Medical Amnesty Policy

Letter from the Vice President for Student Development

Dear Students,

Medical Amnesty is available for Manchester University students in the following circumstances: 

1)    Medical Amnesty may be requested by students who seek medical assistance for someone for whom there is concern due to excessive alcohol or substance consumption. 

2)    Medical Amnesty may be requested by the person who has consumed excessive alcohol or substances, and for whom medical attention is sought.  

3)    Medical amnesty may be requested for those who are victims of a sexual assault where underage drinking or health-threatening intoxication is involved.

Requests for Medical Amnesty are reviewed by a committee to determine if amnesty will be granted. The policy does not preclude our office from requiring educational programs or substance abuse assessments as we deem necessary.

Our prominent concern is the health and safety of our students and thus we want to encourage every student to call for help for themselves or for another individual during alcohol, drug, or other health emergencies. If medical assistance is needed, do not hesitate to call 911 immediately.

Thank you for being a student with ability and conviction who looks out for your peers. When in doubt, please call for help.

The complete Medical Amnesty Policy is posted within this website to be viewed within its entirety.


Beth Sweitzer-Riley
Vice President for Student Development

Policy Statement
Manchester University (MU) encourages a living and learning environment that promotes the health and safety of all members of the MU community. Drug or alcohol consumption – including excessive consumption, consumption of a dangerous substance, or consumption by someone with sensitivity – can cause serious physical and neurological harm or be life-threatening. As such, students are encouraged to make responsible decisions and to seek medical attention in serious or life-threatening situations that result from alcohol and/or other drug abuse; students are also encouraged to seek help for any situation where medical treatment is reasonably believed to be appropriate. If a student is so intoxicated s/he is unable to be awakened, letting that person “sleep it off” is not a reasonable alternative to getting him/her the necessary medical help. Students may be hesitant to seek help in such emergencies because of fear of potential conduct and disciplinary consequences for themselves or the person in need of medical attention.
Purpose of Policy
Manchester University is committed to promoting a safe and healthy environment for all students. A medical amnesty policy benefits our campus by encouraging our students to make responsible decisions in seeking medical attention in serious or life-threatening situations that result from alcohol and/or other drug abuse and in any situation where medical treatment is reasonably believed to be appropriate. If a student is so intoxicated or drugged that s/he is unable to be awakened, letting that person “sleep it off” is not a reasonable alternative to getting him/her the necessary medical help. This policy seeks to diminish fear of disciplinary and conduct sanctions in such situations and to encourage individuals to seek medical attention for students in distress from alcohol and/or drug use.

Manchester University students who needed medical attention as a result of alcohol and/or illegal drug use and/or a person who called for medical assistance for the person who needed medical attention may be considered for Medical Amnesty by first completing an application. The application MUST be completed and submitted, IN PERSON, to the Office for Student Development (located on the 2nd floor of Calvin Ulrey, room 222) within 3 working days of the offense. Click here for the application.

Medical Amnesty Application Process

Student health and safety are of primary concern at Manchester University. As such, in cases of serious intoxication and/or alcohol poisoning or in an incident of sexual assault where underage drinking is involved, the university encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or others. If an individual seeks medical attention due to his/her own level of intoxication (or because of being assaulted) which reasonably appears to create serious and immediate risk to the individual, the Manchester University conduct system may not pursue disciplinary sanctions against the student for violations of the Alcohol Policy of the Code of Conduct. Additionally, those students who assist in obtaining medical attention for individuals who are intoxicated (or intoxicated and have been sexually assaulted) may also not receive disciplinary sanctions for violations of the Alcohol Policy of the Code of Conduct.

To request Medical Amnesty consideration, an application MUST be completed and submitted, IN PERSON, to the Office for Student Development (located on the 2nd floor of Calvin Ulrey, room 222) within 3 working days of the offense. Click here for the application.

When Medical Amnesty is applied, the intoxicated student (and possibly the referring student) will be required to meet with the VP for Student Development or her designee, who may issue educational requirements which may include, but are not limited to, alcohol and/or drug education, counseling, and/or a substance abuse assessment. Serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of concern and response. Failure to complete educational assignments or treatment recommendations issued under this policy normally will result in disciplinary action. The student will be responsible for any costs associated with alcohol education interventions. In most cases, a letter will be sent home to the student’s parents or legal guardian.

Medical Amnesty does not preclude disciplinary sanctions due to any other violations of the Code of Conduct (not related to the Alcohol Policy). Likewise, Medical Amnesty does not prevent action by North Manchester police or other law enforcement personnel.  The Indiana Lifeline law does protect someone under the age of 21 who has been drinking and calls for medical assistance for someone who is under the influence of alcohol or another substance. The caller will need to remain with the person in need of medical attention and cooperate with the police/medical authorities upon arrival. 

If the student is involved in any subsequent (i.e. repeat) alcohol and/or drug abuse incidents and applies for Medical Amnesty, the situation will be evaluated by the office of Student Development. The availability of Medical Amnesty for students with repetitive violations will be determined on a case by case basis. Typically, situations will be handled through the regular conduct process and will be considered for sanctioning purposes if a student does not demonstrate a commitment to the steps recommended by the staff and/or health care professional(s) and is involved in repetitive alcohol and/or drug abuse incidents.

·         Medical Amnesty may be applied for the MU student who actively assists by initiating and seeking medical assistance and/or medical treatment on behalf of themselves, another student, or a friend

·         Actively assisting requires that an individual:

o    Call North Manchester Police (260-982-8555 or 911) or seek another individual qualified to assess the student’s condition such as a Resident Advisor (RA) or Health Assistant (HA) or Hall Director (HA) or Campus Safety

o    Monitor the intoxicated student’s condition until help arrives.

·         The following are not covered by the Medical Amnesty Policy:

o    Students waiting until the police or other authority arrive before seeking assistance

o    Action by police or other law enforcement personnel

o    Violations of the Code of Conduct other than the alcohol/drugs policy

o    Possession with the intent to distribute drugs.

Disclosure of Amnesty Incidents
The university may disclose amnesty incidents with the student’s consent. The university also may disclose an incident if a student is applying for a position within Residence Life, the Conduct system, or Orientation or for study abroad if an incident occurred within one year of application or if the College has received subsequent alcohol or drug related incidents involving the student.
Illustrative Examples

1) John and Sarah are at a party when Sarah begins to show signs of intoxication (slurred speech, unsteady on her feet, vomiting). John decides to walk Sarah home. While walking, a NMPD officer sees Sarah walking unsteadily, she is throwing up, and hitting each car as she walks by the parked cars.  The NMPD stop and the officer cites Sarah for underage possession/consumption of alcohol. John also is cited for underage possession/consumption.

The Amnesty policy does not apply because John was not actively seeking medical attention for Sarah, and he did not seek out a qualified individual (such as an RA, HA or Campus Safety) to assess Sarah’s condition.

2) Ramon comes home to find his roommate, Zach, passed out on his bed and Ramon thinks it may be from drinking. Ramon finds the RA who determines with the assistance of the HA and Campus Safety that Zach needs medical attention.  Safety calls for an EMS, and EMS transports Zach to the hospital. The RA, HA, and Safety document the  incident and it is noted that Ramon also appeared to be intoxicated.

The Amnesty policy does apply to both Ramon and Zach because Ramon sought assistance from an RA for Zach. Both students may receive amnesty (application required, submitted within 3 days) and will not receive disciplinary charges as a result of this incident if they apply for amnesty. Both will likely receive some form of alcohol education as a result of this incident.

3) A North Manchester Police officer observes a large group of people exiting the McDonalds late one night. The officer observes Jean being held up by two of her friends who are also under age and had been drinking; Jean is unable to speak coherently and is passing in and out of consciousness. The North Manchester Police officer arrests Jean and her two friends and transports her to jail.

Jean may not apply for Manchester University Medial Amnesty because her friends were not seeking medical attention for her. Had the friends called 911 for medical assistance, Jean could apply for amnesty and likely would have been transported to the hospital in lieu of being arrested (although our policy does not apply to the North Manchester Police). The friends, had they been seeking medical assistance for her, may have been protected from arrest/legal consequences through the Indiana Lifeline Law.

4) A student, Sally, is 19 and was at a party drinking.   She passed out and awoke to being sexually assaulted.  She screamed and the guy ran out of the room and her friend, Lisa, ran in the room to check on her.   Her friend, Lisa who is also 19, had been drinking too.  They were both scared but knew that Sally needed help.   They came back to campus and told their RA what happened and agreed to get Sally medical attention.  The RA called Campus Safety, who contacted the police so that Sally could be transported to the Sexual Assault treatment center for medical care. 

Sally and Lisa may both apply for Medical Amnesty.   Even though they were both drinking and underage, Sally had been assaulted and Lisa was seeking to get her appropriate medical care and attention upon learning of the assault by enlisting the help of the RA.  (Both would be protected through the Lifeline Law also when the police were called.)

Indiana Lifeline Law

As a university we recognize that many students may make the choice to use alcohol to cope with adjustment to college life, to “fit in” or just to have fun. Alcohol is not an effective coping mechanism nor one that this campus endorses. At Manchester University our PRIMARY concern is for your safety. Please take note of the following information about the Indiana Lifeline Law.

  • Indiana Lifeline Law
    • The Lifeline Law provides immunity for the crimes of public intoxication, minor possession, minor consumption, and minor transportation alcohol to persons who reveal themselves to law enforcement while seeking medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related health emergency.
    • In order to receive immunity, the person must demonstrate that they are acting in good faith by completing ALL of the following:
      • Providing their full name any other relevant information requested by law enforcement officers
      • Remaining on the scene until law enforcement and emergency medical assistance arrives
      • Cooperating with authorities on the scene
    • The law will not interfere with law enforcement procedures or limit the ability to prosecute for other criminal offenses such as providing to a minor, operating while intoxicated, or possession of a controlled substance.
  • Make the call
    • Events such as the one that happened at Indiana University beginning fall semester 2014 are far too common. Please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind to prevent this from happening at Manchester University. An Indiana University freshman died recently after falling at an off-campus party.
  • Know the signs of Alcohol Poisoning
    • Call 911 if a person has any of the following symptoms:
      • Unconscious or semiconscious
      • Breathing less than 10 times per minute or irregular breathing (check every 2 minutes)
      • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
      • Can’t be awakened by pinching, prodding or shouting
      • Vomiting without waking up

Manchester University is committed to the health and safety of every individual and we encourage you to make the call if you or someone you know is in danger.

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© 2013 Manchester University
604 E. College Ave.
North Manchester, IN 46962