UC Davis grants conditional immunity to students in drug, alcohol emergencies
UC Davis recently became the third UC campus to enact an amnesty policy for its students. Deemed the “good Samaritan policy,” amnesty grants an official pardon, or immunity, for student drinking and drug use in the face of emergency medical situations. The policy went into effect on Sept. 25, the first day of Fall Quarter.
The academic records of students who are involved in a drug or alcohol incident resulting in a medical emergency will remain untarnished, although those students may be required to enroll in an educational course about the impacts of substance abuse.
Immunity can only be granted once every two years and ceases to apply if the incident involves assault or violates the Student Conduct Code in another critical way.
Given that a tainted educational record is a central source of anxiety for students, removing that disciplinary action encourages students to dial 911 without fear of repercussions.
While the Editorial Board applauds the university for its efforts, we are concerned that the one-call limit will discourage students from making multiple calls. Students should always feel empowered to call for help.
The beginning of the school year is notorious as a season of partying and reckless behavior. It’s in every university’s best interest to address that underage drinking is inevitable and can result in dire medical emergencies.
UC Davis should unequivocally prioritize students’ health and safety over imposing punitive measures that would serve to deter students from helping someone in need.
To avoid preventable deaths due to substance abuse, universities must allow easy and unrestricted access to medical help that is free from consequences. By joining the list of universities who have embraced the amnesty protocol, UC Davis has taken a step in the right direction. We hope this will serve as a model for other universities.
The Editorial Board strongly suggests to students that if they are going to drink, they should learn their alcohol tolerances, always pour their own drinks and drink in a safe environment with people they trust. If you witness someone who is unconscious or needs medical attention, be an active bystander and call for help immediately. In other words, be a friend to a fellow Aggie in need.
Written By: The California Aggie Editorial Board