Bard College Student Handbook

Alcohol and Drug Programming

Early recognition and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse is important for successful rehabilitation; to this end, the College encourages the earliest possible diagnosis of and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse or problematic use and, whenever possible, will assist students in overcoming substance abuse by referring them to appropriate on- or off-campus resources.

It is the College’s intent to inculcate a positive sense of independence and originality in the culture of Bard undergraduates. We work on developing constructive initiatives designed to engage the hearts and minds of students in ways that reduce the allure of self-destructive behavior. The College provides educational programs and counseling services to increase awareness of the issues of alcohol and illegal drug use and to assist those in need of help, including students struggling with addiction and chemical dependency. Helping someone to get treatment for problem or addictive use is an act of legitimate and reasonable concern, and the College will respect and protect the privacy of students who voluntarily seek assistance.

Bard College Counseling Services offers a free and confidential program called BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening Intervention for College Students) for students who want to examine their alcohol and/or illegal drug use in a judgment-free environment. This program offers a skills-based curriculum that aims to reduce harmful consumption and associated problems in students who drink alcohol and/or use drugs illegally. BASICS is comprised of two 50-minute sessions. The purpose of the first session is to gather information as well as engage the student in the process by taking a closer look at his/her alcohol or drug use. The purpose of the second session is to provide personalized feedback. Follow-up sessions are scheduled by the student as needed. This service is entirely confidential.

The Office of Residence Life & Housing in conjunction with Bard College Counseling Services and the Dean of Student Affairs Office offers a free program called eCHECKUP TO GO, which focuses on prevention intervention and harm-reduction, for students who want to examine their alcohol use through self-assessment. After completing the electronic self-assessment (approximately 10 – 20 minutes), results are customized for each student based on reported usage, genetic factors, and the importance and confidence in ability to change one’s current consumption rate. Students send their results to the staff member they are working with and schedule a meeting (approximately 45 – 60 minutes) to discuss their results, receive personalized feedback, and implement plans for continued support. Follow-up sessions are scheduled by the student as needed. Individual results will only be shared by the Office of Residence Life & Housing and the Dean of Student Affairs Office when working in conjunction with Bard College Counseling Services; this service is confidential when utilized through Bard College Counseling Services. 

The College’s BRAVE Counselors, Peer Counselors, Peer Health Educators and College’s Wellness Committee work to educate the community on issues related to substance use and abuse, and promote and support healthy lifestyles through programs and promotional campaigns. These resources support students in the majority, who choose to abstain from the use of alcohol and drugs or who choose to use alcohol in a legal, safe and responsible way.