Written By: Vilamarie Narloch, Co-President of Roosevelt University SSDP
Last week, I received an e-mail which included the sweet, sweet phrase that many of us SSDPers work long and hard to see, “After careful and detailed consideration, I am happy to say we will be adopting the Good Samaritan Protocol and it will be in place for this coming academic year.”
I know I had to read it over several times before it sank in, but with those words, I know Roosevelt SSDP had done it! We had finally convinced our administration to include Good Samaritan language into our student handbook, a process that took Abigail Moore, Grace Fowler, and I as well as the rest of our chapter roughly two years.
After being inspired by fellow chapters that were working toward GSP on their campuses, we recognized that our own policies at Roosevelt were not in the best interest of our fellow students. We came up with a game plan that included listing faculty and staff who we knew would be on our side, and those who we might have more difficulty convincing. We considered various “routes” to get a GSP policy to be considered, including going through our Student Government Association for support in the event that the administration was not on our side. We worked hard to find the best evidence supporting GSPs, and gained a lot of knowledge on typical criticism we might face when presenting this to the administration. In addition, we reached out to other chapters who were also working toward GSP through the SSDP Good Samaritan Policy Working Group on Facebook for assistance and ideas for putting together our draft. Through all our work and preparation we found that group and the SSDP GSP website were the greatest resources we could have. I believe that having that information so accessible played a large role in our success.
We were fortunate that our administrators were immediately very supportive of the idea of a Good Samaritan policy, but they had a lot of questions and concerns about such a policy. These concerns were fortunately able to be put to rest almost as immediately as they were brought up, due to our preparation, planning, and resources. Despite this, it was a long process, and our patience was tested several times. The wait often made us feel defeated, or as though we were being “strung along” by the same people who so enthusiastically had supported us in person. In the end of course, the wait was well worth it to know that next year, Roosevelt University students will be a little bit safer as a result of our efforts.