Billy Ferguson_amnesty (RGB)-01

Medical Amnesty program offers second chances

THE OFFICE OF STUDENT CONDUCT OFFERS HELP IN EMERGENCIES

By Isabella LaMagdeleine, Staff Writer

The medical amnesty program offered at Mason through the Office of Student Conduct is designed to ensure that all students can receive medical care if they become dangerously intoxicated.

“First and foremost, we want to keep our community safe,” said Brian Cozby, Mason’s assistant chief of police. “We want our students to feel safe, and we want the students to feel if they make a mistake, it’s not going to ruin their entire career.”

If a student gets drunk and needs medical assistance, then they or someone on their behalf can call campus police to get emergency help. All students at the university are allowed to take part in the policy, regardless of whether or not they are legally of age to consume or possess alcohol.

“If a student finds themselves in a situation, or they find a friend in a situation, that they have had too much alcohol, and they are in fear of what may happen to them, that we believe it’s most important to get these people some help,” said Cozby.

Once they call for assistance, students are required to stay where they are and wait for emergency services to arrive. All students are expected to fully cooperate with first responders by providing as much information as possible about the incident. After the students have been taken care of, and the medical emergency is resolved, a member of the Office of Student Conduct and the student involved will meet to discuss the incident.

During this time, it will be determined whether or not they can apply for medical amnesty. To qualify, the student must have requested medical attention during an emergency by reporting the incident proactively and not once emergency services have already arrived. Students must also agree to complete any educational requirements that are made in a recommended timeframe. They may also be referred to other Mason services for continued assistance.

Students who call on behalf of another student or act as witnesses are not restricted in how many times they can use the program, but those who are referred themselves for a first-time medical emergency may use medical amnesty only once during their time at Mason. Medical amnesty applies to situations involving alcohol and other drug-related violations of the student code of conduct, whether they occur on or off campus. The program only applies to the university, and is separate from any legal consequences brought by law enforcement.

“The safety of our students is our primary concern,” said Brent Ericson, director of student conduct. “Students should be empowered to seek assistance for their fellow Patriots if someone is in a medical emergency.”

If you need to use the medical amnesty program, call 911 or contact Mason police at (703) 993-2810. Questions about the medical amnesty program can be directed to the Office of Student Conduct at 703-993-6209.

Graphic by Billy Ferguson