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Skidmore College
 Skidmore College Student Handbook

Statement on Responsible Student Intervention 

Purpose  |  Application of RSIWhat Happens When I CallWhat Happens Afterward | Disclosure

Purpose

The purpose of the Statement on Responsible Student Intervention (RSI) is to minimize barriers and to encourage students to seek help whenever there is an alcohol or other drug (AOD) related emergency. The College aims to provide caring, supportive interventions in response to such incidents.  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.  

Community Standard

All Skidmore students are expected to enlist support from Skidmore Campus Safety/SCEMS in the event of a medical emergency - specifically those involving extreme intoxication or other ill effects related to the use of alcohol or drugs. 

If medical assistance is sought, the Office of the Dean of Students will not pursue conduct charges (points, fees, change in disciplinary status) against students who contact campus resources for assistance on behalf of another student or themselves, nor against any student who requires medical assistance and cooperates with resources offering support, for violations of the college’s alcohol and other Drugs policies. This exemption is intended to allow the College an opportunity to meaningfully engage with the student about their responsibilities as a member of the Skidmore community, while prioritizing health and wellbeing.

The practice is informed by NY state’s Good Samaritan Law, which allows people to call 911 without fear of arrest if they are having a drug or alcohol overdose that requires emergency medical care or if they witness someone overdosing.

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The RSI applies when

  • A student requests medical assistance for oneself.
  • Student(s) requests medical assistance for another student. This includes students in leadership positions I.e. RA's, SCEMS, etc.
  • A student in need of help is discovered by a student in a leadership position (i.e. RA, SCEMS, etc.) and remains cooperative in the help that is provided.
  • A student remains cooperative with each step of the conduct process. 

The following are not covered by the RSI

  • Students waiting until Campus Safety, law enforcement, or non-student College officials arrive before seeking assistance.
  • Action by police or other law enforcement personnel
  • Violations of the Code of Social Conduct other than the alcohol/drugs policy
  • Possession with the intent to distribute drugs.

Application to Student Organizations

  • In circumstances where an organization is found to be hosting an event where medical assistance is sought for an intoxicated guest, the organization (depending upon the circumstances) may be held responsible for violations of the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy. However, the organization’s willingness to seek medical assistance for a member or guest will be viewed as a mitigating factor in determining a sanction for any violations of the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.
  • At sanctioned club/organization events, the hosts are expected to manage their event responsibly in part by modeling responsible behavior and paying attention to potential intoxication levels of guests. 

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what happens when I call

Campus Safety will immediately dispatch Skidmore College Emergency Medical Services (SCEMS) and/or local emergency medical responders. An evaluation of the student will be conducted and, if further medical assistance is deemed necessary, the College will require the student to be transported to Saratoga Hospital.

When to call

  • Students should call Campus Safety (518-580-5566) for help if they notice or experience any of the following:
    • Someone cannot be roused with shouting or vigorous shaking or cannot be roused for more than 2-3 minutes at a time. Passing out is an alcohol emergency.
    • Someone vomits while being passed out, does not wake up after vomiting, or is incoherent while vomiting.
    • Breathing is irregular or slow, or there is a lapse in breathing.
    • Pulse is weak, very rapid, or very slow.
    • Skin is cold, clammy, or bluish.

You have ANY concerns regarding a person’s safety.

What to do while you wait for help?

  • Keep the person awake – Do not let them "sleep it off."
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Turn the person on his/her side to prevent choking if the person vomits.
  • Be prepared to give the emergency medical personnel as much information as possible, including any drugs or medications taken.

What NOT to do while you wait:

  • Do not leave the person alone. The alcohol may take some time to be absorbed before peak levels are reached in the brain.
  • Do not leave the person lying on their back.
  • Do not try to give the person anything to eat or drink.
  • Do not put the person in a cold shower. They could fall or pass out from the shock.

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WHAT HAPPENS Afterward

Follow up after Incident

The student who required medical assistance will meet with the Associate Director of Residential Life for Student Conduct or designee to discuss the situation.

  • The student will be exempt from receiving points and the educational fee will be waived.
  • An appropriate intervention will be assigned that aims to promote safety and foster responsible decision-making through education, awareness and support.
  • A parent/guardian may be notified with the goal of increasing support for the student.

The student may be required to meet with staff in the Health Promotion Office.

Although there is typically no follow-up for a student who requests help for someone else, a meeting with the Office of Residential Life may occur if additional information about the situation is needed or if there is concern about another Code of Social Conduct violation. A student will never be penalized for calling for help for another student. 

Repeated Incidents

Consistent with putting the student’s health and wellness first, the College will approach repeated incidents as a serious health risk. If there are subsequent incidents, exemptions from disciplinary action are at the discretion of the Office of Residential Life and/or the Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Affairs.  Repeated incidents will result in a higher level of intervention and possible sanctions. Students who call for help on behalf of someone else are NOT limited to one exemption from disciplinary action.

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Disclosure of Exempt/Waived Incidents

Incidents that are covered by the Statement on Responsible Student Intervention are not documented as violations of the Code of Social Conduct. Such matters will not be reported to external institutions and agencies (e.g. graduate programs) requesting information about a student’s disciplinary record.

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