Institutional Policies

Alcohol & Drugs

Alcohol Policy

Maryland Institute College of Art is committed to enforcing College policies that prohibit persons under the age of 21 from possessing, serving, or consuming alcohol. In addition, MICA discourages those 21 years and over from abusing alcohol. The unauthorized possession or use of alcoholic beverages on College-owned or -controlled property, including student residences, is expressly forbidden. As adults, students bear the ultimate personal responsibility for knowing and adhering to state and federal law.

Students living in campus housing who are 21 years or older may drink alcohol in the privacy of their apartments; however, they may not buy or serve alcohol to students or others under the legal drinking age. If an apartment is shared by those both under and over 21, it must be clear to any College official that alcohol is being consumed only by those 21 years of age and older. If an apartment is occupied only by those under 21, then alcohol is not permitted under any circumstance. Also, if alcohol is found in the possession of underage students, staff will require that the alcohol be disposed of in the presence of the staff member.  Students who are in the presence of alcohol may also be determined to be in violation of the alcohol policy.

Student Openings and Parties

Open containers of alcohol are not permitted in any of the public or common spaces on campus, including courtyards, stairwells, or parking lots. Multi-quart containers such as kegs are not allowed in any campus-owned or -controlled space.

Students who violate this policy will be subject to the following sanctions, among others, depending upon College officials' assessment of the severity of the violation(s):

Alcohol education

Assessment for an alcohol abuse problem

Required alcohol abuse treatment program

Housing probation (if the student resides in College housing)

Dismissal from College housing (if the student resides in College housing)

Suspension from the College

Dismissal from the College

Referral to law enforcement agencies

Because the majority of MICA students are not of legal drinking age, alcohol is not allowed at student events, including undergraduate and graduate student openings. With appropriate authorization, alcohol may be served at some College-sponsored or sanctioned activities, but only to persons who provide verifiable proof of age. In general, most events on campus that include alcohol require the use of a bartender provided by Dining Services.

Graduate students may work with the Office of Graduate Studies to register graduate events that take place in approved graduate spaces with restricted attendance. The serving of alcoholic beverages in such instances must receive the specific written approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs and will require strict supervision of the event and adherence to the alcohol policy stated above. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Office of Graduate Studies can provide additional information.

Drug Policy

The use, possession, or sale (or possession with intent to sell) of illegal or illicit drugs or narcotics is expressly prohibited by the federal state, and local laws and regulations, as well as College policy. Possession or use of illicit drugs by students is grounds for severe sanctions, including expulsion, and may result in referral to authorities for prosecution. The possession of drug paraphernalia (including hookahs, bongs, needles not for prescribed use, and other such items) is also a violation of both state law and College policy.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oils and other derivatives are prohibited for student use regardless of the intended use or origin, i.e. hemp vs. marijuana.

Students who violate this policy will be subject to any of the following sanctions, among others, depending upon College officials’ assessment of the severity of the violations:

Assessment for substance abuse problem (the cost to be borne by student)

Required substance abuse treatment program (the cost to be borne by student)

Mandatory drug testing program (the cost to be borne by student)

Housing probation (if a student lives in College housing)

Dismissal from College housing (if a student lives in College housing)

College probation

Loss of financial aid

Suspension from the College

Dismissal from the College

Referral to law enforcement agencies

Medical Amnesty Policy

Maryland Institute College of Art considers the health and safety of its community members a high priority. In an effort to promote the wellbeing and safety of our members, a Medical Amnesty Policy has been adopted to encourage students to take appropriate action to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others in circumstances that may involve violations of MICA's alcohol & drug policies.


The purpose of the MICA Medical Amnesty policy is to encourage students to actively seek professional medical assistance and/or institutional support for themselves or others related, but not limited to, the overconsumption of alcohol, drugs, or other illegal substances that threaten a person's wellbeing or safety.


In order to be considered for Medical Amnesty, individuals/students must comply with the following:

Contact Campus Safety (443-423-3333) or a Residential Advisor or another Residential Life staff member for help. 

Provide accurate identification information and remain present at the scene of the incident after they have sought assistance until given permission to depart by the responding College official.

Abide and complete all educational components in a timely manner established with the MICA's Health & Wellness Team.

What the Medical Amnesty policy covers

A student conduct action against any individual(s) who act in good faith and actively seek out qualified medical or institutional support to assist in ensuring the wellbeing of a person related to overconsumption of alcohol or illegal substances.

What the Medical Amnesty policy does not cover

Any actions were taken by police or other outside law enforcement officials

Violation of any institutional policy beyond the Alcohol & Drug Policy

Possession with the intent to distribute drugs

Any penalty/repercussions due to physical harm inflicted upon another student/individual 

Repeat offenders or students on disciplinary probation

Students waiting until the police or other authority arrive before seeking assistance

What Medical Amnesty means for the party(s) involved

Students who seek out medical assistance for others or receive emergency medical assistance as a result of peer outreach that is related to the consumption of alcohol or other illegal substances will not be charged or sanctioned for violations of the College's Alcohol & Drug policy. The student(s) may be required to participate in an appropriate assessment and educational program. 

Medical Amnesty may not be granted under this section more than once in a two year period. Records of all requests for assistance under this policy shall be maintained by the Division of Student Affairs. Cooperation and participation in any program as a result of this policy shall not be noted on the student's judicial record. Medical Amnesty is meant to apply to isolated incidents, and may not be available in cases of repeated or flagrant violations of College alcohol or drug policies.

Actions  that are taken by the Division of Student Affairs

MICA's goal in resolving these cases is to provide an environment focused on intervention, education, and reflection.

Involved students will be required to meet with Health & Wellness staff who will facilitate an agreed resolution that may include a substance use assessment and educational activities.

Serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of concern/response.

Failure to complete the agreed resolution process will result in the case being resolved through the student conduct process.

Any costs associated with drug or alcohol education interventions deemed appropriate will be the responsibility of the student.


If the student(s) is in compliance with the standards established in this policy, MICA will not disclose any amnesty incidents without the student's consent.

Illustrative Examples:

1) John and Sarah are at a party when Sarah begins to show signs of intoxication (slurred speech, unsteady on her feet). John decides to walk Sarah home. While walking, a Campus Safety officer sees Sarah walking unsteadily and stops her. The officer cites Sarah for underage possession/consumption of alcohol and public intoxication. John also is cited for underage possession/consumption.

The Amnesty policy does not apply because John was not actively seeking medical attention for Sarah, and he did not seek out a qualified individual (such as an RA) to assess Sarah's condition.

2) Ramon comes home to find his roommate, Zach, passed out on his bed. Ramon finds the RA who determines that Zach needs medical attention. The RA calls Campus Safety who sends EMS, and EMS transports Zach to the hospital. The RA documents the incident and notes that Ramon also appeared to be intoxicated.

The Amnesty Policy does apply to both Ramon and Zach because Ramon sought assistance from an RA for Zach. Both students will receive medical amnesty and will not receive disciplinary charges as a result of this incident. Both will receive some form of alcohol education as a result of this incident.

Alcohol and Drug Education Programs

The Office of Student Affairs and the Wellness Center offer educational programs on a range of alcohol- and drug-related topics on a yearly basis. Topics vary from year to year and may include the relationship between artists and alcohol or drugs, how to have fun without alcohol, and coping with family members with addictions. Written material on the effects of alcohol and drugs is distributed during the year. The College counselors are available to talk with students experiencing alcohol- or drug-related difficulties and can refer students to other resources in the community.