Through its Medical Amnesty Policy, Bucknell University encourages its students to seek and/or call for assistance for themselves or others when someone is in need of medical assistance due to alcohol and/or drug use. Amnesty is available to the student calling as well as the student needing assistance. A call for assistance should be made promptly because the health, safety and well-being of the student who is potentially in danger is paramount. A call for assistance may be directed to Bucknell Public Safety (BUPS), a local police officer or agency (such as Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department or by calling 911), the Student Affairs Staff On-Call or, in the residence halls, the Residential Adviser (RA). Bucknell’s goal through this amnesty policy is to encourage students to seek appropriate assistance.

A student for whom a call for assistance is made will not be subject to official sanctions and conduct record under the Student Conduct process, nor will the individual who made the call. Likewise, when leadership of a recognized student organization makes a call for assistance for a student or a guest attending the organization’s function, the organization will not be subject to university code of conduct sanctions, nor will the student who made the call.

While not resulting in official sanctions, a call for assistance under this policy may result in educational outcomes including, but not limited to:

  • Referral to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor through the Counseling & Student Development Center for an alcohol or other drug assessment.

  • Referral to the University’s Medical Director.

  • Parental, guardian or emergency contact notification.

  • Educational opportunities to assist in avoiding future high risk situations.

  • A summary report of the incident to be included in the student’s or student organization’s file.

Important Information Regarding Amnesty

  • If a student is repeatedly the subject of calls for assistance, there may be additional consequences as a result of the University’s increased concern for that student, including additional counseling sessions, educational follow up with University administrators and/or a full behavioral assessment which may lead to a University mandated leave of absence.

  • Failure to complete appointments or follow-up as prescribed by a University official could result in the revocation of amnesty for the student or organization in question and standard university sanctions could apply.

  • Amnesty does not prevent the filing of criminal charges.

  • Amnesty may not apply to a student who persistently refuses to cooperate with medical, law enforcement or University personnel at the time of initial contact.

  • A student organization that fails to seek assistance for a member or guest in need at its function or on its controlled property may be charged with violations of the Student Code of Conduct. It is paramount that organizations seek assistance in any emergency situation.

  • This policy applies only to those students or student organizations seeking emergency medical assistance in connection with an alcohol or drug related medical emergency and does not apply to individuals experiencing an alcohol or drug related medical emergency who are found by University employees (e.g. Public Safety Officers, faculty, administrative staff, residence hall staff including RA’s).

This policy is part of the Bucknell University Student Handbook and is also available as a pdf (Bucknell University Medical Amnesty Policy - pdf)