Amnesty Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question not found below, please email hpaw@northwestern.edu

What happens after you receive amnesty?

In a situation where a student or member(s) of a student group takes responsible action (for themselves or for others) and calls, stays, and cooperates, or has such action taken for them, the responding party (e.g., NUPD, Resident Assistant) will fully document the incident. Students will be asked to provide their name, ID number, and contact information to the responding party(ies). Students and if applicable, student groups will receive a notice from the Office of Community Standards and are expected to attend a meeting with a staff member regarding the incident. If it is determined through this meeting that the student or student group followed all required steps to be eligible for Amnesty through Responsible Action, the student or student group will not be held accountable for an alcohol or other drug related policy violation (with the exception of driving under the influence). The student may still be asked to complete an alcohol or other drug intervention and to complete educational activities.

If someone calls 911 are other people at the event covered by amnesty?

Amnesty through Responsible Action applies to the student or members(s) of a student group who take responsible action for themselves or for others.

How long has the amnesty policy been around?
Amnesty Through Responsible Action protocol for violations of the alcohol and other drug policy began in the 2015-2016 academic year.
How does amnesty apply to a whole party if one person calls 911?
Amnesty through Responsible Action may apply to the hosts (i.e. student organization) members(s) of a student group who take responsible action for themselves or for others.
If ur at a party and someone is passed out so someone calls the cops, should you stay or go?
The responsible action to take is to stay and assist the police or medical personnel when they arrive to ensure all the information gathered is accurate and proper aid can be provided in a timely fashion. For more information learn about Amnesty Through Responsible Action.
Does amnesty also mean that you won't be in trouble with law enforcement?
The Amnesty through Responsible Action is a university response to an incident.
Does amnesty apply if illegal drugs are involved?
Amnesty through Responsible Action applies for violations of the alcohol and other drug policies (with the exception of driving under the influence)
Does Amnesty cover both parties involved? As in the person who is intoxicated as well?
The University will not hold students or student groups who take such action (for them-selves or others), or for whom such action is taken, accountable for violations of the University’s alcohol and other drug policies (with the exception of driving under the influence).
Do incidents of Amnesty go on your record?
All student disciplinary files (paper and electronic formats) that involve matters resolved by the Division of Student Affairs are kept and maintained by the Office of Community Standards and are considered educational records subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and University policy.
Is amnesty out to get me? Is it lenient?
At Northwestern, the wellbeing of students is of primary importance. Each student plays a critical role in creating a community of care. Northwestern encourages students and student groups to ensure the well-being of others by taking responsible steps to seek assistance for individuals who are intoxicated/impaired (including themselves). When this occurs, the University honors that care by prioritizing educational and supportive responses.
What can i do when someone is experiencing an alcohol or drug emergency?
Always call 911 first so that help can arrive as soon as possible. Whether you know the person or not, you will want to stay with them and tell the responding medical personnel as much information as you can. If you do those three things, you just followed Amnesty through Responsible Action and helped keep our community safer and possibly saved a life!