According to the Iowa Code, persons who are 21 years of age may use and possess alcohol, but may not give alcoholic beverages or resell them to persons who are under age (21). Underage students at Mount Mercy University who possess or use alcohol are subject to disciplinary action by the University. Underage possession and use may result in civil or criminal penalties.
The University may report violations of these regulations to civil authorities. Parents or legal guardians may be notified concerning violations of underage possession, use, or provision to others of alcohol or any illegal substances, as provided for under the Campus Disclosure Act of 1998.
Excessive alcohol consumption and/or the resulting irresponsible behavior are inconsistent with the goals and mission of the University. Any/all individuals present during an alcohol policy violation may be found guilty of a behavioral violation and subject to disciplinary action by the University.
Mount Mercy University discourages University clubs and organizations from hosting or sponsoring off campus events where alcohol is sold or served. If an organization chooses to host or sponsor an event where alcohol is sold or served, the following rules are to be observed:
Under state law, the legal age for possession or drinking of alcohol is 21. State law prohibits public intoxication; driving a motor vehicle with an unsealed receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle; giving or selling an alcoholic beverage to anyone intoxicated; and possession of an alcoholic beverage under legal age.
Each of these violations is a simple misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to $100 fine. In addition, a person found guilty of giving or selling an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age will be fined a minimum of $500. State and federal legal sanctions are subject to change by the General Assembly and Congress, respectively. Sanctions for violations of Mount Mercy Policy are listed under “Enforcement Procedures,” section of The Good Book (student handbook).
As an educational institution, Mount Mercy endeavors to protect and assist students by providing reliable information about the hazards of illegal drugs and alcohol. Health risks include, but are not limited to, adverse modification of one or more body systems, such as the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, endocrine, and central nervous systems; toxic, allergic, or other serious reaction; unfavorable mood alteration; and addiction. Physiological and psychological dependency, which manifests itself in a preoccupation with acquiring and using one or more drugs/alcohol, may cause severe emotional and physical injury.
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.
Common side-effects of alcohol consumption include digestive complaints and sleep problems and may adversely affect a student’s academic performance. Because alcohol increases aggression, excessive consumption may lead to fighting, vandalism, criminal mischief, and verbal abuse. Alcohol abuse often plays a role in unwanted pregnancies and rape.
Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.
Alcohol and Other Drug Education Services
Mount Mercy University offers a range of services for persons who want to learn more about alcohol and other drugs, are concerned about their own or someone else’s substance abuse, or are recovering from substance abuse problems.
Campus student services where you may receive information and/or assistance include:
Counseling Services Ext. 1257
Residence Life Ext. 6469
Health Services Ext. 1283
Wellness Programs Ext. 1296
Public Safety Ext. 1234
The Mount Mercy University Catalog also lists a number of academic courses which provide information on alcohol and other drugs from a variety of perspectives. Course topics include, but are not limited to: pharmacology, health psychology, criminal justice, chemistry, music philosophy, history, and social work. Specific courses include Criminal Law, General Chemistry II, Nutrition, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, Introduction to Music, Philosophy of Human Nature, Nineteenth Century Europe, Western World Since 1648, American History, Nursing Complex Health Care, Foundations of Education, Human Relations, Inquiry and Expression, Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to World Religions, Basic Skills for Human Service Workers, Social Work Practicums, and Social Systems and Social Functioning.
There are also a number of community agencies where individuals may receive educational information, assessment, and support. Services include substance abuse assessment and referral, outreach, education, and support groups. Several such agencies are listed below.
Abbe Center for Community Mental Health 520 11th Street NW – 398-3562
Area Substance Abuse Council, 3601 16th Avenue SW – 390-4611
Foundation 2 Crisis Line – 362-2174
Hillcrest Family Services, 205 - 12th Street SE – 362-3149
Mercy Behavioral Services/Sedlacek, 701 Tenth Street SE — 398-6226
St. Luke’s Chemical Dependency Unit, Kirkwood Resource Center
1030 Fifth Avenue SE, Lower Level – 363-4429