Getting Good Sam’d: What Really Happens


Ever wonder what happens when someone uses Kenyon’s Good Samaritan Policy on you? For anyone unfamiliar, this policy states that “those instances in which a student calls the Office of Campus Safety […] for assistance with an intoxicated or impaired student, neither the individual calling nor the student in need of assistance will be charged with violations of the College’s policies”.  The Thrill interviewed two students who have been through the process of getting Good Sam’d, getting their thoughts and reflections on the system. 

What led up to your getting Good Sam’d?

1: I was throwing up a lot, but I can remember it happening. I remember the Safety Officer arriving, but not him driving me back to my dorm.

2: I was really, really drunk.

What exactly happens when you get Good Sam’d?

2: It depends. They have a kit for if you stop breathing. They carried me back to my dorm and made sure I was okay. They don’t take your vitals unless you’re not breathing, but they have the stuff there to do it. I think they’re just making sure you aren’t going to go unconscious. One time they came back again to check on me, just to make sure I was okay. If they’re really concerned they’ll call the ambulance to take you to the hospital.

1: I remember that they brought me home and propped a trash can next to my bed and told my roommate what was up. And I did throw up in that trash can. I washed it out later, and it was gross.

What was the process after that night?

1: Looking back, I realized why I’d gotten so drunk. I hadn’t eaten for 7-8 hours prior, and I was drinking a lot, and I rode the Caples elevator and that made me dizzy so I started throwing up. I’d been [as drunk as I’d been that night] before and been okay. That being said, I was happy I was Good Sam’d because it was a good wake up call.

2: After the night, they send you an email letting you know what happened and you can amend the report they write if you want. Then afterwards you have to go meet with Mike Durham, and that’s always great.

1: I met with Mike, and I also had to meet with someone from Res Life. That person was very judgmental and it was very hard to meet with him.

2: I didn’t have to meet with anyone from Res Life.

1: That person was very judgmental, and I already felt horrible about that night. I felt so guilty, and he made me feel even worse. I’m glad I had to go through this process because I feel better about drinking in general, but it was really hard to schedule [that meeting]. But talking to Mike was great. I really like him.

What are the positives and negatives of the policy?

2: The only issue I had was the fact that the whole point of Good Sam is that you don’t get in trouble, but I did end up getting in trouble. The Sheriff was listening in to the Good Sam calls and he can hear if Safety has to call an ambulance so he can drive over and see if they’re underage or not. I feel like the whole point of Good Sam is so people aren’t afraid to call, but they might be because of the Sheriff. I know the school doesn’t necessarily have jurisdiction over that, but it’s still an issue.

1: I’ve had friends who were throwing up and completely unconscious and I wanted to call Good Sam but their other friends wouldn’t let me. I think people shouldn’t be afraid of it. I also had one friend who really didn’t want to call but then the CA came in and called, and the guy ended up having to go to the hospital. [The friend] could have killed him by not calling Good Sam. It’s really dangerous.

Do you think most people on campus understand the policy?

1: The one thing that really confused me as a freshman was how Good Sam worked because of the Real World Gambier skits, where they had someone dress up as a superhero called Good Sam. I knew that wasn’t realistic, but then I didn’t know what actually happened.

Is there, in reality, a penalty?

2: There isn’t a penalty. If it’s more severe, like if you go to the hospital, you have to fill out some paperwork. There’s also a “Choices and Consequences” meeting you can go to, or meet with Mike Duram one on one.

Any final thoughts?

1: If you think someone needs to be Good Sam’d, you should Good Sam them.

2: Even if they’re telling you not to.

1: Yes. Because they are drunk and don’t have good judgement.


One response

  1. Pingback: Happy Halloween! | The Thrill

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