The Student Regulation Committee of the faculty senate approved the new Good Samaritan Provision during its Tuesday meeting. As a result, the Office of the Dean of Students will add the Good Samaritan Provision to its existing policies governing alcohol consumption on campus. The provision will provide support and conditional protection from Institute disciplinary actions to students who proactively contact Institute staff or emergency personnel for any student whose judgment or health is severely affected by alcohol consumption. The policy will go into effect on March 1.
The primary intent of the Good Samaritan Provision is to further emphasize and safeguard the health and safety of the members of the Tech community. Its goal is to provide a more health and safety focused response to incidents involving alcohol consumption within Tech, and shift the response away from being strictly disciplinary.
According to Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Integrity Christopher Schmidt, the Good Samaritan Provision is the outcome of research and study done by members of the Institute and outside consultants. It is something that both the student body and the administration had wanted. Its institution was through the work of SGA, the Alcohol Task Force, the Alcohol Implementation Committee and the various administrative offices.
“In general, it’s a fantastic way to not let people be bystanders. It encourages our organizations to take the better stance, to say this person is not well and needs medical attention. It provides protection for both the organizations and students involved when they need to request assistance,” said Shane Sandridge, president of the Interfraternity Council.
More specifically, the Good Samaritan Provision applies to alcohol related policy violations from students or student organizations under review by the Office of Student Integrity and/or the Department of Housing.
These administrative bodies reserve the right to determine whether or not the provision applies to the incident based on the totality of the circumstances.
The provision states that “if a student assists another in receiving appropriate assistance from Institute staff or emergency personnel, then that student, as well as those who are assisted, will not be subject to Institute or Housing disciplinary action with respect to the incident.” It goes on to state that this provision only applies if the intoxicated students involved agree to complete any recommended treatment or education deemed appropriate by the Office of Student Integrity.
The current student conduct policies regarding alcohol violations would typically result in fines, probation and other disciplinary consequences for alcohol related incidents. However, with this provision, there is more of an opportunity for more forgiving disciplinary actions under the specified circumstances.
“If determined to be protected by the provision, the student’s official school record would not document the incident. It typically applies to first time offenders. Repeat offenses are strictly scrutinized, and the provision does not apply to repeated and deliberate violations of policies. It’s not meant to be used as a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said Matlock Rogers, vice president of student organizations of SGA.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Olivia Gibson, third-year ISyE major. “It will make me more likely to call for help in situations when I know that I’m not going to get into trouble with the school.”