The email that pinged all students’ mailboxes on Sept. 24 struck a strict tone, informing students that, “Colorado College is committed to providing a community that is free from illegal drug use and the abuse of alcohol.”
But the message’s intent was not to frighten. Although many may not realize it, this email is perennial, and CC is obligated to send it out every year to ensure federal funding.
Cesar Cervantes, Assistant Dean of Students, says the email is part of the Drug Free Schools and Workplace Act and must be sent out by Oct. 1, but tempers his message, saying, “It’s not a reminder; it’s a notification that we have just to do to be in compliance.”
Rochelle Mason, Associate Dean of Students, says, “Cesar in his role as Assistant Dean of Students makes sure that we’re in compliance with the Act, so thank goodness he’s the one who gets to pore over that 64-page document and make sure that we’re checking off all the boxes.”
If the college does not comply with the standards set in law, then they stand at risk to lose federal funding valuable to the school.
Students are not singled out in this process. “The federal act also requires that something very similar be sent to all employees to the college,” says Mason.
Rochelle Mason continued, saying, “The law requires institutions receiving federal financial assistance to establish drug and alcohol abuse/prevention programs for students and employees.”
“There’s a lot of event programming and things that we do, because again, we’re required to be able to educate faculty and staff and students about that, and not just because we have to check off the box, but because it is the best interest of our campus community as well,” Mason said.
Mason explained that the College cares about more than just fulfilling the necessary requirements to retain federal funding. “Several times a year I might even compose something on my own…just reminding students about…responsibility, behavioral expectations, being a good member of our community, all of those types of things.”