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UVM Got Your Back Policy

UVM Got Your Back Policy

Protocol for Medical Emergencies Involving Alcohol or Other Drugs

Health and safety is the most important concern for the UVM community. Students should NEVER hesitate to get help for themselves or for a friend over fear of "getting in trouble." "Got Your Back" serves to give "amnesty" for those students involved in an unsafe alcohol or drug "detox" situation.


The University of Vermont is strongly committed to the health, safety, and wellbeing of all its students. Students are encouraged to look out not only for their own health and wellbeing, but also for that of their peers. When a student's health or safety is threatened or appears to be in jeopardy, take immediate action to prevent injury, illness, or danger.


We in the Office of the Dean of Students are deeply concerned that, in a medical emergency involving alcohol or other drugs, students may refrain from calling for help because of fear that doing so might subject them to disciplinary action. To address this fear, we have set forth the following protocol for addressing possible disciplinary consequences when medical emergencies result from the use of alcohol or other drugs.

  • Any individual who seeks medical assistance on behalf of another student during an alcohol or other drug-related emergency and specifies "Got Your Back" will meet with staff from Alcohol and Other Drug Services to discuss the incident, but will not be subjected to disciplinary proceedings through the University's judicial process for possession or consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
  • The recipient of medical attention will not be required to resolve the matter through the University's judicial process if she/he agrees (1) to participate in a health referral with the Office of Alcohol and Drug Services, and (2) to comply with any possible recommendations set forth by that Office.
  • If an individual or representative of an organization hosting an event calls for medical assistance, this act of responsibility will alleviate any judicial sanctions against the individual or organization that might arise from the possession or consumption of alcohol or other drugs. This will apply in isolated incidents only and will not excuse or protect those individuals or organizations that flagrantly or repeatedly violate the UVM Alcohol and Other Drug Policy. Similarly, failure to call for medical assistance in an alcohol or drug related emergency will be considered an "aggravating circumstance" and may affect the judicial resolution against the individual or organization if violations of the University Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities have occurred.

The responsibility for determining applicability of this protocol rests solely with the Center for Student Ethics & Standards. This protocol is not intended to address possible violations of criminal laws or their consequences outside the University.

Last modified February 17 2009 08:38 PM

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