Silliman University (SU) may implement mandatory drug testing for college students starting next school year, said SU General Counsel Atty. Myles Nicholas Bejar in a consultation meeting with SU student organizations last Feb. 26.
This is in compliance with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum No. 64, Series of 2017, now allowing Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to require drug testing among students.
Mandatory drug testing means the university may impose drug testing as a condition for admission or retention of all students.
“The purpose of [mandatory drug testing] is to ensure that the university discourages the use of prohibited drugs. It’s to tell those who are engaged in it, ‘if you are into this, do it elsewhere,’” Bejar explained.
If SU will push through with mandatory drug testing, incoming students will have to submit their drug test results from any Department of Health-accredited hospital as a requirement for enrolment.
For ongoing students, the drug testing fee will be part of their miscellaneous fees and the test will be conducted randomly at SU Medical Center throughout the school year.
For the mandatory drug testing, an initial test will be conducted. Those who will have positive results in the said test will take a confirmatory test. If the student remains positive in this test, there will be a conference with his/her parents to find out how he/she can be helped.
The said assistance may include rehabilitation of student.
Meanwhile, Bejar stressed that the drug test results will remain confidential and will be consistent with the CHED Memorandum and the current policies of the Dangerous Drug Board.
“The purpose of this is not to make students go to jail. This is actually to help those who are into drugs,” Bejar added.
However, depending on their discussions, Bejar said SU may refuse continued admission of students who have positive drug test results.
As of press time, the SU administration has not yet finalized the university’s approaches to the drug-testing policy and regulations and when it will be implemented.