Salisbury University students on campus

Responsible Action Protocol

The health and safety of students is of paramount concern to the University. All members of the University community are encouraged to act in a responsible manner when an individual may require medical assistance by dialing 911 or the University Police emergency line at 410-543-6222. After calling for an emergency situation and the situation allows, seek a University or Office of Housing and Residence Life official.

It is recognized that in situations in which either a student summoning or requiring help is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the threat of disciplinary sanctions for violating the University’s alcohol and/or drug policy may be under certain circumstances, a barrier to seeking help. As such, the University will do all that it can to promote student, health, safety and wellbeing. The Responsible Action Protocol is a policy administered by the Dean of Students Office that will reduce barriers to seeking help in cases of alcohol and/or drug-related emergencies by providing relief from administrative or disciplinary action on the part of the University under certain circumstances if either a University official or other authority is contacted in a timely fashion.


  1. A student in possession or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs who summons medical emergency assistance for him/herself or on behalf of a fellow student experiencing a medical emergency will not face disciplinary charges under the Code of Community Standards or Residence Hall Policies for the possession or use of alcohol and/or drugs, with the exception of the exclusion noted below. In lieu of disciplinary charges and as a condition of such relief, students handled under this Policy will usually be required to complete an approved alcohol and/or drug intervention program and other appropriate mandates issued by the Dean of Students or designee;
  2. This Policy also extends to the student for whom medical emergency assistance has been summoned;
  3. A “summons” for medical emergency assistance is deemed to be contacting police, University staff or other officials designated emergency medical providers, and staying with the individual until that help arrives;
  4. In cases involving sexual misconduct, a student who reports sexual misconduct to the institution or law enforcement or who participates in a sexual misconduct matter as a witness will not be subject to student conduct action for a violation of the University’s drug and alcohol policies if the University determines that:
    • The violation occurred during or near the time of the alleged sexual misconduct;
    • The student made the report of sexual misconduct, or is participating in an investigation as a witness in good faith; and
    • The violation was not an act that was reasonably likely to place the health or safety of another individual at risk.


Students referred to the Dean of Students Office for alcohol and/or drug use or possession will have their case reviewed by a representative of the office. If the student is eligible for the conditional relief under this Policy, the initiation of disciplinary charges may be “deferred” pending successful completion of an approved alcohol and/or drug intervention program, if the University determines that it is in the best interests of the student to complete such program. In those cases, if the student successfully completes the program to the satisfaction of the Office of the Dean of Students the pending charges will be withdrawn, leaving the student with no disciplinary record. If the student fails to successfully complete the program within the required time frame, the University may move forward with disciplinary charges.


  1. Relief from disciplinary charges described in this Policy do not extend to charges other than possession or use of alcohol and/or drugs. In addition it shall not provide relief from disciplinary charges pertaining to the alleged possession or use of alcohol and/or drugs, which, if proven, would involve distribution of drugs or the provision of alcohol to a person under the legal drinking age;
  2. Students with a prior disciplinary record of alcohol and/or drug-related violations and students previously granted relief under this policy as the person for whom the emergency services were being summoned, shall only be eligible for relief on a case-by-case basis following an assessment by the Dean of Students Office;
  3. This Policy does not and cannot offer persons conditional relief, immunity, or protection from criminal complaint, arrest, or prosecution by University police or other law enforcement agency for illegal activity, including the illegal use or possession of alcohol and/or drugs in violation of Local, County, State, or Federal law. However, State law provides that “the act of seeking, providing or assisting with the provision of medical assistance for another person who is experiencing a medical emergency after ingesting alcohol or drugs may be used as a mitigating factor in a criminal prosecution of (1) the person who experienced the medical emergency; or (2) any person who sought, provided, or assisted in the provision of medical assistance.” Ann. Code of Maryland, Criminal Procedure Article, Section 1-210(a). This Policy also does not provide relief from any civil suit, fine, or financial obligation to any party (including the University) for loss, damage, or injury associated with alcohol and/or drug use or possession;
  4. This Policy does not offer conditional relief to student organizations, which remain subject to University instituted organizational charges for alcohol and/or drug-related violations, including possession and use. The nature of such charges and any resulting disciplinary sanctions, however, will take into account and may be mitigated by the action taken by organizational representatives. A representative of a student organization who summons medical emergency assistance may also be eligible for relief and thus conditional exemption from charges for his or her personal use or possession of alcohol and/or drugs under this Policy.