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Pre-College Program (PCP)
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Pre-College Program (PCP)

Teachers College, Columbia University

Student Life > Social Policy

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Student Life

Social Policy


Students are encouraged to establish a healthy living environment with their peers within the dorms. For this purpose, students are to refrain from displaying offensive material within their rooms or hallways; this includes alcoholic beverage containers, inappropriate posters, or items relating to tobacco or alcohol advertisements. Illicit magazines and pornography are forbidden and subject to immediate confiscation by a staff member. Confiscated items may be returned to the student or his/her parent for transport home at the first opportunity. Please note that purchasing and consuming alcoholic beverages is unlawful for anyone under the age of 21. See the Health and Safety section below for more information regarding the use of alcohol.

Radios, stereo systems, and other music devices are permitted, but should be used in accordance with certain regulations. Do not play loud music during studying or sleeping hours. Students who are interrupted by loud music have the right to request that the music be shut off or turned down. iPods and other MP3 players are encouraged in these situations. However, iPods should not be used in class or tutoring sessions as they are a distraction to academic pursuit. Failure to comply may result in confiscation.

Laptop computers are highly recommended for students. Desktops are not recommended because of a lack of space in the dorms. It should be noted that the Program is not responsible for the use or safe keeping of computers. In addition, internet abuse may result in confiscation of computer or limits on access to internet.

Any damage to personal or public property should be reported immediately to the Office of Public Safety and the Office of International Affairs or to the CAs. Any student who has caused such damage will be responsible for any replacement or repair charges. If responsibility cannot be determined, all students in that particular space will be proportionately assessed for any replacement or repair charges. All non-accidental damage charges will be assessed to the students and/or the students’ parents. Severe intentional damage may result in disciplinary consequences, including but not limited to expulsion from the Program and deportation from the United States.


A.  General Health: The health and welfare of every PCP student is of primary importance to the Program staff and faculty. We understand the need for health in all areas: physical, psychological, spiritual, ethical, and social fitness/wellness. All are a part of facilitating students’ overall success in the Program.

  • Students have access to the gym and athletic facilities on Columbia University’s campus (membership and some additional fees are required for these facilities)
  • Tobacco habits are discouraged for students, which is in line with the Surgeon General’s report concerning the dangers of smoking. It is unlawful for students under the age of 18 to purchase cigarettes or any other tobacco product. In addition, it is the policy of the Program that there shall be no smoking by any person in any building or on school property.


B.  Substance Abuse: The possession, use, or distribution of alcohol, anabolic steroids, controlled dangerous substances, chemicals (glue, solvents), or of any prescription drug except for those which permission for use is admissible, is illegal, dangerous, and creates a serious obstacle to education.  In addition, such substance abuse might cause harm physically and mentally and may jeopardize students’ safety and the safety of others.

  • Students who possess, use, distribute or allow themselves to be under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances on school property or at school-sponsored activities are in violation of New York State law and PCP policy.
  • No student, regardless of age, shall at any time ON CAMPUS consume, possess, transfer, or bring onto campus any intoxicating beverage
  • No student shall at any time come to campus under the influence of any intoxicating substance. An example of “under the influence” is defined as a Blood Alcohol Content of above zero and/or includes the odor of any substance on a student’s breath, speech, actions or appearance of the student which leads the staff or faculty to reasonably suspect that a student’s ability to function safely and effectively has been impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
  • No student under 21 shall at any time OFF CAMPUS consume, purchase, possess, transfer, or transport any alcoholic beverage or enter a liquor store or public bar.

Substance Abuse Sanctions:

  • If a student is found by a faculty or Program staff to be under the influence of any substance, the faculty or staff member is authorized to order a medical examination. Only when the report certifies that the student is physically and mentally able to return to the Program shall attendance resume.
  • If there is a positive diagnosis from the medical examination, indicating that the student was under the influence of an unlawful substance, including alcohol and/or drugs, the student may be:  
  1. Arrested and fined    
  2. Expelled from the Program and deported from the United States

C. General Safety: Safety is everyone’s concern. Constant awareness of safety and continuous efforts to identify and eliminate hazards are particularly important. All students are tasked with the responsibility of being continually alert for unsafe practices and for putting a stop to them, either personally, or through an immediate report to Office of International Student Services, the Office of International Affairs or to the dormitory staff. While safety regulations are comprehensive, they cannot cover every possible violation of good injury-prevention practices. Common sense and good judgment must be used by everyone.

  • The handling of fire fighting equipment is prohibited, except for the express purpose of extinguishing a fire.
  • Storage of flammable liquids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) in dorm rooms is strictly prohibited.
  • The number of electrical outlets shall not be increased by the use of multi-outlet adapters. Surge protectors are authorized.
  • Refuse cans in all rooms must be emptied daily.
  • Use of any fire or heat emitting devices is prohibited, unless authorized by Office of International Student Services, the Office of International Affairs or to the dormitory staff.

 D.  Weapons and Dangerous Instruments: Any student found or suspected to be in possession of any weapon, device, or substance readily capable of inflicting serious bodily injury must be reported to the Office of International Affairs or the CAs, immediately. In addition, the Office of Safety and Security must be alerted when a student is found to be in possession, or suspected to be in possession of a weapon. The decision to contact police shall rest with faculty and staff and shall be based on the nature and dangerousness of the instrument and any legitimate uses it may have. The police shall be informed whenever a student uses or threatens to use a weapon in possession and the instrument may be confiscated.

  • Items not permitted in the program: guns of any kind, knives, martial arts equipment, illegal medications, illicit drugs, fireworks, lighters, and any other items which may present a hazard to the student, staff, or community
Weapon possession sanctions:
  • Criminal charges and possible jail time
  • Expulsion from the Program and deportation from the United States