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Resources For Students

  • Letter to Incoming Students

    Dear Incoming Students,

    We would like to welcome you to the Iona community. We look forward to meeting you, and we hope that you are excited to come to Iona and are ready to get involved on campus. Iona offers many programs and activities for students to participate in as a good alternative to destructive decisions. As students we understand the pressures of college, in and out of the classroom. We want to extend our welcome and provide support for you on campus.

    Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is a nationally based organization that raises awareness on campus about making safe decisions, provides peer-support and works to involve students in campus events. As incoming freshman we hope you will learn to make good decisions for yourself and encourage those around you to do the same. We would also like to see each of you get involved on campus, whether it be going to events or joining a club. The Office of Student Life (OSD) hosts many events during the "Week of Welcome" when you first arrive at Iona. We encourage you to get involved, meet new people, make good decisions and of course, have fun!

    Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns about college and decisions you will be making in these coming years.

    Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
  • Gaels Against Destructive Decisions (GADD)

    Are you interested in being a student leader? In educating your peers about the dangers of high risk substance use? In training opportunities regarding alcohol and other drug education (AODE)? In preventing AOD-related emergencies? If so, contact the Office of AODE Services at (914) 633-2038, or email Meredith Beardmore at to inquire about getting involved in the Gaels Against Destructive Decisions (GADD)!

    Benefits to being a GADD member include:

    • Letter of recommendation for dedicated team members for use in graduate school application or job search
    • Opportunities to co-facilitate presentations and programming (i.e.: freshmen orientation, in-person alcohol screenings, etc.)
    • Gaining skills and knowledge about substances, intervening in emergencies and problematic situations
    • Gaining skills and knowledge in effective AODE program development
    • Being a part of a fun, friendly group
    • Being a part of positive change within the campus community
  • Harm Reduction Strategies

    Guidelines for Responsible Drinking

    Drinking is illegal for people under 21 years of age. Iona College takes this very seriously. For those students over 21 years of age, we encourage them to make healthy, responsible decisions about their alcohol consumption. It is a violation of the Code of Conduct for students over 21 to be intoxicated. Below are a few guidelines for responsible Gaels who choose to consume:

    Before Consuming Alcohol

    • Eat a full meal before you drink. Eating high-protein foods like cheeses and meat will slow down the absorption rate so that the alcohol will not hit your system all at once. Never drink on an empty stomach.
    • Figure out how you're getting to the party and how you're getting home safely. Have a sober designated driver or use a taxi service. Plan before you go.
    • Get together with your friends and set a limit of how many drinks you're going to have and make sure to stick to it. Have your designated driver help you stick to your limit.
    • Plan on using the buddy system with your friends. By sticking together and leaving together it will help prevent unwanted interactions or anyone being left behind.
    • Think about why you're drinking. If you're drinking to reduce stress, get over a breakup, or release anger, remember that alcohol is a depressant and will only amplify the feelings you already have. Please don't use alcohol to make yourself feel better when you are depressed--talk it out, go for a walk, listen to music--make some connections. Visit Iona's Counseling Center if you feel you need someone to talk to.
    • Never let alcohol be the primary planned activity.
    • Pregnant or think you might be? Alcohol goes straight from a mother's bloodstream to the unborn baby causing birth defects and other abnormalities.
    • Responsible choices concerning sensible drinking may mean not drinking, such as when a person is sick, taking medications or being the designated driver.

    While Consuming Alcohol

    • Keep an eye on your drink and your surroundings. Trust your instincts. Never accept a drink from someone you don't know--You don't know what they could have put in it!
    • Recognize another's right not to drink.
    • Do not mix alcohol with other drugs or medication. (Example: Antihistamines and alcohol can induce excessive sedation, so it would be best to avoid this combination.)
    • Drink slowly - sip a drink and do not have more than one drink per hour.
    • Drinking carbonated beverages with alcohol or carbonated alcohol preparations increases the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, while diluting alcohol with water slows absorption.
    • Only drink when you really want to. At a party if someone is trying to force another drink on you, ask for ice or drink a non-alcoholic beverage.
    • Pace yourself and alternate your drinks with water. It takes your liver about 1 hour to process each alcoholic drink, depending on your size, food consumed, and other factors. Know that all drinks are not created equal. For example, a Long Island Iced Tea may have as many as 3 to 7 shots of alcohol, which can take as long as 2 to 6 hours to metabolize!
    • Keep count of the amount of drinks you've consumed.
    • Don't mix your drinks. Stick with one type of alcohol. Alternating different types of alcohol will raise and lower the sugar in your bloodstream which can just make you sick and put the end to a fun night.
    • Avoid drinking games. When playing them, it's hard to judge how much you are drinking and in how long of a time span.
    • Know your limit!
    • Stay with people you know and trust, but BEWARE, people's personalities are affected by alcohol use!

    After Consuming Alcohol

    • Don't drink and drive--Plan ahead for transportation; Use public transport or call a taxi!
    • If someone is intoxicated, see that they get a ride home with someone sober that you trust.
    • Leave with your friends.
    • Make sure everyone gets home safely.
    • If any of your friends are still very intoxicated, don't leave them alone. Their BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) can still rise even though they've stopped drinking.
    • Alcohol and sex don't mix! The mixture often leads to humiliation, regret, embarrassment, STD's, pregnancy and sexual assault!

    You should call 9-1-1 if you see someone exhibiting behavior that might indicate alcohol poisoning such as any of the following symptoms:

    • Unresponsive, unable to be awakened
    • Slow, shallow breathing
    • Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
    • Repeated, uncontrolled vomiting

    After you call 9-1-1, place the person on his/her side with knees bent to prevent choking from vomiting. Do not leave that person alone!

    Remember: The only thing that can sober a drunk person is time!!!!

    ***If you have concerns and questions about your own drinking habits, a friend or family members' situation, please seek help by contacting Iona's Counseling Center.

    Above adapted from UCDavis and from Engs, R.C. Alcohol and Other Drugs: Self Responsibility. Tichenor Publishing Company, Bloomington, IN, 1987.

  • Hints for Hosting a Safer Social Gathering

    Drinking is illegal for people under 21 years of age. Iona College takes this very seriously. For those students over 21 years of age, we encourage them to make healthy, responsible decisions about their alcohol consumption. It is a violation of the Code of Conduct for students over 21 to be intoxicated. It is illegal to serve alcohol to people under 21. The following tips for being a responsible host will help keep you and your friends safer:

    • Agree with your roommates on any "house rules" (party size, hours, music volume, sober host, clean-up).
    • Have a sober-host to monitor the noise, control the music, and serve as the contact for neighbors and officials. This person should always be in control.
    • Plan people movement. Make sure that people can move around and meet each other. If it means putting the sofa in a corner, do so. Do not have the gathering centered around alcohol consumption. Plan an activity that is not a drinking game.
    • The bartender. If you plan to have a friend act as "bartender," make sure that he or she is not an eager pusher who uses the role to put an extra shot in everyone's glass or keep filling up half empty cups with more beer.
    • Pace the drinks. Serve drinks at regular, reasonable intervals. A drink-an-hour schedule usually means that good company prevails and you can avoid intoxication. Use small cups for beer rather than large ones.
    • Don't double up. Many mature and wise people count and pace their drinks. If you serve doubles, they will be drinking twice as much as they planned.
    • Push the snacks. Make sure that people are eating along with drinking. Have plenty of high quality snacks such as cheese, meats, and nuts.
    • Don't push the drinks. Let the glass be empty before you offer a refill.
    • Limit the amount of alcohol available.
    • Serve nonalcoholic beverages. Make sure that you have something nonalcoholic to drink such as good quality soft drinks, pop, and juice. Non alcoholic wine is great for a formal dinner.
    • Closing the party. Decide, in advance, when you want your party to end. At this time, stop serving alcohol and serve coffee and a substantial snack. This provides some non-drinking time before your guests go home. NOTE: Coffee does not "sober up" intoxicated people and neither do cold showers. All you get is a "wide awake and freezing drunk."
    • Don't allow intoxicated guests to drive home. If you find that one of your friends has consumed too much alcohol, let them stay at your house, have someone else drive them home that you trust, or call a taxi. Plan to have phone numbers for cab companies and call for anyone who needs a safe ride home.
    • Have a guest list. Only allow people to your gathering who are on your guest list to keep the social gathering from getting out of control. Do NOT advertise the gathering on the internet or with with flyers. Do not allow strangers into your gathering. Keep your guest numbers to a minimal, controllable amount.
    • Check identification. Do NOT allow someone into your gathering who is under 21. Serving alcohol to a minor is a serious legal offense.
    • Know the signs of alcohol poisoning and call 911 when someone at your gathering needs medical attention. You CANNOT sleep it off. These include:
      • Unresponsive, unable to be awakened
      • Slow, shallow breathing
      • Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
      • Repeated, uncontrolled vomiting
    • Tuck away any valuables. Lock parts of the dwelling you do not want people wandering into.
    • Communicate with your neighbors if you are having friends over for a social gathering. Invite them. Give them your phone number. Agree upon a time your guests will leave.
    • Walk your guests into and out of your gathering and ensure they are quiet and respectful of your neighbors and neighborhood. Remind your guests to keep the noise down coming and going to your gathering, this includes revving car engines and car radios as well as those people traveling by foot.
    • Check outdoors periodically to make sure no noise can be heard outside
    • Be aware of all entrances and exits from your dwelling. Monitor them to make sure no one arrives who should not be there.
    • Social gatherings can be messy. Protect your carpeting and furniture with cardboard and drop clothes.
    • Decide where your guests will park their cars if they plan to bring cars. Do NOT let them park illegally, park on the lawn, block driveways, or park in neighbors' driveways.
    • Keep drinks and cups inside.
    • Provide many trash cans/recycling bins. Have trash bags to help with clean up.
    • Set music to an acceptable level that cannot be heard from the outside.
    • Keep the gathering INSIDE so as not to disturb your neighbors.
    • Definitely do not allow guests to spill onto the street.
    • Do not serve others who have had too much to consume already.
    • Do not allow guests to overcrowd decks beyond capacity.
    • Call the police when if it looks like your gathering is about to get out of control or if someone at the gathering needs medical assistance.
    • If police are called to your event, cooperate and be respectful.
    • Clean up inside and outside of your dwelling.
    • You are responsible for your guests' actions. Make sure they are polite and respectful to neighbors, other gathering goers, and the police department.
    • Follow up with your neighbors to ensure you did not cause any disturbances for them.

    Ways to Attract Police Attention:

    • Belligerent behavior
    • Loud music and talking
    • Underage drinking
    • People with open containers
    • People urinating on your neighbors' yards
    • People overflowing onto the streets
    • Illegal parking

    Resource adapted from:,, and Party Smart of Monmouth University.

  • Drinking and Driving

    Drunk Driving Statistics for the United States

    • Alcohol-related car crashes kill someone every 30 minutes and injure someone every two minutes.
    • In the United States, drunk driving is the leading criminal cause of death.
    • More than 17,000 people are the victims of drunk driving accidents every year.
    • Approximately 40% of all motor-vehicle fatalities are alcohol-related.
    • Frequent drunk drivers are responsible for almost 60% of alcohol-related fatalities.
    • In 2007, drivers between the ages of 16-20 were involved in 1,719 drunk driving accidents.

    When is a driver considered to be legally drunk in New York?

    • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
    • Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater.
    • Drivers under 21 are legally drunk after a chemical test reveals that they consumed alcohol.

    Penalties for Drunk Driving in New York

    • First-time offenders whose BAC measured .08 but less than .18 face a term of imprisonment of up to one year and payment of a fine of $500 to $1,000. The driver's license revocation period is at least six months.
    • First-time offenders whose BAC measured .18 or more face a term of imprisonment of up to one year and payment of a fine of at least $1,000. The driver's license revocation period is at least one year. In addition, if the offender is placed on probation, the offender must use an ignition interlock device following restoration of his driver's license and during the probation term.
    • Those who commit a second DWI offense within 10 years face up to four years in prison and payment of a fine of $1,000 to $5,000. The driver's license revocation period is at least one year. If, however, the first offense was for a DWI with a BAC of .18 or more, the revocation period will be at least 18 months.
    • A person who commits a third offense within 10 years faces up to seven years in prison and payment of a fine of $2,000 to $10,000. Depending on the circumstances of the prior violations and the time period between violations, these offenders may have their driver's licenses permanently revoked.

    Don't drink and drive and don't ride with anyone who has too much to drink. Remember, it is usually themselves and their passengers who are harmed by drunk drivers. What you can do to help stay safe:

    • Volunteer to be a designated driver.
    • Always use a safety seat belt.
    • Use four-lane highways whenever possible.
    • Avoid rural roads.
    • Avoid travel after midnight (especially on Fridays and Saturdays).
    • Drive defensively.
    • Choose vehicles with airbags.
    • Refer to safety ratings before selecting your next vehicle. See "Buying a Safer Car" ( "Buying A Safer Car" includes safety ratings of cars, vans, and sport utility vehicles by year, make, and model.
    • Never use illegal drugs. Illicit drugs are involved in a large proportion of traffic fatalities.
    • Never drive when fatigued. The dangers posed when fatigued are similar to those when intoxicated. A drunk or fatigued driver has slowed reactions and impaired judgment. And a driver who nods off at the wheel has no reactions and no judgment! Drivers who drift off cause about 72,500 injuries and deaths each and every year.
    • Don't use a car phone, put on make-up, comb your hair, or eat while driving. Drivers using cellular phones are four times more likely to have an accident than other drivers.
    • Steer clear of aggressive drivers. Aggressive drivers may be responsible for more deaths than drunk drivers.

    Local Cab Company Information
    American Taxi (914) 576-8400
    Blue Bird Taxi (914) 632-0909
    Union Taxi (914) 576-1600
    V&O City Taxi (914) 633-4500

  • Sexual Assault

    Everyone at Iona College wants our students to have the most positive and successful experience possible, both academically and socially. Our hope is that over your four years you will thrive on campus and that all of the wonderful expectations you have for yourself about your time at Iona will be realized.

    One of the ways we try to ensure that you will have a positive experience is to educate you about an important issues specifically relevant for college students: sexual assault and its link to alcohol and other drugs. We hope that the materials presented here will prevent you from being involved in a sexual assault, either as a victim or as an accused assailant.

    Why is Sexual Assault relevant to a college student population?

    • College women are the most likely members of our society to become visits of sexual assault, especially acquaintance rape. Although college students, in general, are less likely than non-college students of the same age group to become victims of violent crimes, the only exception is sexual assault.
    • One in four female college students is the victim of sexual assault, usually perpetrated on or near the college campus.
    • Victims of sexual assault often experience long term psychological, interpersonal and psychological consequences.
    • Persons accused of perpetrating sexual assault also experience long term psychological, as well as legal, consequences.

    What is the link between sexual assault and alcohol and other drugs?

    • In 90% of cases of sexual assault involving college students, alcohol and other drugs were used by the victim, the assailant, or both.
    • More than 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol related sexual assault annually in the United States.

    Defining Consent: What you Need to Know
    Getting consent is necessary to make sure that any physical contact is wanted and not against the person's will. There are a number of ways a person gives consent, and a number of ways a person makes it clear they do not consent. Everyone, regardless of gender, is responsible for obtaining consent for sexual activity.

    It is important to note that consent must be given freely without fear of consequences. Furthermore, the person must be physically capable of giving consent. You should also know that consent is a LEGAL concept. Without consent, you can be accused of sexual assault and you can be held legally liable.

    Signs of Consent:
    It is important to get a very clear message that consent has been given for any physical contact. Some examples would be verbal statements which indicate that the person is interested in being intimate with you, or non-verbal consent, such as reciprocating the physical or intimate activity that you have initiated. If there is any doubt about whether your partner is freely consenting to physical contact, stop and clarify the wishes and intentions of your partner.

    Remember, however, that there are often several stages of sexual activity. Therefore, consent to one kind of physical contact does not mean that your partner is consenting to ALL intimate activity. You should also know that someone consenting to be alone with you, for example in your residence hall room, does not necessarily mean that they are consenting to any intimate contact.

    When Consent is Not Valid:
    Consent is not valid if one of two things happen. The first is that consent occurs as a result of fear or threats. If the perpetrator has a weapon or threatens the victim with harm, then there is no consent. Also, if emotional coercion, intimidation or pressure is used, there is no consent.

    The second type of consent that is not valid is one that happens all too often on college campuses. That is when a person is not able to legally give consent because she or he is too drunk or high. The fact that a person is intoxicated makes them incapable of giving consent to sexual activity. In that case, the victim doesn't need to stop the perpetrator. If a person has sex with someone who is passed out, or someone who is too drunk to know what is going on, they could be accused of having sex against the victim's will; they can be accused of rape. You should know that if a person is accused of sexual assault, their being intoxicated or high at the time of the alleged incident does NOT absolve them of legal culpability.

    Signs of Lack of Consent:
    A lack of consent is indicated verbally when a person says "No" or "Don't do that" or "Please stop" or "I don't want to do this." These are fairly clear. However, a person could indicate a lack of consent by implied verbal refusals such as "I'm not sure I want to do this," or "Wait a minute."

    Any type of physical resistance, such as trying to get away, trying to leave, rolling over, pushing a person off, moving a person's hands, or trying to put one's clothes back on are signs of NOT giving consent.

    Submission is Not Consent:
    In a sexual situation, many individuals (especially women), report becoming so frightened that they "froze" or "shut down" and became completely passive. The incredible stress and trauma, the feeling of disbelief that this could happen has the effect of paralyzing the victim, with the assaulter controlling the victim's fear. Just because a person does not "fight back" does not mean he/she is willing or is consenting to sex.

    Stop, Ask, Clarify:
    In most cases, if you are sober, you have a pretty good sense of whether or not the person you are being sexually active with wants to be there or not. If you are listening, you can tell whether or not you have consent for sex. If, for any reason, you aren't sure whether or not you are engaging in consensual sex, you should stop, clarify the situation, ask and be sure. That way you can be certain that you are not engaging in sexual assault or rape.

    Consequences of Lack of Consent:
    If you engage in sexual activity without consent, you can be accused of sexual assault, you can be prosecuted, and you can be convicted. Do you really want to risk throwing your life away over a sexual experience with a partner who doesn't freely choose to be with you?

    If you engage in sexual activity when you are incapable of giving consent, you can become the victim of sexual assault which, unfortunately, can create physical and emotional consequences that you will have to deal with for a long time. Wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry?

    Sexual Assault: Why Report It?

    • One our four college women are sexually assaulted.
    • Individuals who sexually assault are predators who tend to victimize others over and over again.
    • Individuals who sexually assault are NOT your friends.
    • The person who sexually assaulted you will sexually assault someone else.
    • The person who sexually assaulted you probably sexually assaulted someone else before you who did not report it.
    • Victims who report sexual assault fare much better in the long run; they heal more quickly and completely knowing that the person who assaulted them didn't get away with it.
    • Only the victim can stop the sexual assailant from harming others.

    To report a sexual assault, you can:

    • Talk to your resident assistant or resident director.
    • Talk to a counselor in the Counseling Center in Spellman Hall.
    • Go to the nearest hospital to be medically evaluated.
    • Talk to someone in Campus Safety.
    • Talk to Vice Provost for Student Life, Mr. Charles Carlson in the Office of Student Life (Robert V. LaPenta Student Union).
    • Go to the nearest police department.
    • Go to the Iona Wellness Center (760 North Avenue).
    • Get support from friends, family or someone else you can trust to help your through the reporting process.
    • Call Victim's Assistance Services.

    Important Contact Information:
    Office of Residential Life (914) 633-2336
    Iona College Counseling Center (914) 633-2038
    Iona College Wellness Center (914) 633-2548
    Campus Safety (914) 633-2560
    Office of Student Development (914) 633-2360
    Health Services (914) 633-2548
    Office of Off-Campus Housing (914) 633-2243
    Victims Assistance Services (914) 345-3113
    24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline (914) 345-9111
    New Rochelle Police Department (914) 654-2300
    Sound Shore Medical Center (914) 632-5000

    *Information Prepared by the Iona College Counseling Center

  • Screening Tool

    A free website that provides anonymous self screening:

  • Where do I go if I think I have a problem with alcohol or other drugs?

    In an emergency situation, call 911 and get medical help from a trained professional.

    On Campus

    Counseling Center
    (914) 633-2038
    2nd Floor of Spellman Hall

    Health Services
    (914) 633-2548
    760 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY

    Residential Life
    (914) 633-2336
    2nd Floor of LaPenta Student Union
    Or speak with your Resident Assistant or Residence Hall Director

    Campus Ministries
    (914) 633-2772
    2nd Floor of LaPenta Student Union


    Maxwell Institute
    92 Yonkers Avenue
    Tuckahoe, NY 10707
    (914) 337-6033

    Lexington Center
    3 Cottage Place
    New Rochelle, NY 10801
    (914) 235-6633

    St. Vincent's Hospital
    275 North Street
    Harrison, NY 10528
    (914) 967-6500

    The Center for Motivation and Change, PLLC
    276 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1101/1105
    New York, NY 10001
    235 Main Street, Suite 540
    White Plains, NY 10601
    212.683.3339, ext 21
    212.683.3340 (fax)

    Renaissance Project, Inc.
    350 North Avenue
    New Rochelle, NY 10801
    (914) 235-8048

  • Where to go to get involved with programming initiatives?

    Contact the Counseling Center at (914) 633-2038