Understanding The Good Samaritan Provision

My friend drank so much, he’s vomiting, and we can’t get him to talk. I’d call for help, but I don’t want him to get into trouble. Is this serious? What do I do?

 

Yes, this is serious. Get help NOW.

Your friend IS in TROUBLE, but not with TECH. This is more than just an embarrassing party foul. Alcohol poisoning could actually result in DEATH.

Man's face hanging over toilet with concerned woman watching
Unresponsive? Get help! Alcohol poisoning kills.

We can’t emphasize this enough—GET HELP!

Your first responsibility as a friend, and as a Husky, is to take care of yourself and each other. Community, Scholarship, Possibilities, Accountability…Tenacity. These Husky values are highly relevant here and should be at the top of every Tech student’s mind. The most important takeaway being:

When someone is in trouble, you take action! No question.

 

But what if I’m not sure? How sick is too sick? What if I’ve been drinking too?

 

This is why we have the Good Samaritan Provision.

The goal of the Office of Academic and Community Conduct is to help Tech students learn from their mistakes, not to punish them. 

That’s why when students who actually seek emergency medical assistance in cases involving drug or alcohol overuse, we take all of the circumstances into consideration to avoid punitive sanctions. This goes for the student in need, and those actively assisting the student in distress.

 

If you’re convinced that this is an emergency, then it’s NO time to worry about anything but health and safety. But, we understand sometimes there are grey areas.

If a reasonable person believes that someone’s physical or mental well-being (this includes one’s self) is at serious risk, that person can call for help. The Good Samaritan Provision was crafted to make sure students know it’s safe to do the right thing.

What happens then?

If it’s an emergency, call 911. The affected parties will get help right away.

If you’re not sure that it’s that level of emergency, you could consult an RA or your faculty/staff sponsor—any faculty or staff member will help you. After the situation is assessed and any necessary help is given, as soon as you’re okay, you get to go back home.

Woman sitting in bed, yawning
Seriously, it’s been a rough night. Go home.

We won’t leave you hanging.

When someone experiences this kind of event, we take it seriously, and will do everything in our power to make sure you are safe, and that this doesn’t happen again.

The Office of Academic and Community Conduct will make sure that the persons involved get further help, be it drug and alcohol education, ongoing medical treatment or intervention, counseling, or a combination of those things, depending on the needs of the students involved.

You should remember that the Good Samaritan Provision applies only to administrative enforcement of the Code and does not provide immunity/amnesty from arrest or criminal prosecution.

We want you to succeed—to be happy and healthy. It’s all about making that happen.

Photo of Academic and Community Conduct staff with text: We will listen to you
We consider every case individually. Intent and circumstances are important.

Still not sure? Take a little quiz…

 

Squirrel holding piece of paper printed with numbers

See if you can determine which of these examples would be considered for the Good Samaritan Provision.

 

1. New students Breanna and Marita have just come back to DHH after their first party where alcohol was served.

Both had several glasses of sweet punch served in red plastic cups, so they aren’t really sure how much alcohol they drank. Marita vomits in the community trash can before she can make it to the toilet. Breanna lays down on her bed to make the floor stop moving. Marita texts her from the bathroom, “OMG, I think I’m gonna DIE.” Breanna panics. She’s never been sick like this before. Could there have been more than alcohol in those red cups? She goes to her RA to get help.

2. Kevin has been depressed for several weeks.

It’s his first semester at Tech, and his grades are not good. His girlfriend broke up with him over Homecoming weekend and with midterms looming, he’s been taking it all pretty hard. Aaron and Hasan finally drag him out of his room on Saturday night to go to a party at the Breakers. Kevin starts pounding beers and telling well-meaning friends that he doesn’t want to talk to them. After about an hour, Kevin steps away from the bonfire and starts walking out into the icy water. Hasan, Aaron, and several other students grab Kevin and forcibly drag him back to shore while a nearby friend, Leesha calls 911.

3. Ryan feels a little sick and is looking for a good place to spew.

He and his roommates have been drinking heavily, and loudly for several hours—so loudly, that Public Safety has come to investigate the multiple noise complaints. People start scattering, but Ryan is too wasted to scramble, so he decides he’ll try to do that “seek help” thing…Only he can’t remember what it’s called. Our exceptionally inebriated friend suddenly remembers, and runs up to the officer yelling “Diplomatic Immunity!”

4. Liisa started vaping THC oil last fall as a way to relax.

Later, she also started using edibles so she could get a buzz when she was out on campus. Several friends have talked to her about maybe being “too relaxed,” but she says that it “helps her forget stuff,” though she won’t say what. She’s blown off several classes and missed two appointments with her academic advisor. Her sisters have become concerned, but are afraid that if they tell anyone, Liisa will get into trouble.

Two days ago, Liisa started vomiting. A lot. Nothing helped except sitting in a hot shower. She couldn’t keep anything down, not even toast. When Liisa threw up in Rekhi Hall, her big sister decided enough was enough and called for EMTs.

5. Prakash is at his friend’s senior barrel.

By one in the morning, he, and many of his fellow party attendees have had quite a lot to drink. He’d been having fun hanging out with several friends, including Kasey, who had been cracking jokes all evening. Something changed though, and Prakash became a little worried. Kasey is rather small, but she had been keeping up with some of the heaviest drinkers at the party. When she started to slur her words and sat/fell onto the couch, he offered to walk her back to Wads, and she accepted.

After a quick pit stop, Prakash returned to the couch to find that a huge guy he did not know had his hand under Kasey’s shirt. Prakash tried to get Kasey to stand up, but this guy started yelling. He tried again, and the guy punched him, hard. Prakash looked around for help…was he so drunk that he didn’t recognize anyone? Now Prakash felt punch-drunk, too. He didn’t have time to look for help. Prakash called 911 and told them what was going on. Loudly. By this time, people had started to pay attention and several of them pulled the guy off of Kasey. The Houghton City Police arrived before the guy could leave.

Think you know what happened? See if you’re right.

 

 

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