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Student Handbook

Medical/Sexual Assault Amnesty Protocol

Medical Amnesty Policy

The Washington College community strives to provide continued support for all of its members, and as a community advocates for the well-being of one another. When an individual is potentially at risk for harm or in need of medical attention, the well-being of the individual is prioritized over upholding the conduct process and the administering of sanctions. Though individuals may be reluctant to seek help during situations in which they or another student may be in violation of College policy, it is imperative that someone calls for medical assistance if any student is at immediate risk for harm or injury or if there is cause for potential harm or injury. Since such situations are potentially life threatening, the Medical Amnesty Policy reduces or eliminates disciplinary consequences for students who call for medical attention or for the student in need of medical attention. Medical attention is defined by Washington College as being an assessment and/or treatment by a first responder, such as an RA, an AC, a Public Safety Officer, Paramedics or EMTs, or a Treating Health Care Provider at the hospital.

This policy is part of Washington College’s comprehensive approach to reducing harmful consequences caused by the consumption of alcohol or other drugs. The Medical Amnesty Policy represents the College’s commitment to increasing the likelihood that community members will call for medical assistance when faced with an alcohol or substance-related emergency. It is important to realize that occasionally, such problematic behaviors which would necessitate medical amnesty may be associated with mental health concerns. As a community, we need to look out for other members who may need attention and/or assistance in such circumstances, and this policy is designed to protect and support those individuals.

How does the Medical Amnesty Policy work?

The Medical Amnesty Policy reduces or eliminates disciplinary consequences when a student actively calls for help as follows:

Student in need of medical attention:

If a student actively seeks medical attention (either themselves or through another individual calling for assistance) and completes the mandated follow-up programs and recommendations, the Medical Amnesty Policy offers minimal consequences from conduct actions for the following policy violations for the student in need of medical attention should they occur at the time of the emergency:

Underage consumption and/or possession of alcohol and/or illegal substances - Whenever a student utilizes medical amnesty, they must complete the required educational follow-up at Health Services. In cases where there is reasonable worry of problematic behavior, the student may be mandated to complete additional follow-up as noted below in Prevention, Education, and Intervention Methods.

Student calling on behalf of someone else - An individual who actively calls for assistance or medical attention on behalf of a person experiencing an alcohol- or other substance-related incident would not be subject to conduct action for the following policy violations should they occur at the time of the emergency:

  • Underage consumption and/or possession of alcohol and/or illegal substances
  • Provision of alcohol to an underage person

Prevention, Education, and Intervention Methods - While the Medical Amnesty policy minimal consequences from conduct actions for the student in need of medical attention, instances of extreme problematic behavior, which are defined as extreme in relation to volume, frequency, and/or intensity of instances, may result in implementation of intervention methods designed with regards for the best interest of the student.  Such intervention strategies may include (but are not limited to):

  • Meeting with the Director of the Health Center
  • Recommended meetings with the counseling center
  • Participation in peer-lead advocacy groups
  • Online educational/intervention programs
  • Recommended meetings or involvement with out-sourced programs such as Kent Behavioral Health and For All Seasons

Additional Details - An active call requires an individual to call 9-1-1 or a College Official, such as a Public Safety Officer or a Resident Assistant. Medical Amnesty will not be granted where there was no active call for medical assistance. Failure to complete the above requirements of meeting with designated education follow up officials may result in the case being referred to the student conduct process.

Sexual Assault Amnesty Protocol

Washington College encourages the reporting of sexual misconduct by survivors.  The College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time that violence, including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurs, may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct.  

An individual reporting sexual violence to College officials or a bystander reporting such violations, provided that their behavior did not place the health and safety of any person at risk, will not be subject to disciplinary action for violations of alcohol and other drug policies occurring at the time of the sexual misconduct.