As a caring community, the university wants to foster an environment in which students take responsibility to call for help when another student is in need. As a good faith measure, any potential conduct sanctions stemming from alcohol use are considered secondarily, with the priority being the health and safety of our students. These outcomes will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
For students who have been drinking and call for help for a friend:
The university’s default position for a student allegedly in violation of the Alcohol Policy but who calls for help for a peer who is grossly intoxicated due to alcohol/drugs will receive a For Information Only (FIO) finding for the alcohol violation. Outcomes for a first time Alcohol Policy violation (ex. intoxication or possession of alcohol) are typically a record of the violation and subsequent fines and educational sanctions. Alternatively, an FIO finding indicates that the record will not be shared with anyone outside the USC system (i.e. graduate schools) and may or may not carry fines and/or educational sanctions.
If a fellow student is in need and you call for help, the university will consider that positive decision first and foremost.
For students hospitalized for an alcohol overdose:
Students who are transported to the hospital for an overdose of alcohol or drugs will receive notification from the Behavioral Intervention Team about the behavioral intervention process. To evaluate student safety and process decision making and healthy choices, students will complete an assessment with the Counseling and Human Development Center (CHDC) and will be given an individualized treatment plan which may include a 6-week group with other students who have been hospitalized, individualized counseling, or treatment in the community.
Again, conduct sanctions are considered secondarily, with the priority being the health and safety of our students. The university’s default position for involuntary hospitalization for alcohol will be an ‘FIO’ or For Information Only finding for the alcohol violation. Most students who complete the assessment and follow the treatment recommendations on time have no public student conduct record.
A note about amnesty
While some institutions have adopted amnesty provisions for students who are hospitalized for an alcohol/drug overdose or for students who call for help, we believe that this usurps the university’s ability and responsibility to address these dangerous behaviors one-on-one with the students who may be unknowingly in the most jeopardy. At USC, we prefer to ensure that each student who may be involved in putting themselves in dangerous situations has an intentional conversation with our staff about how to prevent future (potentially life threatening) risks.