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For your own safety: Reporting You to U

October 19, 2015

When ACT 1 processes a UVM student, their information is sent to the Center for Health and Wellbeing. UVM receives this information as part of the contract they have with ACT 1 in the form of monthly reports, according to the contract.

Cole Wangsness
The outside of a jail cell at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility Oct. 2.

The only way this will not happen is if the student pays out-of-pocket to ACT 1, in which case their name is left blank on the report, Schygulla said.

Jon Porter, director of the Center for Health and Wellbeing, said this information helps his office connect students to resources after what he called a significant medical event.

“That’s valuable to us in terms of making students aware, who go through that sort of difficult episode,” Porter said. “There are people here who can support them if they’re having any sort of difficulty.”

Last year, 35 percent of students screened by ACT 1 were not admitted and sent to jail, according to data provided by the Center for Health and Wellbeing.

In some circumstances however, it could be beneficial to go to jail, Schygulla said.

“[It’s] not about punishment, but I look at everything as there’s a plus side and a minus side,” she said.  “It could be a life altering positive experience to have such a negative experience.”

If a student is not admitted to ACT 1, whoever assessed the student’s level of incapacitation selects a reason, numbered one through nine, on their admittance form known as an “incap form,” Schygulla said.

These reasons range from violence concerns, medical attention being needed and a lack of available beds, according to ACT 1’s screening form.

This information is in the reports to UVM. The only person who sees the information in the reports is the Center for Health and Wellbeing’s business support analyst, Patricia Frazer, Porter said in an Oct. 19 email.

The reports are sent with each reason sent as a number, one through nine. However, Frazer is the only person at the Center who knows what these numbers mean is, he said in the email.

The only time the codes are used by her are when students call and ask why they were not kept at ACT 1,” Porter said in the email.

The University pays ACT 1 $10,000 every semester in exchange for their services for students. Instead of paying ACT 1 directly, UVM bills students for these costs, according to their 2015-2016 contract.

There is not much communication between ACT 1 and UVM, Metzner said.

“We’ve been asked only to provide the data we provide,” Metzner said.  “Besides that we don’t get on the phone and talk to anyone.  The face-to-face communication is minimal.”

The monthly reports act as verification that ACT 1 is serving UVM’s students, said Annie Stevens, the vice provost for student affairs at UVM.  

“The Center for Health and Wellbeing uses this information to provide students with resources intended to assist the student in ensuring that future encounters with ACT 1 do not occur and to assist with medical follow up as necessary,” Stevens said in an Oct. 12 email. 

Porter said the information allows his office to help individual students find resources that may help them with issues of alcohol abuse.

He said his office compiled a list of times when rates of high risk drinking and ACT 1 transports, go up, and they use that information to contact parents ahead of time.

“This isn’t about why you do a wrong, good or bad. It’s about helping folks to make decisions that help them succeed,” Porter said.

Ryan said he acknowledges that the “drunk tank” is there to keep students safe, but the whole process made him feel “more like a criminal than anything else.”

“Let’s say you break a leg and get a cast for six months. That’s kind of like ACT 1 felt like,” he said. “You just messed up, and it’s just this huge nuisance on your entire life.”

What would Naylor have done differently?

“I just wouldn’t have drank so much,” he said. “It would’ve been smarter if we had just taken an Uber or a taxi home.”

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