Policy Title: Good Samaritan Policy
Reviewed date: June 2017
Good Samaritan Policy
Background and Purpose
Consistent with our mission and convictions, the University of St. Thomas seeks to foster moral responsibility and a caring culture that supports the well-being of all of its members. Guided by this commitment, St. Thomas strongly encourages students to offer assistance and support to other students in need, both on and off campus. Specifically, when a student becomes severely intoxicated or impaired through alcohol or other drug use, students are expected to call for medical assistance and to stay present until a recognized helping authority arrives.
Sometimes students are hesitant to offer assistance to other students for fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations, or that the student needing medical attention due to their intoxication or impairment may receive judicial sanctions. Our Good Samaritan Policy exists to ease these student concerns and to eliminate any reason for hesitation that may prevent St. Thomas students from seeking help for others.
Students who seek medical assistance for an intoxicated or impaired student will not face any formal disciplinary actions or sanctions related to their own alcohol or other drug use or possession related to the incident, so long as:
- The student contacts a recognized helping authority such as Public Safety, law enforcement or Emergency Medical Services; and
- The student remains with the intoxicated or impaired student and is present when the recognized helping authority arrives. It is dangerous to leave an intoxicated or impaired student alone. Students who call for medical assistance generally will be required to provide their contact information to the responding agency.
Students who receive medical attention for intoxication or impairment due to another student’s call for assistance will meet with a Student Affairs staff member and may receive reduced sanctions for any policy violation. Sanctions are not intended as punishment. Rather, they are intended to provide an educational and growth opportunity for the student, and they reflect the university’s assessment of whether the student is capable of engaging in our community in an acceptable and successful way. The University of St. Thomas believes the health and safety of a student is far more important than any potential disciplinary outcome of the student conduct process.
The Good Samaritan Policy does not apply to other violations of the code of conduct or other policies beyond those noted above. Any student found to be abusing this policy will not be able to claim the benefits of the policy and may be subject to further disciplinary action. Additionally, the Good Samaritan Policy only applies to the university response to a student. While Minnesota Statute 340A.503.8 provides similar immunity from prosecution within the State of Minnesota under specified circumstances, criminal investigations or other enforcement action may still occur at the discretion of law enforcement agencies, depending on the circumstances.