In an email to the Yale College student body, Secretary and Vice President for Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews and Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry jointly announced a new medical emergency policy that emphasizes public health, training and education over disciplinary action.
If you summon help for yourself, a fellow student, or a guest in medical need, you will not be charged with alcohol violations, but you may have to complete counseling, educational, or training programs within an agreed upon timeframe. This policy applies regardless of your own use of alcohol. If you summon help for someone whose intoxication is entirely unrelated to your own actions, you will not be required to seek education or training.
According to the new policy’s page on the Alcohol and Other Drugs Harm Reduction Initiative website, the policy covers those consuming alcohol, those that call for help, the hosts or guests of an event and any organization sponsoring the event. If a non-student initiates the call for help, the new policy does not apply.
The website lists examples of possible outcomes for a student who calls for medical help under the new policy. All scenarios result in educational and training sessions of varying length and severity, with the exception of students demonstrating patterns of behavior that require medical assistance, which can lead to disciplinary action. There are a number of other limitations that the policy does not cover, including violations of non-alcohol-related University regulations or criminal and civil investigations.
The email from Goff-Crews and Gentry said students played a vital role in developing this new policy — namely through the implementation committee which includes six student members. According to the email, this committee also considered opinions from hundreds of other students and will continue to work alongside administrators and the Student Advisory Board — a permanent body consisting of 12 undergraduates and Branford College Dean Elizabeth Bradley — to ensure that the University follows through with the five new alcohol policy-related initiatives announced in late February.
The five initiatives are as follows: unifying the University’s approach to alcohol, clarifying and communicating both old and newly created policies, improving training and education on alcohol-related issues, providing events that are either alcohol-free or low-alcohol to students and engaging the Yale community in discussions about alcohol-related issues.