Institute Implements Good Samaritan Provision

With the health and safety of students at top of mind, Georgia Tech has implemented a Good Samaritan Provision, effective March 1, as part of its Student Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

The Institute developed the Provision to support students who make an emergency call for any student whose judgment or health is severely affected due to alcohol consumption.

“The Good Samaritan Provision first and foremost is a health response, not a disciplinary response,” said Dean of Students John Stein. “We were anxious to bring something forward that would reinforce the fact that as a community, we count on each other to keep each other safe. We want to move away from a way of thinking that makes students hesitant to make the right move or make a phone call.” The Provision is applicable both to those students making calls and to those for whom calls are being made.

Matlock Rogers, vice president of student organizations for the Student Government Association, was part of the Alcohol Implementation Committee that played a role in instituting this piece of policy. He said students have been exceedingly supportive in their response to the new Provision.

“Students are glad they’re able to help people without worrying about repercussions for themselves or the others they help,” Rogers said. “There is comfort knowing that should something happen to you in an alcohol-related incident, other students won’t have a disincentive to take action.”

The Provision’s utilization is contingent on students completing any education or treatment recommended in response to an incident by the Office of Student Integrity or Department of Housing. Many other universities have implemented equivalent policies, including neighbors Emory University and the University of Georgia. Stein said the possibility of implementing such a Provision has been in discussion since at least 2006.

“This is just a piece of an environmental response to these types of issues,” Stein said. “Fine-tuning some of the logistical pieces took us a while to sort through. It took us a while to get to this place, but I’m happy we’re here.” Students may familiarize themselves with the full scope of the Provision by reading it online in its entirety at the Dean of Students website.