Alcohol is by far the drug of choice at Cornell. Not everybody drinks, but it is definitely a majority of the campus. Drug use is less prevalent. If you aren’t friends with someone who uses drugs, you could make it through your four years without knowing of specific instances of use. However, if you seek, you shall find, and in any combination or quantity you desire. Alcohol is present at most parties on and off campus, but pressure to consume it is harder to come by. Students are, for the most part, respectful of others' boundaries and beliefs.
Violations which are drug related are taken much more seriously by the school, compared to the slap on the wrist of a fine for alcohol-related infractions. Getting caught using drugs of any kind warrants an immediate phone call to the local police, who then deal with the incident based on state and federal law. In addition, sanctions can be brought by Cornell against the student. Consequences for alcohol-related violations are less severe. A student caught drinking underage on a substance-friendly floor or drinking of age on a substance-free floor receives a $25 fine and is usually required to attend an alcohol education class. Drinking underage on a substance-free floor results in a doubled fine in addition to the "make good decisions" class.