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Amnesty policy expands

Office of Student Conduct prioritizes student safety over sanctions

The Office of Student Conduct, part of the University of Delaware’s Division of Student Life, offers amnesty from related sanctions for students who seek help following consumption of drugs or alcohol.

Students who perceive a safety risk to themselves or others are encouraged to seek help as soon as possible to avoid alcohol poisoning, overdose and other emergencies. Relevant scenarios include feeling unsafe due to someone’s behavior as a result of alcohol or drug consumption, feeling ill as a result of personally consuming alcohol or drugs, or encountering a fellow student who is incoherent or unconscious.

Though amnesty has been offered for alcohol-related risk for many years, the policy was recently expanded to include drug consumption. “Student safety is of the utmost importance,” said José-Luis Riera, dean of students. “We know that students sometimes don’t seek help when they should out of fear of disciplinary repercussions, and amnesty is specifically designed to eliminate that barrier. We never want to see students in a life-threatening situation that could have been avoided if they had sought help as soon as they perceived danger.”

If they can safely do so, those who seek assistance on behalf of another student are encouraged to remain with them to provide any details needed by first responders. Additionally, all students must comply with UD staff and police to avoid additional charges. Students who seek help and those they assist can later apply and qualify for Medical Amnesty from conduct violations related to drug or alcohol consumption, so that they may remain in good disciplinary standing even if they personally consumed alcohol or drugs.

Student Health Services, also part of the Division of Student Life, also promotes the use of Medical Amnesty. Students who seek medical attention at Laurel Hall while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or as a result of their consumption, are eligible for amnesty from related conduct sanctions.

Signs of alcohol poisoning or drug overdose include:

• Vomiting.

• Confusion, incoherence or unconsciousness.

• Inability to stay awake or be roused from a semiconscious or unconscious state.

• Cold, clammy or bluish skin.

• Irregular breathing.

• Weak, rapid, or slow pulse.

• Seizures.

Damage to the body varies depending on the type of drug consumed. Additional signs of overdose may include:

• Dizziness or loss of balance.

• Cramps or chest pain.

• Hallucination.

• Diarrhea.

• Fever.

Steps that can be taken until help arrives include:

• Monitoring symptoms listed above.

• Staying with the unconscious or incoherent individual.

• Turning the individual onto their side to prevent choking.

• Trying to learn how much and what type of substance was consumed so that first responders may treat accordingly.

Students in need can seek help in a variety of ways:

• Contact an RA or another member of UD staff

• Reach UD Police via the LiveSafe app or 302-831-2222

• Call 911

For more information about amnesty, visit the website.


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