Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking

The Graduate Theological Union and its member schools require that their campuses be drug free. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance while at CDSP is prohibited. Abuse of alcohol on the CDSP campus is also not allowed. Violation of this policy will be considered cause for dismissal from a student's program of study.

CDSP will impose sanctions, up to and including dismissal from all programs of study, on any students engaged in the abuse of alcohol or the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs while on CDSP school premises. In addition, any student involved in such illegal activity is subject to legal sanctions under local, state and federal law.

The health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol are many. Detailed information concerning the known health hazards resulting from the abuse of drugs and alcohol may be obtained from your physician.

Several drug and alcohol counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs are available to you. Should you or someone you know need help in dealing with a drug or alcohol dependency, you may call 510-869-8850 for help. The initial consultation is free and includes an assessment of the problem and the recommendation of a treatment plan. In addition, you may call 510-839-8900 for referral to an Alcoholics Anonymous program near you or 510-444-4673 for referral to a local Narcotics Anonymous program.

Seminary Policy On Alcohol/Drugs
With regard to the use of alcohol at CDSP events, the general assumption is that alcohol will be consumed in moderation and seen as enhancing an event whose main purpose is not the consumption of alcohol. The following considerations should apply:

  1. Alcohol will appropriately enhance the social situation at which it is being served.
  2. Non-alcoholic beverages will be plentiful and as attractive as the alcohol alternatives.
  3. If alcohol is used in any food served, that fact will be clearly communicated.
  4. Alcoholic beverages and food containing alcohol should not be used to advertise or promote attendance at any functions, e.g., "The meeting will begin with a champagne brunch."
  5. Mixing business and alcohol is never appropriate, e.g., "A sherry hour will follow the meeting."

Consistent with the policy of the Episcopal Church, CDSP recognizes alcoholism and chemical addiction as treatable illnesses of body, mind, and spirit that affect all members of a community who are involved with a chemically-dependent person. We also recognize alcohol/substance abuse as one of the major pastoral problems we face in our ministries beyond the seminary. We believe that the Church, as a redemptive fellowship of Christian believers, must exercise a healing ministry to addicted persons, to those who abuse alcohol or other drugs, and to members of their families.

Therefore, we are committed as an institution to continuing education about substance abuse and the illness of chemical dependency, and to addressing it as honestly as we can when it confronts us in our community. We try to do this through curricular means, through a committee made up of community members, and through unofficial referral.

CDSP may offer a course during Intersession on alcohol and substance abuse as it affects individuals and families. Because of the immensity of the problem, students are asked seriously to consider this course.

Alcohol Awareness Committee: See description in “Standing Faculty/Student Committees”

Referral and Follow-up: Any individual may always choose to bring his or her concern to the President and Dean, to the Dean of Students, to a faculty member, or to a member of the committee. All of these persons will have access to lists of available resources, both within and outside the seminary community. CDSP treats chemical dependency as any other illness in terms of the protection of jobs, rights, and related employee, faculty or student benefits. Confidentiality at all stages of referral will be carefully respected.

Chemical Intervention Policy: Since one of the chief characteristics of chemical addiction is denial, individuals who are chemically dependent are not capable of seeing their alcohol/drug problem and the damage it is causing, nor can they work it out alone. Once the illness is recognized, it is essential that there be a strong and compassionate confrontation regarding the reality of the person's situation. Poor job or academic performance or inappropriate behavior is the point at which to intervene.

An informal approach may be a personal pastoral intervention, to express concern and urge self-referral. This is the responsibility of anyone who cares, such as peers, family, supervisors, faculty, etc. Strict confidentiality must be preserved.

A formal approach will be a pastoral intervention coordinated by the President and Dean and carried out under the supervision of a competent and trained professional. The fact of the intervention and whatever results from it will be kept confidential by the seminary. At present, medical insurance policies offered to students, faculty, and staff contain provisions for hospitalization and treatment for chemical dependency. Refusal of treatment (such as in-patient or out-patient care, Alcoholics Anonymous, counseling, etc.) is not a cause for severance from the seminary. In all cases severance discussions will be based on performance.

A student's seeking or accepting treatment for alcohol/drug dependency is viewed as a positive factor. Suspected alcohol/drug dependency may not be raised during a student's evaluation. Inappropriate behavior or poor performance may be a factor, but confrontation about suspected alcohol/drug dependency should take place outside the evaluation process. If, however, the student refuses treatment, it may be necessary to arrange an intervention involving persons from the student's canonical diocese if he or she is seeking Holy Orders.

The policy on alcohol/drug dependency in relation to students:

  1. If treatment is accepted, the student will be permitted to withdraw from classes for a length of time reasonably indicated by competent medical authority. Guidelines for tuition refunds are spelled out in the CDSP catalogues.
  2. A student who has accepted treatment will be permitted to continue his or her academic program following necessary time off for treatment.
  3. A student who has accepted and is in treatment will be permitted to continue residence in seminary housing for a reasonable period of time, even if temporary withdrawal from classes is necessary.
  4. Any student seeking Holy Orders who accepts treatment for alcohol/drug dependency is encouraged to discuss this with his or her bishop. It is, however, the student's responsibility and choice to inform his or her bishop. The faculty, staff and other students will respect the student's confidentiality in communicating with his or her bishop and diocese.

CDSP Campus Smoking Policy
St. Margaret's Courtyard and the Fish Pond area are NO SMOKING zones. All entrances and exits will be posted with the Berkeley ordinance of No Smoking within 20 feet of entrances and vents.

© 2012 Church Divinity School of the Pacific