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Dean of Students Office

Medical Amnesty Program

UNF encourages a living and learning environment that promotes the health and safety of all its members. To ensure student well-being, the Medical Amnesty Program encourages students to make responsible decisions by seeking medical attention in serious or life-threatening situations as a result of alcohol consumption or drug use. 

Students may be hesitant to seek help in emergencies where alcohol or drugs are present because of the fear of potential disciplinary consequences for themselves, the person in need, or others involved. The Medical Amnesty Program is designed to remove the barrier to calling for help when someone medical attention. Seeking emergency assistance for yourself or another student or friend will not be subject to disciplinary action under the UNF Student Code of Conduct. Instead, students will be asked to participate in an educational conversation to connect them to campus and community resources. 

Medical Amnesty Procedure

In a serious or life-threatening situation, particularly where alcohol poisoning or drug overdose is suspected or where other medical treated is reasonably believed to be appropriate, students should take the following steps: 

  1. Call 9-1-1. Have your location on hand to provide to the operator! 
  2. Stay with the person needing assistance until help arrives. 
  3. Be prepared to give the emergency medical personnel as much information as possible, including what or how much may have been consumed.

After medical assistance has been sought, you will be asked to meet with the Dean of Students Office to review the situation through an educational conversation. Those involved may be assigned educational components to complete, but this process does not result in a student conduct record. 

  • Who or what does the Medical Amnesty Program apply to?

    Medical Amnesty applies to the following individuals and circumstances; however, an incident may be determined on a case-by-case basis after review by the Dean of Students: 

    1. UNF students who initiate or seek assistance and/or medical treatment on behalf of themselves or another student or friend, 
    2. If a representative of a UNF student organization hosting an event seeks medical assistance, this act of responsibility may mitigate potential disciplinary consequences for the collective organization. 
    3. Medical Amnesty only applies to the UNF Student Code of Conduct or Housing & Residence Life Community Standards.  
    4. Medical Amnesty only applies to individual’s use of alcohol or drugs where medical attention is needed. It does not apply to other prohibited behavior as outlined in the UNF Student Code of Conduct. 
  • What happens after medical help is provided?

    The following steps outlines the process after medical help has been provided to the individual in need: 

    1. The situation is evaluated by the Dean of Students Office to determine if Medical Amnesty applies. 
    2. The student(s) will meet with a member of the Dean of Students Office to discuss the incident and other educational components. If the student(s) does not participate in the educational conversation, then a Notice of Charges letter under the student conduct process may be issued. 
    3. The Dean of Students Office staff member may refer the student to additional campus resources or assign an educational outcome to complete. Failure to meet these recommendations may result in disciplinary action. 
  • Will my parent/guardian find out about this incident?

    Possible, but not necessarily. If the Provost or their designee or the University Police Department determines that a parent or guardian should be notified about the medical transport, then notification will be made. This is determined by necessity of protecting the health and safety of the student or other individuals. 

  • Does the Medical Amnesty Program protect students from police or legal action?

    No; the Medical Amnesty Program at UNF only applies to the Student Code of Conduct, Housing & Residence Life Community Standards, the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, Osprey Involvement Center registered student organization policies, and/or UNF Student-Athlete handbook and policies. It does not prevent or preclude police or other legal actions. 

  • Will incidents involving Medical Amnesty be on my academic or disciplinary record?

    No; incidents that are designated as Medical Amnesty are not entered on a student’s official academic record, listed in their disciplinary conduct record, or notated on their transcript. 

  • Does the Medical Amnesty Program cover student groups and organizations?

    If a representative of a UNF student organization hosting an event calls for medical assistance, then this act of responsibility may mitigate potential disciplinary consequences for the collective organization (i.e., the fact that the organization sought help will be favorably considered in educational conversations). If medical amnesty applies, then the UNF student organizationns will need to agree to take the recommended steps to address concerns and participate in any necessary educational activities in place of disciplinary consequences. 

  • What does the Medical Amnesty Program NOT apply to?

    Medical Amnesty does NOT apply to other prohibited behavior as outlined in the UNF Student Code of Conduct, including, but not limited to distribution of illegal substances, harassment, sexual misconduct, and hazing*. 

    *The student who seeks medical attention on behalf of themselves or another student during a hazing incident may be covered under Medical Amnesty, but NOT the full organization or others involved in the situation. 

  • Is there a limit to the number of times the Medical Amnesty Program can be used?

    No; students are always encouraged to look after their fellow Ospreys, friends, and peers and expected to take responsible actions anytime they are necessary. However, if a student is involved in repeat alcohol and/or drug abuse incidents, the following will occur: 

    1. The situation will be evaluated by the Dean of Students Office to determine if the student qualifies for medical amnesty. 
    2. The availability of medical amnesty for students with multiple violations will be viewed on a case-by-case basis. 
    3. Situations will be handled through the regular student conduct process and sanctioning may be appropriate if the student does not demonstrate a commitment to the recommended steps related to their actions with alcohol and/or drugs. 
    4. For students who reside in on-campus housing, Housing & Residence Life staff will determine the impact the incident(s) has on their housing contract, if any. 
  • What is alcohol poisoning?

    Alcohol poisoning, also known as alcohol overdose, occurs when a person has consumed more alcohol than their body can process. A person can process one standard drink per hour, which is defined as: 

    • 5 fl oz of wine 
    • 12 fl oz of beer 
    • 1.5 fl oz shot of distilled spirits 
  • What are the signs or symptoms of alcohol poisoning or drug overdose?

    Signs or symptoms of alcohol poisoning or drug overdose can look the same and can include the following: 

    • Vomiting – while passed out or not waking up afterward 
    • Unconsciousness – inability to wake the person with loud shouting or shaking; inability to remain awake for more than 2-3 minutes; inability to form coherent sentences when awake 
    • Breathing is slow or irregular – 8 breaths per minute or 10 seconds or more between breaths 
    • Skin appears cold, clammy, or blue. 
    • Weak or very rapid pulse 

    Not all signs need to be present when someone is experiencing an overdose. If you see even one, call 9-1-1. 

  • What should I NOT do when helping someone experience alcohol poisoning or a drug overdose?
    • DO NOT: Hesitate to call 9-1-1. The person is in immediate danger and needs medical assistance. 
    • DO NOT: Leave the person alone. The person may seem okay, but their blood alcohol content will continue to rise even after they have stopped drinking. 
    • DO NOT: Try to give the person something to eat or drink. The stomach may be severely irritated. If the person is stating they need water, give them a drink with electrolytes instead. 
    • DO NOT: Put the person in a cold shower. The person could fall, or the shock of the water temperature could make them pass out. 
    • DO NOT: Just let them “sleep it off.”