SMU enacts medical amnesty with “Call for Help”

UPDATE Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014: The University’s Call for Help program has been updated. Visit SMU’s Live Responsibly site for new information.

Students on Bishop BoulevardIn accordance with a recommendation put forth by SMU’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention, SMU has developed and enacted a Good Samaritan and medical amnesty policy, the “Call for Help Program.”

Under the new policy, now in effect, students who seek medical assistance for themselves or another person due to alcohol and/or drug intoxication may be exempt from the SMU disciplinary process, except when it has been determined that another violation of University policy has occurred (such as destruction of University property, fire safety violation, physical harm to another person, or other infraction).

Any exemption from the SMU discipline process granted under the policy may only apply to disciplinary action and/or sanctions under the SMU alcohol and/or drug policies in the SMU Student Code of Conduct. It does not prevent the SMU Police or another police agency from detaining a student, issuing a citation or making an arrest if they deem that action necessary.

The Task Force recommendation establishing the program is one of 36 reviewed by the Faculty Senate and accepted by President R. Gerald Turner in April 2008

Any questions or comments about the policy may be directed to the Dean of Student Life Office, 302 Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

>> Read the entire policy under the cut.


The Call for Help Program; Good Samaritan Policy / Medical Amnesty Policy

Student welfare is a primary concern at SMU. Everyone is responsible for creating a healthy community that cares for one another. One demonstration of caring involves seeking medical assistance for fellow students when lives may be in danger due to alcohol and/or drug intoxication. To seek medical assistance, please call 911.

Students who seek medical assistance for themselves (Medical Amnesty) or another person (Good Samaritan) due to intoxication of alcohol and/or drugs will not normally be subject to the SMU discipline process, except when it has been determined that another violation of university policy has occurred (for example destruction of university property; fire safety violation; physical harm to another person, etc.).

Any exemption from the SMU discipline process which is granted under this policy may only apply to disciplinary action and/or sanctions under the SMU alcohol and/or drug policies in the SMU Student Code of Conduct, and therefore does not prevent the SMU Police or another police agency from detaining a student, issuing a citation, or making an arrest if they deem that action necessary.

In order for this policy to apply, the student must agree to complete any and all recommendations made by an Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the SMU Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention. (These recommendations will include at minimum an individual appointment with a counselor and a follow-up appointment).

While this policy applies to individual students, if an organization has been found in violation of the university’s alcohol and/or drug policies, then the organization’s willingness to seek medical assistance for a guest may be viewed as a mitigating factor if or when sanctions are issued.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Students who believe that the Good Samaritan policy applies to them must complete and submit a written request form, available in the Dean of Student Life Office (302 Hughes-Trigg).
  2. Students who may qualify for Medical Amnesty may be contacted by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life.
  3. After a form has been completed and submitted by a student, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life or his/her designee will notify the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards of such a request and will request that any conduct review process for the student submitting the request should be suspended until further notice from the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life or his/her designee.
  4. The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life or his/her designee will contact the student and meet with the student to discuss the student’s request for a disciplinary exemption.
  5. If the request is approved, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life or his/her designee will complete a referral form and send the form to the SMU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Center.
  6. The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life or his/her designee will be in contact with the SMU Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and will complete any necessary follow up with the student regarding non-compliance.

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