The goals of point forgiveness are:

  • To help students make more informed choices regarding substance use
  • To help students become more aware how choices affect outcomes
  • To give students an opportunity to reduce points through meaningful activities
  • To provide support to students who want to make positive behavioral changes
  • To reward students who avoid conduct difficulty

Frequently Asked Questions

How often can I get a 1-point reduction?

You will automatically receive a 1-point reduction for each semester during which you completely avoid any conduct violations.

You also have the opportunity to reduce one point per academic year by voluntarily participating in a point forgiveness activity.

Note:  Point Forgiveness is an opportunity, not a right.  While we will provide point forgiveness opportunities throughout the academic year, these opportunities are limited and may conflict with your class/activity schedules.  None are offered after April 1 and before September 1.  Any student wishing to earn point forgiveness should pursue it immediately upon completing required sanctions.  Those who wait may not be able to earn point forgiveness given time and logistical conflicts.

If I have no conduct violations at the end of a semester, do I need to let someone know that I qualify for a 1-point reduction?

No, this happens automatically.  For questions, contact Stephanie Rye,

What can I do to get a 1-point reduction? 

You may seek point forgiveness only after you have completed all assigned sanctions. You may reduce a point by completing one of the activities listed below.  You may complete each activity only once (unless descriptions specifies you may repeat) and you may not use an activity that has been assigned to you as a sanction to earn point forgiveness. Be sure to keep track of the activities you complete so you don’t accidentally complete an activity more than once.  If you are assigned a program as a sanction that you’ve already completed for point forgiveness, let your Area Coordinator know that. You would then be assigned another activity for your sanction.

When may I do a point reduction activity?

It’s strongly recommended that you complete point reduction activities as early in the academic year as possible.

Students who seek point reduction after April 1 cannot be accommodated.  Students who incur violations toward the end of the school year won’t have the opportunity to earn point forgiveness that year.  Before signing up, carefully read the requirements under “Point Forgiveness Activities” to be sure you are choosing the right activity for your situation.

How do I sign up?

It is the student’s responsibility to schedule and fulfill the requirements for voluntary point forgiveness.  Students are advised to pursue point forgiveness as early in the academic year as possible. It is also the student’s responsibility to ensure that they are credited for the point reduction after completing the activity.

Before signing up, carefully read requirements under “What can I do to get a 1-point reduction to be sure you’re choosing the right level.

Point Forgiveness Activities

Point Forgiveness activities build on each other.  Therefore, students should progress from the online program (if eligible), to BASICS, to the Positive Choices Group, to the Counterpoint or Abstinence Support group.

AlcoholEdu Sanctions Program

This on-line program is for students who have only 1-4 points.  It builds on the AlcoholEdu program you completed as part of your First Year Experience.  You may complete the online Sanctions Program only once.  To sign up, email Stephanie Rye ( for the account login password.

*BASICS (Group adaptation of Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students, G. Alan Marlatt et. al., U. of Washington):

Students attend a 1-session educational group followed by an individual confidential meeting with a counselor. You must attend both to get credit.  The BASICS group session is offered several times each semester.  You may complete BASICS only once.

Learn more about BASICS and sign up.  .  Please note: BASICS groups have an attendance limit. If you show up without signing up in advance, there may not be room for you in the group.

*Positive Choices Group

This counselor-facilitated education group meets over four consecutive weeks.  Students must attend all four consecutive weeks to earn the point reduction.  You may complete only once.

Learn more about Positive Choices and sign up. .  Please note:  Positive Choices groups have an attendance limit.  If you show up without signing up in advance, there may not be room for you in the group.

*Student “Counterpoint Group”

Offered by Gettysburg College Counseling Services once a semester.

For students who have already completed the Positive Choices (formerly “Harm Reduction” group) and who don’t feel the Abstinence Support group is right for them.  You must attend all four weeks in a row to earn point forgiveness.  You may only attend once.

Learn more about Student Counterpoint and sign up. Please note:  Student Counterpoint groups have an attendance limit.  If you show up without signing up in advance, there may not be room for you in the group.

*Student Abstinence Support Group

Offered by Gettysburg College Counseling Services as requested.  This is only for students who have a sincere desire to stay clean and sober.  Students must attend at least 4 consecutive sessions for point forgiveness.  Students may participate more than once, if counselor agrees this is appropriate.

To sign up for the Abstinence Support or Counterpoint Groups call the Gettysburg College Counseling Services office, 717-337-6960.

*Alcohol and Other Drug Use Assessment

Students may earn point forgiveness by completing a substance use assessment through Pennsylvania Counseling Services, 717-337-0026, 344 York St., Gettysburg.  There is a fee for this service.  PA Counseling participates with many health insurance plans, including our student health insurance provider. Be sure to have your health insurance information available when you call.  Students must sign a release with Pennsylvania Counseling Services giving them permission to send an Initial Referral Form/Admissions Report to the Gettysburg College Counseling Services office (where it remains protected by confidentiality laws) in order to verify that the assessment process was completed.

*Completing recommended individual and/or group counseling

Students may receive point reduction for completing care recommended by their Pennsylvania Counseling Services substance use assessment

* May also be used to satisfy point forgiveness for marijuana violations.