Intending to increase safety, TU has adopted a new alcohol policy that provides academic amnesty to students who require medical attention in alcohol-related emergencies.
This amnesty not only includes the person who is in need of medical attention, but it extends to individuals present who seek out medical attention on behalf of an intoxicated person.
The university has adopted this change with the hopes of creating a safer campus with less potentially tragic alcohol-related injuries.
According to the updated 2015-2016 University of Tulsa Alcohol Policy, the purpose of the Medical Alcohol Amnesty Policy (MAAP) is “to facilitate, access and remove barriers to students who require medical assistance in alcohol-related emergencies, and to provide the opportunity for caring, non-punitive interventions in response to such incidents.”
Under the new policy the person in need of medical attention shall not have a complaint filed against them or be sanctioned for disobeying the university’s Alcohol Policy.
However, the person who seeks medical attention may still be required to complete alcohol education training in addition to the online course each student was required to complete at the beginning of this semester. The student will also be required to consult with the Dean or the Assistant Dean of Students.
The MAAP also protects individuals present who seek out medical attention for an intoxicated person, if it is their first offense.
According to the policy, “students seeking assistance in compliance with this policy shall not be referred for disciplinary action solely related to the possession, consumption or supplying of alcohol.” This part of the policy is there to protect those attempting to make potentially life-saving decisions for students in need.
This procedure is becoming more common at American colleges and universities, though there are many that still lack a medical amnesty clause in their policies.
In years prior to this change, TU students could face serious academic consequences if they were caught violating the Alcohol Policy, even if they were caught while seeking medical attention for an intoxicated peer.
With the MAAP, students are given a “warning” at the first offense. However, if a student who previously sought amnesty makes a second violation of the Alcohol Policy, then the event is treated as a second offense and a complaint will be filed against the student.
As stated in the University of Tulsa’s Alcohol Policy, the MAAP can be granted only once within a two-year period. This would mean that in a standard four-year undergraduate period, an individual may be granted two amnesties. Additional incidences will result in normal academic consequences.
While the MAAP extends to the university disciplinary system, it does not encompass the law. Oklahoma did, however, adopt a medical amnesty amendment that became effective in November of 2013.
The University of Tulsa is aiming at creating a safe community for its students, even with the presence of alcohol. Coupled with the required online Alcohol Education course, the MAAP is a step in the direction towards preventing the possibility of alcohol-related injuries and deaths on campus.