This summer and fall, I have been working with the Student Government Association (SGA) and its president, Zach Sturman, as well as Executive Vice President for Student Affairs Alicia Caudill, on amending our Good Samaritan policy, also known as the Medical Amnesty policy, which we have had for many years.
The policy grants conditional amnesty from any student conduct action to students needing help or requesting medical assistance on another student’s behalf for an alcohol problem. The SGA, in collaboration with Daniel Miles from Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, wanted to amend the policy to include drugs as well, which is in line with other universities around the country. Both organizations worked together to conduct the research and to bring their idea to the leadership of the College of Charleston.
The College’s leadership team, as well as the Board of Trustees, discussed the idea this semester. I’m pleased to announce the policy has been extended to include amnesty for cases involving other drugs, in addition to alcohol, effective today, October 30, 2015.
This move will enable all of you to seek help for alcohol- or drug-related incidents without guaranteed student conduct action from the College. However, I want to make very clear that this policy does not extend to behavioral misconduct or legal action taken by local, state or federal law enforcement officials. This policy is intended for one-time use only by an individual student and is not intended to apply to students with repeat incidents of violations of our alcohol or drug policies. That being said, students calling for help or assisting in a high-risk situation, even if they are in violation of an alcohol or drug policy, may be covered under this policy multiple times. Those who receive medical attention for their abuse of alcohol and/or other drugs will also receive education concerning their own habits so that they may make healthy choices in the future. You can read the policy at http://policy.cofc.edu/documents/12.4.4.pdf.
We are working to continue enhancing a student culture at the College where all of you address issues and concerns that could be dangerous for you and your peers. We want to encourage everyone to seek assistance when you are in need of medical attention or when you know of another student in need of medical care due to an alcohol or drug emergency. We do not want “fear of getting in trouble” to prevent any of you from addressing a situation where you or another student may be in an unhealthy and/or dangerous situation. It is our goal and desire to help connect you with the resources you need to be healthy and successful college students.
I want to thank everyone involved in this process for their hard work and interest in enhancing the student experience at the College. This is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together toward a common goal.
I hope all of you will continue to be each other’s keeper, so to speak. We are a stronger College of Charleston community when we look out for and lift each other up. I wish you a wonderful, safe and happy Halloween weekend.
– This message about our Good Samaritan/Medical Amnesty policy was sent out to all students in October.