& A with Julianne Ohotnicky, Dean of Students
Julianne Ohothicky recently
responded to questions regarding the establishment
by the college of a in cases of medical
emergencies related to alcohol use on campus.
The Gate: What was the process
for developing this policy?
Julianne Ohotnicky: This policy
is modeled after similar ones now in effect at other colleges
and universities, including such schools as Brown, Cornell,
Princeton universities, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania
and University of Vermont. It came out of discussions between
various offices within the area of the Dean of the College.
Gate: Why was this
JO: Smith's alcohol amnesty
policy seeks to decrease the likelihood that a
student will hesitate to seek help in an emergency by granting
the college's punitive judicial policies.
In an emergency situation, students need to make an immediate
decision as to
whether or not to call for help. They can only make a confident
call for help if they are aware that Smith's policy will
shield them from
punitive action. While we would hope that all students would
decision to call for help, having a written policy helps
to clarify and
communicate what is important -- the well-being of the student.
Gate: How does this
policy gel with state law?
JO: The policy does not
legalize illegal behavior. It only
changes the manner in which the college addresses certain
incidents. From the standpoint of the Public Safety officers,
the call is for a medical emergency.
Gate: What do you expect
the new policy to accomplish?
JO: The policy promotes
education and treatment as
well as safety and responsibility in order to reduce the
likelihood of future occurrences.
Follow-up evaluations and counseling
are fundamental components of the policy. Amnesty is only
granted when a student meets with the Director of Health
Services and either the Area Coordinator or the Wellness
Education Director (as determined by the Office of Student