New Alcohol Emergency Procedure: Fostering a Community of Care

New Alcohol Emergency Procedure: Fostering a Community of Care

To encourage students to call for medical attention for themselves or others who are severely intoxicated or in danger of harm due to alcohol abuse, UCF is implementing a new Alcohol Emergency Procedure beginning June 25.

The new policy grants the Office of Student Conduct the ability to waive disciplinary action against an individual or student group that reports an incident.

“All students are responsible for adhering to the Rules of Conduct as described in the Golden Rule Student handbook.  However, the safety of our students is always our number-one priority, and we believe the AEP is another step toward ensuring we meet that goal,” said Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Services Maribeth Ehasz.

UCF has a comprehensive program aimed at educating students about the dangers of alcohol abuse. The university has been recognized as a national leader because of its program, which includes a mandatory education component that all first-year students must complete before arriving on campus.

Students or organizations that call for help and meet the conditions of the new policy as determined by the director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will be referred to the Wellness and Health Promotions Office for appropriate educational interventions without facing Student Conduct disciplinary charges.

However, this procedure does not exempt students from potential consequences by law enforcement agencies for violations of state or federal laws.

During the past several years, UCF administrators and students have been working together to identify strategies to decrease the harms associated with excessive high-risk drinking and to reduce underage consumption of alcohol.  The implementation of this new procedure is one more addition to UCF’s comprehensive approach aimed at reducing alcohol abuse, which often has dire results.

“The Alcohol Emergency Procedure underscores the university’s commitment to student safety. Students are more likely to call for help for a friend who is intoxicated when they perceive support for doing so,” said Tom Hall, director of Wellness and Health Promotion Services. “The procedure will ultimately reduce barriers for students to seek help when concerns about alcohol impairment are present.”

The new policy will be found in the 2012-2013 UCF Golden Rule student handbook and will take effect at the start of the Summer B term.