AU required new and returning students to agree to the University’s drug policy through their AU portal. The policy stated the “possession and/or use of illicit drugs and unauthorized controlled substances violates university policy.”
Both undergraduate and graduate students had to acknowledge this notice when logging on to the AU portal, according to Rob Hradsky, the dean of students and assistant vice president.
Hradsky said the notice was implemented last fall in response to a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which states that each student must receive a “separate, clear, and conspicuous written notice regarding the university’s drug policy and sanction.”
The notice was first posted in the portal in fall of 2011, according to Hradsky. However, the University used different technology to display the notice this year.
The policy previously was written in the student handbook, but the Higher Education Act requires AU to provide a separate notice.
The policy also stated students using or involved with such drugs would be “subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the university,” along with any penalties administered by the law of the federal or local government.
The parents of any students under the age of 21 who violated this policy would be notified, the notice read.
Hradsky said the notice was not a result of any specific drug problem at AU. Several annual surveys of AU students said there has been nothing indicating a large drug problem at the University, according to Hradsky.
“When we look at our numbers compared to other institutions that are similar, we find that our issues are on par with the national norms,” he said.