SA unanimously votes to fund medical amnesty cards

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April 9, 2010

4:20 AM

The College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly passed the Medical Amnesty Info Cards Bill and the Student Organization Act by unanimous consent at its meeting Tuesday.

The Senate first chose Sen. Ross Gillingham ’10 to assist in running the meeting as Chairman pro tempore in the absence of Chairman Ben Brown ’11.

The Medical Amnesty Info Cards Bill permits the distribution of cards to students that contain information about the College’s medical amnesty policies and safe drinking practices.

The SA has been working with the independent Core Institute to develop the cards. The group was hired by the College to research safe drinking practices in Greek life.

“I think the bill is very important because most people are extremely confused about the current medical amnesty rules,” Sen. Matt Schofield ’12 said. “Hopefully, these cards clear those rules up.”

The cards contain information about signs of alcohol poisoning, including slow, shallow breathing and cool, clammy and bluish skin.

Each card reminds students to call emergency medical services in the event of alcohol poisoning. Neither the person who made the call nor the person receiving the medical attention will be found in violation of the school’s code of conduct for alcohol use. Students may, however, be required to meet with the Dean of Students or be assigned additional alcohol education.

The SA will set aside $175 from the Consolidated Reserve to create the 6,000 cards.

Schofield said the cards do not indicate that the SA condones underage drinking at the College.

The SA also passed the Student Organization Act, which would pay for planners to be distributed to all students in the fall of 2010.

“The total cost was $10,865, but with the addition of local advertisements, they will only cost $7,597,” Sen. Imad Matini ’11 said.

The bill requires that this money be provided to the Office of Health Education so it can purchase 6,100 planners and add information about health services.

The planners will contain useful campus telephone numbers, suggestions for mental health resources for students and preventative information about health concerns, like influenza.

The Publications Council Contract Approval Act was also brought to the floor Tuesday. The SA negotiates a contract with the Publications Council every three years to determine the amount of funding newspapers, journals and other campus publications will receive.

If the Senate approves the bill, the new contract will be set to provide a base budget of $148,472 to the Publications Council for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The contract stipulates that, if a publication generates more revenue than its three year average, it can gain an additional monetary allocation constituting 50 percent of the additional revenue, but not to exceed $3,000. New language was added to this year’s contract to ensure impartiality in the distribution of funds.

The current publications council contract states that no publication can be forced to seek additional outside sources of revenue.

The bill must pass through committee before it is brought to a vote.

The Election Reform Act is scheduled for discussion at future meetings. The bill would amend the selection process of members of the College’s Elections Commission and confirm the SA President’s right to remove members for neglect of duties or bias.

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