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Changes to Athletics' Policy on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Substance Abuse

Sept. 23, 2013

Student-Athlete Handbook

Lafayette's Department of Athletics has announced changes to its alcohol, tobacco, and substance abuse policy for student-athletes.

The revisions were made following extensive discussion with student-athletes, coaches, and other members of the Lafayette community. Bruce McCutcheon, director of athletics, informed the student-athletes about the changes on Monday evening (Sept. 23).

"We are thankful for the input provided by Brendan Gover '14, Lindsay Yang '14, and Tim Shaw '14, who represented the senior class. The class, through their representatives, provided important feedback and recommendations, many of which were incorporated into the policy revision," McCutcheon said in his message to the student-athletes.

The updated policy is posted in the College's Student-Athlete Handbook. The policy spells out four levels of sanctions that may be imposed for alcohol or drug violations by student-athletes. It states that a student-athlete's prior conduct will be taken into account in determining the appropriate sanction for a policy violation, but will not automatically place the student-athlete in the next highest sanction level.

The rules of the College's Good Samaritan policy will be followed.

In an effort to ensure the welfare of student-athletes, the Department of Athletics reserves the right to place a student-athlete who engages in excessive or abusive use of alcohol or other drugs on a medical leave of absence from his or her sport while connections to appropriate support service are made.

The policy and the sanctions under it are effective immediately.

"Being a student-athlete at Lafayette is a special privilege. You earn that privilege by carrying out to the best of your ability specific responsibilities related to our College, our department, and your sport," McCutcheon said.

"Our department's mission and core values are focused on education, competition, and personal growth and development. These policies are intended to prevent choices that do not correspond to our mission and values," he continued. "We are a family at Lafayette and are sincerely concerned about the health and safety of each of our students. We take this matter very seriously and hope that we have your support in carrying out our mission."

"The safety and well-being of our students is the College's highest priority," said Lafayette President Alison Byerly. "I support the revisions to this policy and appreciate Bruce McCutcheon's leadership of the process."