Alcohol and Drug Use
Responsible Action Protocol
Northwestern students are expected to alert appropriate officials in the event of any health or safety emergency – specifically those involving the abuse of alcohol or drugs – even if violations of the student code of conduct may have occurred in connection with such an emergency.
Because the University understands that fear of disciplinary actions may deter requests for emergency assistance, the University has adopted the Responsible Action Protocol to alleviate such concerns and promote responsible action on the part of students.
In a situation involving imminent threat or danger to the health or safety of any individual(s), students are generally expected to:
- Contact emergency officials by calling 911.
- Remain with the individual(s) needing emergency treatment and cooperate with emergency officials, so long as it is safe to do so.
- Meet with appropriate University officials after the incident and cooperate with any University investigation.
The University will consider the responsible action when determining the appropriate response for any policy violations. This may mean that no University disciplinary action is taken. But, the incident will be documented and it may lead to educational, community and health initiatives. Contact with the student’s family could be required. The protocol does not preclude or prevent action by police or other legal authorities.
Failure of students to take responsible actions in an emergency situation, however, may void all protections under this provision. It may constitute an aggravating factor for purposes of disciplinary sanctioning and may lead to further disciplinary actions.
Other policies and information
- Northwestern University offers information regarding alcohol and drug use and compliance with state law, city ordinances, and the student judicial system. For more information, visit the website.
- View the Northwestern University Policy on Drugs and Alcohol (pdf)
Treatment and prevention
The Office of Health, Promotion and Wellness at Northwestern University offers a variety of alcohol awareness, prevention, and treatment programs including:
- Red Watch Band training.
- BASICS: Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students.
- Choices about Alcohol.
It also offers referrals for students seeking alcohol or other drug treatment services. For more information on these offerings, visit Health, Promotion & Wellness: Alcohol and Other Drug Services.Back to top