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Responsible Community Action Policy

The health, safety, and welfare of Barnard College students and our community are of primary concern. In addition to making healthy choices, students are encouraged not only to look out for their own health and safety but also for that of their peers. As such, all Barnard students are expected to enlist support from Barnard Public Safety/CU-EMS in the event of a medical emergency - specifically those involving extreme intoxication or other ill effects related to the use of alcohol or drugs.  

The student who receives medical assistance, the student who reported the medical emergency, others involved, or the group/organization that actively seeks assistance will not be subject to disciplinary action for use or possession of alcohol or other substances. This policy does not preclude disciplinary action for other violations beyond the context of the medical emergency such as causing or threatening physical harm, sexual misconduct, damage to property, harassment, or hazing. Students should also be aware that this policy does not prevent action by local and state authorities. Public Safety or other College staff will record the name of the student receiving medical assistance and may record the name of the student who reported the medical emergency and others involved to enable relevant educational follow-up that may be deemed necessary.  

In order for this policy to apply, the student(s) involved in a situation when such medical assistance is summoned must meet with designated College staff and complete recommended alcohol or other drug education activities, assessment, and/or treatment depending on the level of concern for student health and safety. Typically, the student who is treated or transported to an emergency room will attend a mandatory meeting with a member of the Office of Residential Life and Housing or Community Conduct. This meeting is not a part of the formal disciplinary process, but rather an opportunity to discuss the student’s decisions related to alcohol or other drug use. The student is also required to schedule and complete Alcohol and Substance Awareness Program (ASAP) assessment. Additional referrals may be generated by College staff or ASAP on an individual basis according the nature of each incident and the needs of each student. Referrals may include alcohol or other drug assessments, appointments with an appropriate specialist, and/or community service. Serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of concern and progressive College response, and may include parental notification. Failure to complete recommended education, assessment and/or follow-up may result in disciplinary action. 

When incidents involving the consumption of alcohol or other drugs at an event held, sponsored, organized or supported by a student group/organization are reported, at minimum, student groups/organizations will have a meeting with the group advisor and/or another College Staff member. At this educational meeting, a student group/organization may receive recommendations for more responsible hosting and the group/organization may be asked to participate in additional educational or training efforts. Serious or repeated medical emergencies from events hosted by groups/organizations will prompt progressive follow-up. Failure to complete recommendations, education, or training may result in disciplinary action.

Conversely, not seeking assistance for a member of our community in medical need may have serious and lasting consequences. Disciplinary response will be severe for any student or any student group/organization interfering with another’s ability to take responsible community action.

Alcohol poisoning is serious, it is important to recognize the signs.  Help should be summoned for someone who is incoherent, passed out and/or

  • is vomiting; or
  • has irregular breathing; or
  • has cold ‘clammy’ skin; or
  • looks bluish or pale; or
  • has a head injury; or
  • has used other drugs (including large doses of caffeine) with alcohol.

To help a member of our community in need of medical assistance, students should:

  • Call Public Safety at 212-854-3362 to enlist CU-EMS. In the residence halls, in addition to calling Public Safety, call or send someone to notify the RA on-duty, but do not leave the person alone.
  • Stay with the person until emergency help arrives. 
  • Turn the person on his/her side to prevent choking in case of vomiting.

Please see the Barnard ASAP program information and resources webpage for information about counseling, support, and other substance related health and wellness issues.