JCU students encouraged to be “Good Samaritans”

September 12th, 2013

John Carroll University students are likely familiar with the parable of the Good Samaritan, which teaches that one should always help someone in need, regardless of outside factors. Now, this famous lesson is being applied to the University’s code of conduct and community standards.

The new Good Samaritan Policy, effective as of Aug. 16, 2013, states that a student under the influence of alcohol or other drugs will not be disciplined for making a call for medical or emergency help for another student. The policy essentially states that authorities will not “kill the messenger.”

The policy was enacted after stories surfaced about college students across the nation dying due to overdoses that could have been prevented if students had not been scared of facing the consequences. It is meant to take away the fear of punishment and allow students who may have been hesitant about calling for help to feel more confident about helping their fellow Blue Streaks.

Junior Lindsay Beran believes this change will benefit the community.

“Instead of people thinking twice about helping out a friend, they will actually go out and help because they won’t get in trouble themselves,” Beran said.

This policy will also help new students acclimate to their new environment. Dean of Students Sherri Crahen said that the policy was developed with help from students’ feedback.

“This policy formalizes, in writing, the current practice of not pursuing disciplinary consequences for students under the influence of alcohol or other drugs who make good faith calls for medical or emergency help on behalf of another student,” said Crahen. “We developed a new policy based on feedback from students. We want students to intervene on behalf of other students, but we had heard that some students were reluctant to do so because they were worried that they would be documented for a policy violation.”

The other newly enacted policy this year is the Drug Policy, which prohibits the misuse or sale of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, as well as sharing or selling whole or parts of prescriptions.

The Dean of Students Office also implemented changes to already existing policies, including the Alcohol Policy, Firearms and Weapons Policy and Sex Offense Policy. These changes inform students of specific punishments for violating the policies.

Punishments span from alcohol, drug and fire safety education sessions, as well as fines, community service or probation and a hearing. Failing to complete the AlcoholEdu course will result in an automatic fine of $100. Not adhering to the given punishment will result in an additional conduct hearing. Some of the other violations include: possession of another student’s keys, possession of University furniture, propping exterior doors and smoking outside. All of these result in a University warning and all but the smoking policy include a $50 fine as punishment.

Sophomore Taylor VanHoose believes having the new policies will help students become aware of the consequences of their actions.

“I think it is helpful to have all the rules laid out in detail with the specific punishment you receive when breaking them,” VanHoose said. “This will eliminate the gray area that allows some rule-breakers to slip through the cracks.”

Specific information about the policies and punishments is located in the Student Code of Conduct, which can be found on the University website.