__Dean decides that amnesty applies retroactively__
The Dean of Students’ Office dropped the probation of the student at the center of a controversy concerning the limits of the College’s alcohol amnesty program has had his probation from.
According to the freshman, who asked to remain anonymous, the probation was dropped at a meeting Friday with Dean of Students Patricia Volp.
p. “She said she didn’t think it was unreasonable that I would qualify for amnesty. My roommate was taken off too,” the student said.
p. On Jan. 22, police responded to a 911 call from a Barrett Hall resident saying that his roommate was vomiting blood. The resident turned over a considerable amount of alcohol to the paramedics and was given sanctions by the police.
p. A few days later, he was summoned before College authorities as well.
p. “I went before the area director and got put on two semesters probation [from the College] and six months probation from Virginia, alcohol education from the school and alcohol education from James City County,” he said.
p. The case raised questions about the effectiveness of the College’s amnesty program. According to the Dec. 5, 2006 Medical Amnesty Policy Proposal, “Students who assist in obtaining medical attention for individuals who are intoxicated will not receive judicial sanctions for violations of the Alcohol Beverage Policy of the Code of Conduct.”
p. The policy states that intoxicated students, and possibly the students referring them for help, may receive alcohol education, counseling or an abuse assessment.
p. “I was told that the alcohol amnesty policy did not apply to me because [the incident] was so serious,” the freshman said.
In addition, the policy officially went into effect Jan. 24, the day classes resumed for the spring semester.
p. “The expectation was for it to start spring semester, not just when classes started,” the freshman said.
p. In the Feb. 9 edition of The Flat Hat, Vice President for Student Affairs Sam Sadler discussed the policy.
p. “We want to take off the table the fear that a lot of students had if they, for example, were worried about a friend’s safety, but were also worried about whether or not they were going to get in trouble,” Sadler said. “In most cases, the police don’t arrest. Typically, if someone is sick from intoxication, they’ll report it to us, and we’ll just deal with it.”
p. Campus Police Chief Don Challis said that campus police issue roughly four referrals for every arrest.
p. “We’re not out to make every arrest possible; if so, we’d make more,” Challis said. “It wasn’t designed to be a free pass. I think people expect too much from it, like [the incident] never happened.”
p. The freshman still faces sanctions from the state of Virginia.