Georgetown’s drug and alcohol policies receive a B

While Georgetown may be rated A+ in the recruitment of beautiful overachievers, its grade for campus policies regarding drugs and alcohol is not quite up to par.

Georgetown was assessed by Sensible Students for Drug Policy (SSDP), an international grassroots organization that encourages open dialogue on the impact of campus drug policies and advocates for reasonable laws in which the safety of students is the primary concern. In SSDP’s rating system, all evaluated universities began with a C average; their grades were either raised or lowered depending on several factors. If a school had policies with clearly defined sanctions that favored treatment over punishment or implements Good Samaritan Policies, then the grade was increased. Conversely, zero-tolerance policies or a reliance on referrals to law enforcement warranted a lower grade.

SSDP gave Georgetown a B rating. The grade was raised because of the alcohol policy, which takes into account prior violations while maintaining a balance between education/treatment and punishment. However, lack of any detailed drug policy sanctions prevented Georgetown from getting an A. Another contributing negative factor was the absence of a Good Samaritan Policy. Also known as medical amnesty, this policy enables students to call 911 during a drug or alcohol related emergency while receiving protection from legal repercussions. SSDP estimates that about 240 universities in the U.S. have implemented these Good Samaritan Policies; Georgetown is not among them.

Two of our fellow D.C. universities—American and Georgetown Washington—received A and C ratings respectively. American was applauded for handling sanctions on a case-by-case basis and ensuring full medical amnesty; George Washington was criticized for having extremely unclear policies that focus more on punishment than on increased awareness.

While Vox does not encourage a round two of the excitement that ensued on the ninth floor of Harbin, Vox applauds SSDP’s efforts towards the adoption of sensible drug and alcohol policies by universities, providing for safety rather than punishment.

Photo: David via Flickr

3 Comments on “Georgetown’s drug and alcohol policies receive a B

  1. There’s an amnesty policy in practice, but it’s not written down anywhere. Typical Georgetown.

  2. I am an ex-Georgetown student who never graduated due to my alcoholism. I ran through the entire system for students suffering from substance abuse issues. Granted, this was back in 2003-2004 so things may have changed a bit. At first they treated the problem from a disciplinary standpoint and then once it was established that the issue was more medical than behavioral, I began actual treatment- first a counselor, then a weekly alcohol/drug class, then an IOP, then medical leave. I found the school to be fairly understanding with the situation and proactive in their approach. I was using drugs at the time, but never had any actual violations w/ narcotics (at least that I remember). I did have friends that got caught with pot multiple times though. I remember that there wasnt any sort of set policy regarding the infractions… in other words, if you were a good student and relatively harmless, you got a slap on the wrist. If you were a nuisance and had been written up for fighting or anything destructive, you would get the book thrown at you. Although the policy was unclear, I always felt their decisions were fair.

    Not really on the topic but i felt compelled to comment.

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