Medical Amnesty

Grand Valley State University is committed to the safety and well-being of students and the larger GVSU community. The university strives to provide a community committed to reinforcing safe, smart, and responsible use. To ensure support of students, the university encourages students to utilize medical amnesty in the event of an alcohol or other drug related emergency. Medical Amnesty and Active Bystander support are set to encourage students to seek out assistance and reduce barriers that may discourage students from seeking support.



Alcohol poisoning and drug overdose are serious and life threatening medical emergencies. Students may encounter these type of emergencies while enrolled at GVSU. Sometimes students are afraid to seek emergency medical care when alcohol poisoning or drug overdose is suspected because they do not want to get themselves or others in trouble. To encourage students to call 911, GVSU grants Student Amnesty for alcohol and drug emergencies.

What is Student Amnesty?

GVSU wants to encourage students to seek appropriate help in emergency situations. Student Amnesty allows current GVSU students to avoid formal university disciplinary action and the creation of a formal disciplinary record when they call for help during an alcohol or drug-related emergency. Additionally, no student seeking medical treatment for an alcohol or drug overdose on campus will be subject to legal issues by the GVSU Police Department or the Ottawa County Sherriff’s Office for the sole violation of using or possessing personal amounts of alcohol or drugs (unless there are extenuating circumstances).

To encourage students who may be hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of alcohol or drug violations, at the time of the incident, the University pursues a policy of amnesty. Restorative and educational options will be explored, but no conduct proceedings or disciplinary record will result. For more information, please visit the University Policy on Amnesty for Alcohol or Drug Violations 

Student Amnesty for Alcohol and Drug Emergencies can apply for the following scenarios:

  • Possession of alcohol and drugs by a minor (Minor in Possession)
  • Unauthorized possession or use of alcohol or drugs on campus
  • Consumption of alcohol by a minor 
  • Use of drugs

Amnesty may be granted to:

  • GVSU student(s) calling for help
  • GVSU student(s) experiencing the medial emergency associated with drugs and/or alcohol

GVSU Medical Amnesty Policy

Michigan Law

In 2012, a bill was passed to amend the Michigan Liquor Control Code Act 58 of 1998, 436.1703 to help reduce the fear of legal consequences of receiving a minor in possession ticket when one seeks help for themselves or others due to alcohol related medical emergencies. In 2017, a similar bill became effective to amend the Michigan Complied Law, 333.7404, to remove legal consequences of arrest for a drug charge for those who seek help for themselves or others due to drug overdose medical emergencies.

Michigan Medical Amnesty Law

Laker Guardian App

Grand Valley State University Police Department offers an app to help keep you and your friends safe.  Some features of the app include: 

  • A safety timer that shares your status & location to those you trust
  • Allows you to call GVPD directly for help if you are in trouble
  • You can send texts and photos to GVPD if you see something suspicious 

GVSU Laker Guardian App

Aware Awake Alive - Carson's Story

Page last modified April 15, 2022