Drug Use On Campus

RHSU branded security jackets on a rail.

During this first week of the year, it’s important that we’re very clear about our stance on drugs and the misuse of them, especially with thousands of new students joining the University for the new term.

Possession, use and supply of controlled drugs and substances is illegal in the UK, and Royal Holloway Students’ Union has a zero tolerance policy towards their use. With regards to a night out, we detail the consequences of drug use in our venues code of conduct but essentially, if you are caught in possession of an illegal substance you are looking at a 24 week term time ban through to a permanent exclusion (and potential police action and course termination) should there be an intent to supply.

Throughout the term, we also operate a detailed search and seizure policy of drugs and illegal substances. This includes working closely with Surrey Police on a number of operations within our venues at random points throughout the year. Previously these have included the use of sniffer dogs, itemiser testing and undercover officers.

As we flex our security operation up and down across the year this can have a direct impact on the time it takes to enter our venues. So if over the next few weeks you see an increased security presence, there’s no need to be alarmed and we’d ask that you please be patient if you are required to queue for a little longer while more searches take place.

While we have a strict zero tolerance approach to drug use, your safety is the most important thing to us. If you feel unwell while in any of our venues then please alert a member of staff immediately. You will not be judged or penalised in any way. We have trained first aiders on-site at all times to look after you.

If you are worried about yourself or a friend, you can book an appointment with our Advice Centre, on the first floor of the Students’ Union for confidential, impartial advice, or contact them at advice@su.rhul.ac.uk.

It’s also important to make it clear that while we do not condone the use of drugs - and hope that no students would take drugs - we are also realistic and understand that some will try them during their time at university.

With that in mind we believe you should be as informed as possible about the different substances you may come into contact with and the potential effects they may have on you and recommend you read this guidance from The Loop on drug harm reduction. It’s important to re-emphasis that we do not condone the use of drugs and much in the same way that we distribute condoms to promote safe sex, we believe that ensuring students are informed on drugs allows for healthier decisions to be made.