If you’re underage and out for a night of drinking, it’s best that you drink to the point of hospitalization so that you won’t be punished by Temple.
That’s what Temple’s amnesty clause outlines in the student behavior code.
Of course, Temple would never endorse drinking to the point of hospitalization, but it’s not what an institution says that counts — it’s its actions. And this is what the actions of the alcohol amnesty clause convey.
Plainly stated, students who seek medical attention for the effects of drugs or alcohol will be exempt from punishment. The same goes for students who call for medical aid for a friend under the influence.
Understandably, Temple’s intentions are to prevent students who need help from being too afraid of the repercussions from the university to seek it. But this mentality does not leave room for the students who drink responsibly.
There will always be underage drinking, despite its illegality. Since students are going to do it, it’s best that they be safe and responsible. But according to Temple’s behavior code, students who set out to have only one or two drinks with friends in a dorm room and get caught by their resident assistant are punished. This is incredibly uneven when compared to a student who is foolish and gets alcohol poisoning, but calls for medical help and receives no punishment.
Temple’s policies need to acknowledge the students who consume alcohol responsibly. With an ever-rising rate of underage students who are sent to the hospital for alcohol-related effects, the so-called responsible students are not part of the problem.
However, Temple’s Emergency Medical Services, the new student-run organization, is a smart component to getting students the medical attention they require. Students in need of medical care will be more receptive to a friendly student face, rather than a formidable police office.
Students under the influence, or friends of students who need medical help, will likely be more willing to cooperate with an EMS volunteer who is one of their peers. In a potentially dangerous situation, this difference could save a life.