Medical Amnesty

Williams College supports a safe and holistic learning environment that enhances academic achievement and student success.  A Medical Amnesty Policy fosters responsible decision making and encourages our students to take active steps toward wellness and self-care. The college recognizes that there may be times when students face medical emergencies involving excessive drinking and/or drug use. Under this policy, if an individual seeks medical attention (for themselves or for another) due to a medical emergency, student conduct disciplinary action will not be taken against the student for consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs.

Medical Amnesty applies only to the possession or consumption of alcohol and drugs. It does not preclude disciplinary sanctions due to any other violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Other such violations include, but are not limited to, providing alcohol to underage individuals, violations of the Office of Student Life (OSL) event planning; assault, property damage or distribution of illicit substances. Additionally, the Policy does not prevent action by Safety and Environmental Compliance (in issuing fines), the police, other law enforcement personnel, or other third parties.

The Medical Amnesty Policy is applicable to:

  •    A student requesting emergency medical care for oneself;
  •    A student(s) requesting emergency medical care for another person;
  •    Student Organizations where members request emergency medical care for another person

Medical Amnesty is only granted to students and organizations who seek medical assistance. 

It is important that individual students and student organizations who are granted medical amnesty participate in educational training around substance use and/or bystander behavior.  In the case of individual students, the student needing medical assistance will be required to meet with a Dean and may be expected to complete the following:

  •    A mandatory meeting with a Health Educator or other educational referrals;
  •    Responsibility for costs associated with hospital transportation, treatment, assessment, or damage (if needed students can submit a critical needs request for the hospital transport if enrolled in the College’s health insurance);
  •    Parental notification 

In the case of Student Organizations, the organization will be required to meet with staff from OSL and may be expected to complete the following:

  • Mandatory leadership training related to the incident;
  • Limitations to event registrations;
  • Restricted access.

Medical Amnesty is not intended to be used more than once.  If a student has been involved in prior alcohol/drug incidents and/or utilized Medical Amnesty in the past, the request will be evaluated by the Dean of the College to determine whether or not Medical Amnesty will be granted.  Typically, repeated situations will be handled through meetings with a Dean and/or the Student Conduct process.  Students whose substance use puts them at risk repeatedly may also be required to take a medical leave from the college to address the behavior and enable them to live safely in the community when they return.