Medical Amnesty Program

The health, safety and well-being of students and the University community are of the utmost importance at George Mason University (Mason). As a result, the University, at its discretion, provides an “amnesty” program as an effort to support students who experience a first alcohol and/or other drug related situation, and the responsible student(s) who seek assistance for them. “Amnesty” offers students who proactively exhibit responsible behavior the opportunity for educational, non-disciplinary intervention for the incident.

In order to foster an environment that supports integrity, safety, well-being, and responsible bystander behavior, Mason expects members of its community to engage in conduct that is consistent with University policy, as well as encourages individuals to seek necessary medical attention for themselves and others. It is the goal of this program for students to:

Take Action, Provide Assistance, and Practice Accountability.

Take Action:
In situations that are potentially critical, any member of the Mason community should seek immediate medical attention for themselves or others, regardless of age, by contacting 911 or University Police (703-993-2810).

Additionally, reports of dangerous or potentially dangerous situations should also be reported immediately to 911 or to University Police. These issues include, but are not limited to, physical violence, domestic/dating violence, bomb threats, stalking, sexual misconduct, and threats against an individual or group.

Provide Assistance:
Student(s) who place an emergency call on behalf of another student must remain with the student who is in crisis until emergency medical help arrives. Once emergency personnel are on the scene, the reporting student(s) are expected to cooperate with these professionals to provide as much information about the situation as possible. Accurate information during a medical emergency could make a life-saving difference.

Practice Accountability:
The goal of medical amnesty is to foster and protect the health and safety of the Mason community. In order to qualify for amnesty in lieu of student conduct/housing and residence life action for alcohol and/or other drug related violations under the Student Code of Conduct, the following parameters must be met:

  • The student(s) must request/obtain medical attention at the time of the incident. A critical incident must be reported proactively and not once the police or other emergency personnel arrive on the scene.
  • Following a reported incident, the student(s) involved in the situation will meet with a member of the Office of Student Conduct and should indicate to their hearing officer that they are requesting medical amnesty. At the hearing officer’s discretion, it will be determined if the involved student(s) qualify for medical amnesty.
  • The student(s) who qualify for medical amnesty will meet with a University professional staff member for an educational conversation, assessment, and/or potential referral for additional services. The student(s) who were involved in the reported incident will agree to any educational requirements or recommendations that are specified, and complete those requirements within the outlined timeframe.

If these conditions are met, there will be no conduct case and the incident will be recorded with the Office of Student Conduct for informational purposes only. Conversely, if the above parameters are not followed, the student(s) will be referred through the conduct process, as necessary.
Other Considerations:

Medical amnesty applies for acts of alcohol and/or other drug misconduct as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct (Office of Student Conduct) and the Resident Student Handbook (Office of Housing and Residence Life). Medical amnesty may apply even if medical personnel deem that the incident does not require transport/hospitalization for the affected student(s).

It is an expectation that students will learn from their experiences, thus students who are referred for medical attention have the ability to use this amnesty once during their time at Mason. The individuals who make the emergency calls/witnesses who act on behalf of another person are not limited in the number of times that they may utilize the medical amnesty program.

In matters of sexual misconduct, concerns regarding alcohol and/or other drug violations should not prevent reporting an incident. Medical amnesty will be considered for alcohol and/or other drug misconduct within the Student Code of Conduct and the Resident Student Handbook for victims/survivors, reporting parties, witnesses, and others who report or are associated with referrals for allegations regarding sexual misconduct. Any person who believes that they have been a victim of, or witnessed, an incident of sexual misconduct should contact the Student Support and Advocacy Center (703-993-3686), University Police (911 or 703-993-2810), or the University Title IX Coordinator (703-993-8730). The 24-hour sexual and intimate partner violence crisis line is 703-380-1434.

Medical amnesty applies to incidents that occur both on-campus and off-campus and pertains only to the Student Code of Conduct and the Resident Student Handbook. Please note that the medical amnesty program is managed separately from potential action that may be required by law enforcement personnel who are required to manage violations as necessary by law.

Serious incidents and/or special circumstances may require the University to take action and/or address issues (including but not limited to harm to people or property) in order to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the University community.

Questions about the Medical Amnesty Program can be directed to the Office of Student Conduct at 703-993-6209.