SAMM (Safety Always Matters Most)

At Wheaton College, we value a healthy community and recognize that alcohol can be dangerous when abused, therefore we encourage students to make good choices.  However, we recognize that some students choose to drink, and in these situations, we believe that Safety Always Matters Most (SAMM).  This is the philosophy and lens through which we hold all alcohol-related discussions.  To that end, the policies outlined below attempts to reduce many of the risky situations that accompany alcohol use, keeping safety foremost in choices related to alcohol use while complying with state and local regulations:

  • Persons under 21 years of age may not possess or consume alcohol
  • Persons under 21 years of age may not host other persons in their room, over-or-under the age of 21, who are possessing or consuming alcohol
  • No person over the age of 21 may possess or consume alcohol in any place other than their room, unless the event is registered for alcohol. However, at these events, persons 21 years of age or older may only possess or consume alcohol that was registered and provided by the event hosts.
  • Persons 21 years of age or older may not purchase or distribute alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age.
  • No person may provide or distribute alcohol to persons who are intoxicated
  • No person may possess a common source* of alcohol unless it has been approved as part of a registered event in a designated space.
  • No person may use or possess funnels or drinking game paraphernalia, with or without alcohol.
  • Public intoxication and any problematic behavior is not permitted.

The College believes that student health and safety is a responsibility shared by all members of the Wheaton community, and that our obligation as a community is to act with care and respect for each other; this is embodiment of the SAMM philosophy.

Towards that end, students who seek appropriate help due to an incident of intoxication (alcohol or other intoxicants) either for themselves or for other students generally will not be subject to the Student Conduct System with respect to the College’s Alcohol Policy or other Community Standards outlined in the Student Handbook.  SAMM does not apply when the student does not seek to obtain help in addressing the alcohol or other intoxicant use at the time of the concern.

In order for SAMM to apply, the intoxicated student will participate in a meeting with a designated representative of the College who will determine what follow-up steps are necessary and the timeframe for the student to complete these steps.  The student will be informed of the required follow-up steps and must agree to their timely completion.  Such steps may include educational activities or alcohol assessment and/or treatment.  The steps will depend on the nature of the incident and level of concern for the student’s health and safety.  Serious or repeated incidents will prompt a higher degree of concern.  If the follow-up steps are taken within the required time and the student demonstrates a genuine motivation, effort, and commitment to address her or his use of alcohol (or other intoxicant), the student will not be subject to disciplinary action for the incident with respect to the College’s Alcohol Policy.

The student’s failure to meet with a designated College representative or failure to complete recommended follow-up steps in an appropriate and timely manner typically will result in disciplinary action under the College’s alcohol policy.

Depending upon the circumstances of a particular incident, other students, student groups, or organizations might be required to meet with a designated representative of the College and to complete follow-up steps.  Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.

It should be noted that SAMM does not exempt students from any criminal, civil, or legal consequences of their behavior.

* A common source of alcohol is considered to be the equivalent of more than one 30-pack (30 12-ounce bottles or cans) of beer or malt liquor, more than 1.5 liters of wine, more than 750ml of liquor, or any combination of alcoholic beverages with a total amount that exceeds the maximum allowed quantities listed above. Kegs, beerballs, and boxed wine are also considered common sources.

[1] Adapted from the Dartmouth College Alcohol Policy and the Rollins College Responsible Action Protocol.