drug and tobacco use, and associated issues, including referral processes and counselling services for addressing issues;
  • enhance the communal, collegial and caring focus of the College as a community.

General Principles

  1. All persons associated with the College including staff, residents, contractors, volunteers and visitors should observe local, state and federal laws in relation to using, possessing, giving or selling alcohol and/or other drugs.
  2. All persons associated with the College including staff, residents, contractors, volunteers and visitors have obligations to comply with work health and safety legislation, policies and procedures to which this policy is related.
  3. Unlawful, inappropriate and irresponsible use of alcohol and other drugs can have negative impacts on judgement, academic performance, health, personal relationships, and safety—both of the user and those around them. It may also result in damage to property and equipment, disruption of College operations, and a negative effect on individual and corporate reputations.
  4. All members of staff, contractors and voluntary workers should not be affected by alcohol or other drugs while conducting College business except as medically prescribed.
  5. The staff and residents of the College are responsible for ensuring that other staff, contractors, residents or visitors under their direct supervision comply with this policy.
  6. College staff will intervene when drug and/or alcohol related behaviours cause harm, or have the potential to cause harm, to individuals, the College community, property and equipment, College operations and/or reputation.
  7. Intervention may include but is not limited to one or more of the following:
    • informal caution or warning including counselling about behaviour;
    • fines for behaviours contravening the rules of the College;
    • official written warning indicating behavioural requirements, and the consequences of further non-compliance;
    • referral to a counselling service;
    • voluntary participation in an education or treatment program;
    • request for reimbursement for damage caused;
    • request to Student Club to remove a leader from her role;
    • banning from participation in certain College events;
    • suspension or dismissal as a staff member;
    • expulsion from the College as a resident;
    • termination of services as a Contractor;
    • referral of the matter to the police;
    • legal action to recoup costs of any damage caused.

Alcohol

Context

The cohort of young women (generally aged 16 to 23 years) catered for by the College in its normal operations are recognised as potentially high risk-takers in relation to alcohol use. Where young women exhibit high-risk or “immature” drinking behaviour, it is also recognised that they are generally in transition to low-risk or “mature” drinking behaviour. Within this age group, a significant cohort of “reluctant” drinkers have been identified who want to drink less but need to identify a path to achieve this aim. Research has identified that a key strategy with this age group is empowering young women to make their own decisions about their drinking, not simply in the context of one evening out, but as a part of a whole of life approach. Such a strategy will promote the validity of saying “no thanks” when the young women want to do so, and the benefits of limited or reduced drinking. (2008 Report of the Chief Health Officer, Qld Health http://www.health.qld.gov.au/cho_report/2008/chapter_5/alcohol.asp).

General Principles

Responsible and moderate use of alcohol has a place in certain social contexts. Through its policies and practices, the College seeks to model appropriate use of alcohol in particular social contexts.

The College community places very high value on the safety and care of the community and the residential environment for its residents. Limiting the use of alcohol on the College site is a key strategy in ensuring that safety and care.

The drinking of alcohol by persons under the age of 18 years of age is illegal and is not acceptable at any time on the College site or at College events.

Normal Operations

In the course of normal College operations, the following rules will be followed:

  1. No alcohol will be kept or consumed in the College accommodation blocks at any time, including conferences and events.
  2. Alcohol will only be brought on-site in the containers in which it has been sold. These containers must be sealed and clearly labelled.
  3. Alcohol will not be kept in generic containers such as water and/or soft drink bottles.
  4. If the alcohol has been received as a gift or purchased as a gift by a resident, that resident may request her Resident Assistant to store the alcohol in the foyer kitchenette until the gift can be taken offsite. The foyer kitchenette is locked outside office hours. In this circumstance, the alcohol cannot be taken beyond the foyer into the College proper.
  5. If the alcohol has been purchased for use or sale at a Student Club organised event, the alcohol will be stored in the Student Club Store Room in the Workshop under the Conference Room (between the Principal’s Residence and Lady Bray Wing). This Store Room is locked when not being accessed; and the Workshop is locked outside work hours. An up-to-date inventory of what is being stored must be provided to College Administration immediately after arrival of any delivery, and within 48 hours of the close of any event where alcohol has been served or sold.
  6. Alcohol purchased for serving at College Dinners or other events coordinated by College Administration will be stored in the Store Room under the Kitchen and/or the Cold Room in the Kitchen. The Store Room is locked when not being accessed; and the Kitchen is locked when not staffed.
  7. Alcohol may be consumed in the Dining Room, the Outdoor Eating Area, the JTR and the Party Area (the Astro-Turf between Fletcher & Lady Bray Wings; and under the Lady Bray Wing) during designated events only.
  8. Alcohol served or sold at any College events will be served and/or sold under the appropriate Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Liquor Licensing provisions; UQ Colleges’ Heads’ Agreements and the guidelines of The University of Queensland. Supervision of such service or sale will always be the responsibility of the Kitchen, in the case of College Dinners and College Administration events, or the Student Club for their events. Permission for such service or sale must be obtained from the Principal or Deputy Principal in advance. An Event Management Plan must be completed for every event organised by Grace College Council, staff (including Resident Assistants), the Grace College Student Club, or other activity convenors/managers where alcohol is sold or served other than in the context of a dinner in the Dining Room. The Event Management Plan must contain a list of the types of alcoholic drinks being served or sold. In order for the event to occur, the Principal or Deputy Principal must approve the Event Management Plan. No approval will be given for the sale or service of straight spirits at a licensed event. No approval for the inclusion of any drinking games will be given.
  9. Education in the responsible consumption of alcohol will be included in the College’s annual O-Week program.
  10. The Grace College Orientation Week program is an alcohol free week.
  11. All members of staff, contractors and voluntary workers must not be affected by alcohol while conducting College business, including undertaking supervisory duties at College events. This requirement will be included in the College Staff Induction Program.

BYO Events

The College will permit a limited number of events throughout the normal residential year where residents may be permitted to bring their own alcohol for consumption. Events to which residents may bring their own alcohol (BYO Events) must adhere to the following:

  1. An Event Management Plan and a BYO Event Planner must be completed for every BYO event organised by Grace College Council, staff (including Resident Assistants), the Grace College Student Club, or other activity convenors/managers. In order for the event to occur, the Principal or Deputy Principal must approve the Event Management Plan and BYO Event Planner.
  2. No straight spirits will be permitted during BYO Events unless permission is granted from the Principal or Deputy Principal through the documented process in (1).
  3. Attendees are only to be current Grace College residents. Non-residents including alumnae may not be present.
  4. Attendees will also be required to bring food as well as any alcohol they may bring.
  5. BYO Events will only be permitted to be held in the JTR or Dining Room.
  6. No drinking games will be permitted.
  7. All alcohol for a BYO Event must only be stored in the designated fridge in the foyer kitchenette with all alcohol being clearly labelled with the resident’s name. Any unlabelled alcohol will be disposed of by staff.
  8. A minimum of two members of the Student Leadership Team (SLT consisting of the Residents Assistants and the Student Club Executive) must be present at each BYO Event and have a blood alcohol level of zero throughout the event.
  9. If at any time there is a disturbance to other residents or any illegal activity (e.g. under age drinking), the Principal, Deputy Principal, Senior RA or RA On Duty will stop the event and require those in attendance to leave.

Casual Drinks

Outside of any BYO Events, current Grace College residents only may be permitted to consume their own alcohol in the JTR at certain times provided that they strictly adhere to the following requirements. These occasions will be known as “Casual Drinks” for the purposes of this policy and any communications about these provisions in the College community. Casual Drinks will be trialled for one semester before final approval is given by the Council for this practice.

  1. Attendees are only to be current Grace College residents. Non-residents including alumnae may not be present.
  2. All participants will drink responsibly.
  3. Under 18s must not consume alcohol at any time.
  4. Casual Drinks will only be permitted when the JTR is not being used for any other purpose (e.g. meetings, rehearsals, seminars).
  5. Casual Drinks will only be permitted outside of O-Week, Swotvac and Exams.
  6. When permitted, Casual Drinks will only be conducted during the following times :
    1. Thursday 4.30 pm to 8.30pm
    2. Friday 3.00 pm to 10.00pm
    3. Saturday 3.00pm to 10.00pm
    4. Sunday 3.00pm to 8.30pm
  7. All alcohol must only be stored in the designated fridge in the foyer kitchenette with all alcohol being clearly labelled with the resident’s name. Any unlabelled alcohol will be disposed of by staff.
  8. There are no restrictions on the type of alcohol to be stored and used.
  9. No drinking games will be conducted.
  10. A weekly gathering, birthday celebration and pre-drinks for an event (including an exchange) are classed as BYO events and thus must meet all requirements outlined in the section on BYO Events.. A pre-arranged event with more than 6 people in attendance will be considered to be a BYO event.
  11. If there are more than 8 residents consuming alcohol in the JTR at any one time then the RA On Duty must be informed. If there are more than 15 residents consuming alcohol in the JTR then the RA On Duty will arrange for a member of the SLT with a blood alcohol level of zero to be present.
  12. If at any time there is a disturbance to other residents or any illegal activity (e.g. under age drinking), the Principal, Deputy Principal, Senior RA or RA On Duty will withdraw this privilege immediately and all participants must stop drinking and leave the room.
  13. The Principal or Deputy Principal may revoke the provision for Casual Drinks at any time or impose additional limits as required to ensure the safe conduct of this provision.
  14. Signs in the JTR and foyer kitchenette will advise residents of the rules for Casual Drinks.

Tobacco

Smoking, both active and passive, is not conducive to the provision of a safe and healthy environment for all residents, staff, contractors, voluntary workers and visitors to the College.

Everyone associated with the College is entitled to the provision of a smoke-free environment.

Consequently, smoking is prohibited throughout the site except in the designated smoking area at the entrance to the College car park. This is an open area away from any building entrance. The location of this area will be identified in Resident and Staff Induction Programs.

Staff may only smoke in the designated area during scheduled work breaks.

A decision not to smoke (actively or passively) should never cause inconvenience to the decision-maker.

Reducing or quitting smoking will be encouraged by the College in any way practicable.

In any conflict or disagreement about smoking which cannot be negotiated, the normative position of smoking being prohibited will be asserted.

Other Drugs

The possession and/or use of drugs or medications, except when prescribed by a medical practitioner or otherwise permitted by law, is prohibited. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications must be used as directed. The use of illegal drugs may result in the immediate exclusion of a resident or visitor from the College; dismissal of a staff member; or termination of the service of a contractor. Illegal drug use and possession including  the misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications will be referred to the police.