BHANDARI and BROWN | Medical Amnesty Conundrum

Colleges across the country struggle with the issue of high risk drinking. With their newfound freedom, undergraduate students are uniquely susceptible to dangerous drinking habits that can put their lives at risk and lead to a myriad of unintended negative consequences. Administrators and university policy makers are often put in the bind of adopting policies that both enforce laws and encourage students to be safe, while also recognizing the reality of alcohol use on college campuses and the need for pragmatic solutions that encourage students to request medical attention when it is needed. Our University is unique in the way that it addresses high risk drinking — largely because of its Medical Amnesty Protocol, which allows for students to call for emergency services and receive care, while removing any liability from other illicit violations such as underage drinking or possession of alcohol or other drugs. In creating Medical Amnesty Protocol, the University took a bold step to encourage students to consider their safety and well-being above the fear of getting in trouble.