The City University of New York Drug and Alcohol Use Amnesty Policy


The City University of New York’s (“CUNY’s”) Drug/Alcohol Use Amnesty Policy has two principal purposes. First, it is intended to encourage students to seek medical assistance related to drug and/or alcohol use without fear of being disciplined for such use. Because the use of drugs or alcohol may be life-threatening, CUNY wishes to reduce barriers to seeking and receiving medical help in those situations. Second, CUNY wishes to encourage students under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol who may be the victims of, witnesses to, or otherwise become aware of violence (including but not limited to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault) or sexual harassment or gender-based harassment to report that violence or harassment. Toward that end, CUNY’s Policy is that students who seek medical assistance either for themselves or others and/or are reporting violence or harassment will not be subject to discipline under the circumstances described below.

I. Students who in good faith call for medical assistance for themselves or others and/or who receive medical assistance as a result of a call will not be disciplined for the consumption of alcohol (either if underage or if consumed in a CUNY-owned or operated residence hall or facility where alcohol consumption is prohibited) or drugs as long as there are no other violations that ordinarily would subject the student to disciplinary action. Similarly, students who may be the victims of, witnesses to, or otherwise become aware of violence or sexual harassment or gender-based harassment and who report such violence or harassment will not be disciplined for the consumption of alcohol or drugs in the absence of other violations that ordinarily would subject the student to disciplinary action. Other violations that would invoke discipline include but are not limited to (i) unlawful distribution of alcohol or drugs; (ii) sexual misconduct, as defined in CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct; (iii) causing or threatening physical harm; (iv) causing damage to property; (v) hazing.

II. The students involved will be encouraged to complete alcohol and/or drug education activities, assessment, and/or treatment, to be determined by the individual campuses or units of CUNY with which the students are affiliated. If repeated incidents of alcohol or drug use are involved, there may be issues of medical concern, which may result in parental notification, medical withdrawal, and/or other non-disciplinary responses.

III. CUNY’s Policy is intended both to implement Article 129-B of the Education Law (which mandates drug and alcohol amnesty for reporters of violence) and to complement New York State’s Good Samaritan Law, which is designed to encourage individuals to call 911 in the event of an alcohol or drug-related emergency. Generally, the Good Samaritan Law protects persons who witness or suffer from a medical emergency involving drugs or alcohol from being arrested or prosecuted for drug or underage alcohol possession after they call 911. It does not protect against arrest or prosecution for other offenses, such as the sale of drugs.

Approved by the Board of Trustees on 6/30/2014, Cal. No. 7D and effective date of 7/1/2014 as ‘Medical Amnesty-Good Samaritan Policy’. Amended and changed to ‘Drug and Alcohol Use Amnesty Policy’ on 10/1/2015. Cal. No. 6D.