Amnesty for Drug and Alcohol Violations

To ensure students seek immediate medical attention or report sexual misconduct on behalf of themselves or another, USU offers amnesty for drug and alcohol student code violations.

Learn more in the Student Code: Article II, Section II-4.

Why does USU have an Amnesty Policy?

The health and safety of students is our primary concern. We know that students want to report sexual misconduct or seek help for each other when there is a medical emergency involving alcohol or drugs, but may be hesitant to act if they think they’ll get in trouble for a violation of the Student Code. We want to remove as many barriers to being an Upstander as possible.

What does amnesty mean?

Amnesty is another way to say the university will not pursue disciplinary action. We recognize that you may be hesitant to seek help for someone if you are afraid that doing so will get you in trouble with the university for a policy violation like underage drinking, drug use, or drinking alcohol on campus. Amnesty is used to encourage behavior that protects members of the Aggie family.

How does amnesty work and when does the university grant it?

USU offers amnesty for drug and alcohol policy violations of the Student Code in two kinds of situations: when you seek medical help for another or when you report an incident of sexual misconduct (whether you witnessed the sexual misconduct or experienced it).

  1. Medical Amnesty: In order to receive amnesty when seeking medical care for another, you must do the following: immediately call 911 or contact a university official about the situation, monitor the person’s condition until help arrives, and cooperate during the medical and investigative process.
  2. Amnesty when Reporting Sexual Misconduct: If you experience or witness sexual misconduct – including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking – while consuming alcohol or drugs, you will not face disciplinary action from the university for a Student Code violation if you report the incident to the university, or to law enforcement. The university can only provide amnesty for its own policies, not for federal, state and local laws.

No, USU’s Amnesty Policy only protects you from disciplinary action for Student Code violations. It does not protect you from facing legal consequences. However, Utah has a law that provides immunity from prosecution when seeking emergency aid for another person who is in need of medical care due to the consumption of alcohol.

Does the policy protect a student organization?

If a student organization is hosting an event and actively seeks help for a guest with a medical emergency, or reports sexual misconduct, in most cases the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will not pursue disciplinary action against the organization as a whole. Individual students who contributed to the dangerous situation or who committed a sex offense may still face disciplinary action. If an organization is granted amnesty, representatives of the organization may still be required to complete education interventions. In addition, USU does not provide amnesty for hazing.

What is the difference between USU's Student Code and the law? Why don't I get amnesty for both?

USU Police and local law enforcement enforce federal, state and local laws, which do not include USU policies and the Student Code. The university can only provide amnesty for its own policies, not for federal, state and local laws.

Will incidents involving amnesty be included in my academic transcript?

No, drug and alcohol policy violations where amnesty is granted are not entered into a student’s academic transcript.

Can I get amnesty more than once?

Yes, students are always encouraged to take action to promote the health and safety of others. If a student is involved in multiple Student Code violations, they may be required by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards to go through educational interventions. This will not be part of the student’s academic transcript.

Who should I contact when someone is experiencing a medical emergency - 911 or the USUPD direct line?

The fastest way to get help for another is by calling 911. If you are on USU campus property, USU Police will respond to the scene. If you are off-campus (including fraternity or sorority houses), the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction will respond.

Will the university notify my parents for a policy violation if I received amnesty?

If you are 18 or over, probably not. If a student is transported to a hospital, faces a medical emergency, or exhibits a pattern of concerning behavior, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may notify the student’s parents or guardians.