News & Events  |  Contact Us  |  Visit MCLA  |  People Finder  |  Search   

Amnesty and Good Samaritan Policy 

I.  Policy Statement

Student health and safety are primary concerns of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts community. Students may be reluctant to seek help in incidents of crisis or medical emergency because of potential student conduct consequences for themselves, the person in need of assistance or the organization hosting the event where the situation occurs.  Since these emergencies are crisis related and/or potentially life threatening, MCLA seeks to reduce barriers to seeking assistance. MCLA students are expected to care for themselves and for others in the MCLA community by getting help from appropriate officials even when violations of the Community Standards have occurred.

To this end, this Amnesty and Good Samaritan Policy was developed.  In crisis situations involving alcohol, drugs, and/or sexual misconduct (see below), the College strongly considers the positive impact of taking responsible action when determining the appropriate response for alleged policy violations relating to the incident. This means that no formal disciplinary actions will be assigned to the reporting student(s) or student in need of assistance for alcohol or drug possession violations relating to the incident. The incident will be documented.  Additionally, educational and/or health interventions will be required as a condition of deferring disciplinary sanctions.

II. Purpose

The Amnesty and Good Samaritan Policy represents the College's commitment to increasing the likelihood that community members will call for assistance when faced with a crisis or an alcohol or drug-related emergency. The policy also promotes education for individuals who receive emergency medical attention related to their own use of alcohol or drugs in order to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences.

III. Sexual Assault

In a situation where a sexual assault (nonconsensual sexual penetration or nonconsensual sexual contact according to the sexual assault policy) is alleged to have been committed against any individual(s), students are encouraged to (1) contact MCLA Campus Police (413) 662-5100 or (ext. 5100), Residential Programs & Services (RPS) Staff, MCLA Counseling Services, the Student Affairs Division Office or other emergency officials to report the incident; (2) remain with the individual(s) needing support and cooperate with emergency personnel as long as it is safe to do so; and (3) meet with appropriate College officials after the incident and cooperate with any College investigation.

IV. Alcohol/Drugs

    • Signs of serious intoxication/impairment include:
    • Inability to rouse the person with loud shouting or vigorous shaking
    • Passed out
    • Semi-conscious; person goes in/out of consciousness
    • Slow (< 8 breaths/minute) or irregular breathing or lapses in breathing of 10 seconds or more
    • Cold, clammy or bluish skin
    • Vomiting while passed out, not waking up after vomiting or incoherent while vomiting

Medical Emergency Reporting Procedures - Students are expected to contact the MCLA Campus Police (413) 662-5100 or (ext. 5100) when they believe that assistance for a seriously intoxicated/impaired person is needed on campus.  Students should seek immediate help if any of the above signs are present, as they indicate a potentially life-threatening emergency. MCLA Campus Police will assist seriously intoxicated/impaired individuals by facilitating transport to medical facilities or by taking other protective measures. In case of an off-campus medical emergency, students should call 911 for assistance by local police or medical professionals. If the seriously intoxicated/impaired individual is located within a residence area, a Resident Advisor (RA) or Residence Director (RD) should also be notified after MCLA Campus Police is called. A seriously intoxicated/impaired individual should never be left alone; therefore, at least one person should stay with the seriously intoxicated/impaired individual while another person makes these notifications.

V.  Process

Whenever a student assists an alleged victim of sexual assault or a seriously intoxicated/impaired person in procuring the assistance of MCLA Campus Police, local or state police, RPS staff, medical professionals or any aforementioned party, neither the seriously intoxicated/impaired individual nor the individual or organization who assists will be subject to formal College disciplinary actions for using and/or possessing alcohol/drugs. This protocol does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations of College standards, such as causing or threatening physical harm, sexual assault, damage to property, harassment or  hazing. Students should also be aware that this policy does not prevent action by local and state authorities. Campus Police and RPS staff will record names of intoxicated students to enable any follow-up that may be deemed necessary to ensure the wellbeing of students involved. Other information may also be as needed.

In order for this policy to apply, the intoxicated student(s) must agree to timely completion of recommended alcohol and/or drug education activities, assessment, and/or treatment depending on the level of concern for student health and safety. In addition, if the student is under 21 years of age the student's parents may be notified (of alcohol and drug matters only). If the student does not follow these stipulations, the student has violated the Amnesty and Good Samaritan Policy and is subject to the complete range of sanctions and penalties as outlined in the MCLA Student Handbook for any policy violations.

The Amnesty and Good Samaritan Policy may be used more than once. Students and organizations that help others in incidents of crisis or medical emergency are not limited to one use of the Amnesty and Good Samaritan Policy, as they should always feel empowered to help those in need. However, serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of medical concern and formal response from the College which may include an intervention and/or conduct action. Questions regarding the MCLA Amnesty and Good Samaritan policy should be directed to the Students Affairs Division Office.