Health and Safety Policies and Procedures

The following are University policies and procedures that are concerned with the health and safety of our students and our community.

Alcohol and Drug Intervention Policy

The University recognizes that education alone is not sufficient to address an individual’s actual or suspected use of alcohol or drugs. For that reason, in addition to participation in educational activities, the University may require as a condition of continued enrollment that a student participate in mandatory evaluation, counseling, complete testing, and/or appropriate medical treatment for alcohol or drug use if:

  • The student demonstrates inappropriate behavior linked to the use of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • A pattern of behavior indicates a student may be abusing alcohol or drugs.
  • The University receives from persons who have direct contact with the student credible information that creates concern about alcohol or drug use by an individual student.

Fulfillment of any mandatory requirements in these instances is at the student’s expense when a cost is involved, except with respect to drug tests. When a student is required to complete a drug test, financial responsibility will be determined by the outcome of the test. If the test is positive for drug use, the student is financially responsible; if the test is negative for drug use, the University is financially responsible for the drug test. If a drug test is performed to demonstrate compliance with a student conduct sanction, then the cost of the drug test is the student’s responsibility. The vice president for student affairs and diversity initiatives will provide the individual student additional information about procedures at the time the student is notified of required counseling, testing, or medical treatment.


In keeping with NCAA regulations, varsity athletes found responsible for Student Code of Conduct violations, including alcohol and drug violations, are subject to sanctions assigned by the Athletic Department Discipline Committee. These sanctions are in addition to the actions and sanctions assigned to students found responsible for University policy violations through the University Student Conduct Process. In addition, students who are members of varsity athletic teams may be required to fulfill NCAA requirements for drug testing, education, counseling, and other appropriate treatment when alcohol or drug use is suspected or confirmed.

Alcohol and Drug Intervention Policy last reviewed: 9/10/2018

Smoke/Tobacco/Vape-Free Campus Policy


This policy applies to all employees including faculty, staff, adjunct faculty, students, and student workers.


For the purpose of this policy, "tobacco or vape" is defined as all tobacco-derived or related products, including, but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookah-smoked products, clove cigarettes, vaping and vaping devices and any smokeless, spit or spitless, dissolvable, or inhaled tobacco product including but not limited to dip, chew, snuff or snus, in any form.

"Smoking" refers to inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or vape product intended for inhalation, whether natural or synthetic.


St. John Fisher University, Monroe County and the New York State Health Department regulations prohibit smoking, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, in any University building and in any University vehicle. Smoking is prohibited in the residence halls, including stairwells, lounges, lobbies, and individual rooms. The University maintains a smoke, tobacco and vape-free campus environment.

Effective November 2019, New York will raise its smoking age from 18 to 21. The change applies to the sales of traditional tobacco products as well as electronic cigarettes and vaporizers.

St. John Fisher University supports a healthy, sustainable environment for the college community and has established the following smoke, tobacco and vape-free campus policy to be implemented on January 1, 2020.

  • Smoking tobacco or use of tobacco or vape products is prohibited on all University grounds; University-owned or leased properties; and University-owned, leased or rented vehicles, regardless of their location. This includes but is not limited to all, parking lots, fields, stadiums, and recreational areas.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed areas within University property and during lectures, conferences, meetings, and social events held at the University at all times.
  • All tobacco products in use must be properly disposed of prior to entering any University property or exiting a personal vehicle.
  • The University requires campus members to respect private property bordering all University locations by refraining from trespassing for purposes of tobacco product consumption.
  • The sale, free distribution, related advertising or sponsorship of tobacco or vape products or tobacco-related merchandise is prohibited in and on all University property (owned or leased), at all University-sponsored events regardless of the venue, and in publications produced by the University.

Compliance and Enforcement

This policy is part of the University's commitment to creating a healthy and sustainable environment for all members of the University community and is designed to provide favorable health outcomes for all of our campus members and guests. The University recognizes the addictive nature of nicotine found in tobacco products and understands the difficult challenge of cessation. We expect the policy to be adhered to by all individuals on University property. The campus also promotes and provides cessation resources for those individuals who need it. Students interested in these resources should contact the Health and Wellness Center. Faculty and staff and can access resources through the Healthy U website. The primary goal of this policy is to achieve voluntary compliance by educating faculty, staff, students, vendors, and visitors about the policy. The enforcement of the policy is a shared responsibility of all individuals in the campus community, tobacco, or vape users and non-users alike. Violations to the policy in residence halls, all University buildings, vehicles or on the college campus and other college properties will be subject to disciplinary action.

Amendments of This Policy

The University reserves the right to modify, amend, or terminate this policy at any time. This policy was adopted by St. John Fisher University on January 1, 2020.

Confiscation Policy

When prohibited items are encountered or discovered by University officials, they are subject to confiscation. University personnel, including safety and security officers and residence life professional staff members, have the authority to confiscate prohibited items.

Items confiscated for health, fire, or safety reasons may be returned to the owner at the end of the term (or earlier by arrangement with the residence director or Office of Safety and Security) provided that the item is removed from campus immediately and not returned to the premises. Illegal items (such as controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, and weapons) will not be returned. In addition, any alcohol or alcohol paraphernalia confiscated will be disposed of at the time of the incident.

Any confiscated item not claimed by the owner by the end of the academic year in which the item was seized will be disposed of without notification. When possible and appropriate, unclaimed items will be donated to a local charity.

Disruptive Behavior Intervention

When, in the judgment of the University, an individual's behavior is disruptive to the educational and living environment that the University seeks to maintain, that student may be required to undergo psychological and/or medical evaluation and/or a hearing for mandatory withdrawal from the University.

Mandatory psychological and/or medical evaluation and withdrawal will be considered in cases where a student's behavior creates a threat of danger to self, others, or property, or disruption of the educational process and mission of the University. In such situations, the assistant dean of students will meet with the student whose behavior is the cause for concern to discuss the concern and determine if additional assessment by qualified professionals is appropriate. The assistant dean will rely on available information and evidence in assessing an individual student's situation, and will consult with appropriate professional staff at the University in making such determinations. The University will make every effort to work with the student involved, but reserves the right to contact the student's parents/legal guardians, spouse, partner, and/or emergency contact person on record.

When, in the judgment of the assistant dean or their designee, a direct or imminent threat of harm exists based on statements made or behaviors exhibited by the student, the assistant dean or designee may take an interim action prior to meeting with the student. The University may remove a student from the residence halls or from attending classes or from the campus on a temporary basis, pending the outcome of an evaluation and/or hearing for a mandatory withdrawal if the student presents a risk to self, others, or property. If there is an interim suspension, the student involved will receive notification in writing of the hearing procedures, within five calendar days of the suspension. This notification will include the timeframe within which the psychological and/or medical evaluation and/or hearing will occur.

If a student engages in suicidal behavior, the University will arrange emergency transportation for the student to an appropriate medical facility, and the assistant dean or designee may place the student on a leave of absence from the University, effective immediately, pending the outcome of an evaluation by a licensed mental health professional.

Violation(s) of the University's Code of Conduct will be referred through the University's Student Conduct Process.

Procedures For Mandatory Evaluation

A student who is required to undergo evaluation by a licensed mental health counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician will be notified in writing by the assistant dean of students either by personal delivery or certified letter. This letter may confirm a verbal directive previously given to the student by the assistant dean. A licensed, independent evaluator must conduct the evaluation. Within 48 hours of the receipt of this letter, the student must inform the assistant dean, in writing, of the name and address of the evaluator. The assistant dean will provide the evaluator with information regarding precipitating events and issues that need to be addressed through the evaluation. The student must undergo the evaluation as soon as possible, and no later than ten calendar days from the date of the letter informing the student of the mandatory evaluation. The evaluator must forward to the coordinator of mental health services a completed report, which the student may review with the coordinator of mental health services or the director of the Health and Wellness Center, as appropriate.

The student must sign appropriate releases authorizing the evaluator and staff of the Health and Wellness Center to discuss and share appropriate information from the evaluation. In addition, the student must provide appropriate authorization for the staff of the Health and Wellness Center to share relevant information with those University staff involved in making decisions about the student's status at the University.

If a student refuses to undergo a mandatory evaluation or fails to provide the appropriate authorizations for sharing of information needed to make decisions about the student's status at the University, the assistant dean may automatically withdraw the student from the University without a hearing.

The assistant dean will notify the student, in writing, if they are required to undergo a mandatory withdrawal hearing after completing an evaluation. The hearing will take place within seven calendar days of the date of this letter of notification. This letter will describe the procedure that the University will follow in conducting the hearing. The hearing is informal and non-student conduct in nature.

If a student fails to attend the hearing for any reason, the hearing will take place in the student's absence.

A student may appeal in writing to the vice president for student affairs any decisions made by the assistant dean with respect to disruptive behavior as described in this policy. The appeal must be submitted within five calendar days of the decision; the appeal may be submitted via Fisher email account. The student must state the basis for the appeal in the appeal letter. The student must file the appeal; other persons or organizations may not file appeals on behalf of the student.

If the vice president judges the appeal to have merit, the vice president may, at their discretion, meet with the student and/or the persons involved in the decision-making process, as part of the appeal process. The vice president's decision is final.

The information provided to the University under this policy will be treated as confidential by the medical and mental health staff of the University. Specific information will be shared by that staff with other members of the University staff when appropriate to assist in making decisions related to the student's status at the University.

Reasonable deviations from these procedures will not invalidate a decision or proceeding unless significant prejudice to a student results.

At any point in the process, the student may voluntarily withdraw from the University and/or the residence halls.

When a student voluntarily withdraws or is involuntarily withdrawn from the University through this policy, the University will follow published deadlines related to academic and financial withdrawal from the University. Students may file written appeals with the academic standing committee and/or the special refund committee to request exceptions to the published deadlines for academic and financial withdrawal from the University.

Disruptive Behavior Intervention last reviewed: 9/10/2018

Guest Policy

At St. John Fisher University a guest is defined as anyone who has been invited, allowed, or accompanied onto any part of campus, including the residence halls and defines a host as the student who has invited, allowed, or accompanied a guest onto any part of campus, including the residence halls. The University welcomes guests under the following conditions:

  • Hosts must accompany their guests at all times.
  • Hosts and guests that are Fisher students will be held accountable for any damages and/or policy violations that result from their actions and/or the actions of their guests.
  • If a guest violates University policy, abuses guest privileges, and/or disturbs the community, they will be expected to leave campus.
  • The University reserves the right to remove any guest from campus at any time.

See also Residence Hall Regulations: Guest Policy

Guest Policy last updated: 8/28/2018

Good Samaritan Policy

St. John Fisher University is committed to the safety, welfare, and health of all students. Students are encouraged to make responsible choices for themselves and for other community members.

In cases of an emergency involving intoxication, alcohol poisoning, or drug-related medical issues, St. John Fisher University encourages students to seek medical assistance for themselves and/or others.

Contacting emergency personnel in these situations will fall under the St. John Fisher University Good Samaritan Policy.

This includes:

  • An individual student voluntarily contacts emergency medical assistance for themselves related to alcohol or drug use.
  • An individual student voluntarily contacts emergency medical assistance on behalf of another person related to alcohol or drug use.

In all cases in which the St. John Fisher University Good Samaritan Policy applies, all students involved in an incident, including the good samaritan(s) who made the contact and the student(s) experiencing the emergency, will meet with student conduct coordinator. At the meeting, the incident will be reviewed and an appropriate response determined. This may include the following:

  • Mandated counseling session(s)
  • Substance abuse education and/or evaluation
  • Participation in an education group or class
  • Educational assignment(s)

The students involved will not receive formal student conduct action, regardless of conduct history, provided the student completes all meetings and conditions. If a student fails to attend their scheduled meeting or fails to complete the required outcomes of the meeting they will be referred to the Student Conduct Process for failure to comply.

The St. John Fisher University Good Samaritan Policy does not excuse or protect students who repeatedly violate the University’s Code of Conduct and its use will be limited in the number of times any one student can report endangering behavior before being subject to the Student Conduct Process. The Office of Safety and Security and the residential life staff is expected to follow its processes and procedures for any situation whether or not the St. John Fisher University Good Samaritan Policy may be applicable to the situation.

The Good Samaritan Policy does not apply to students experiencing alcohol or drug related emergencies that are found by a University official.

When a student's role is that of an alleged respondent in any alleged violation(s) of the St. John Fisher University Code of Conduct concerning sexual misconduct, verbal or physical abuse or harassment, distribution of controlled substances, or property damage, or results in the student's arrest, the situation does not fall under the St. John Fisher University Good Samaritan Policy.

Missing Persons

When students or other persons are believed to be missing, it should be reported without delay to the Office of Safety and Security.

Upon receiving a report of a missing person the Office of Safety and Security will conduct a thorough and timely investigation to determine the whereabouts of the person. A person will be considered missing if the person has not been seen by a roommate, classmate, or faculty/staff member in a reasonable amount of time, as to suggest that the absence is cause for concern. If any community member is determined to be missing, the officer will contact and coordinate the investigation with local law enforcement.

Students are encouraged to register a confidential person who will be contacted in the event they are reported missing. Additionally, if the student is under 18 years of age, the parents/guardians of the student will be notified. Confidential contact persons can be registered on Fish 'R' Net under the student menu.

As part of the investigation into a missing person, parent(s), guardian(s), and other known persons may be contacted.

Search Policy

The University reserves the right to inspect the contents of student rooms, vehicles, packages, handbags, backpacks or the like, when violations of University policy, state, or federal laws are suspected. The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for a search to which St. John Fisher University students may be subject. The primary consideration is balancing a student’s right to privacy with the University’s need to enforce University policy and ensure campus safety.

Any area or property located on University premises and under the control or custody of a student is subject to search including, but not limited to:

  • University-owned buildings and residences;
  • Student-owned, operated and/or controlled motor vehicles located on University premises;
  • Any personal property located or contained in the aforementioned structures or vehicles, including student packages, handbags, or backpacks.

A search may occur as part of an investigation when a safety and security officer has established a reasonable belief that a violation of University policy or federal, state, or local law is occurring, or has occurred, and there is evidence to be confiscated relating to that violation.

Additionally, a search may occur under the following circumstances:

  • In response to a fire, or fire alarm; to ensure the room is vacant during fire drills;
  • When emergency conditions apply such as someone’s health or safety is in immediate danger;
  • When contraband is observed in plain view;
  • When consent to search is obtained from at least one student in the assigned area;
  • When authorization to search is granted by the assistant dean of students or their designee.

The above policy does not apply to facilities services personnel as maintenance requests are considered as permission to enter.

University Search Policy last reviewed: 9/10/2018