Good Samaritan Policy

1. Purpose

 It is the intent of SUNY Oswego to encourage a witness or victim of an alcohol or other drug related emergency to seek medical assistance. SUNY Oswego aims to reduce harm and prevent future alcohol and drug related emergencies by providing education to victims of such emergencies and referring those victims to appropriate services.  To that end and in keeping with New York State Penal Law Section 220.78 WITNESS OR VICTIM OF DRUG OR ALCOHOL OVERDOSE, Section 390.40 (3) and Section 220.03, SUNY Oswego expects members of the college community – students, faculty and staff – and visitors and guests to report emergency needs for medical attention when they observe them. This policy also promotes education/intervention for individuals who receive emergency medical attention related to their use of alcohol or other drugs and those individuals who may have observed or accompanied the victim.

2. Policy

A. Individuals should seek immediate help [contact University Police (315.312.5555) or dial 911 for off campus incidents] if any of the symptoms listed below are present as they indicate a potentially life-threatening emergency:

   1. Seriously disoriented or semi-conscious; person goes in/out of consciousness
   2. Passed out
   3. Inability to rouse the person with loud shouting or vigorous shaking
   4. Slow or irregular breathing or lapses in breathing
   5. Weak pulse; very rapid pulse; or very slow pulse
   6. Cold, clammy or bluish skin
   7. Vomiting while passed out or semi-conscious and disoriented; not waking up after vomiting, incoherent while vomiting, or vomiting without seeking a receptacle such as toilet or trash can

B. One should never leave a severely intoxicated/impaired individual alone.  Therefore, at least one person should stay with the intoxicated/impaired individual at all times, if possible, while emergency assistance is sought. 

C. Whenever an individual (witness or victim) assists an intoxicated person in procuring the assistance of University Police, local or state police, Residential Life staff, or medical professionals, neither the witness nor the victim will be subject to formal university disciplinary actions for:

   1. Being intoxicated
   2. Having provided alcohol to the intoxicated individual
   3. Possession of alcohol or other drugs
   4. Possession of drug paraphernalia

3. Procedure

   A. University Police will assist intoxicated/impaired individuals by facilitating transport to medical facilities or by taking other protective measures.
   B. All students actively participating in an emergency response are subject to the terms of this policy.
   C. University Police and/or Residence Life staff will record names of students present at an incident, whether under the influence of alcohol or drugs or not, to enable follow-up that may be deemed necessary to ensure students health and well-being. 
   D. This policy does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations of the Code of Conduct such as causing or threatening harm, sexual assault, damage to property, harassment, hazing, etc., and any possession of drugs that meets state criteria for intent to sell.
   E. A student may decline having his/her incident classified under the Good Samaritan Policy if he/she does not agree with the recommended educational/intervention activities, assessment, and/or treatment.  In such cases, the incident will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Students and will follow the normal procedures of the student conduct system.

4. Educational activities

   A. Education is deemed necessary by the college as part of its responsibility to advance student learning and reduce repeat incidents of severe intoxication.  For the purposes of this policy, educational activities will consist of:

   1. Recommended on campus alcohol or other drug assessment programs shall be mandated, at no cost to the victims or others involved, by the Dean of Students or designee.
   2. Treatment programs for the victim depending on the level of staff concern for mental/physical health and safety and potential for harm or threat of harm.

   B. The intoxicated student(s) must agree to timely completion of recommended education/intervention activities, assessment, and/or treatment.  If the student does not follow these stipulations, she or he has violated the Good Samaritan Policy and may be subject to student disciplinary action.  Witnesses who may have contributed to the emergency incident may also be required to pursue specific on campus, educational/intervention outcomes at no cost for assessment or evaluation if their own condition was impaired or intoxicated.

   C. The Good Samaritan Policy may be used more than once.  However, serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of intervention by the college.  If a pattern of intoxication develops, the student may be subject to student disciplinary action.

   D. Students and organizations that help others seek medical assistance are not limited to one use of the Good Samaritan Policy as they should always feel empowered to help those in need.