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ASG unanimously passes medical amnesty legislation

Victoria Slater, Senior Staff Writer

Student Senate unanimously passed the Bill Continuing The Support of a Medical Emergency Assistant Program (Medical Amnesty) during the Associated Student Government (ASG) meeting Tuesday.

Medical amnesty ensures that if an underage student is intoxicated to the point where he or she is in need of emergency medical assistance, that student will receive help without "judicial consequences."

However, the student must be cooperative and agree to certain conditions, such as counseling, if punishment is to be overlooked. The student must pay a fee for an alcohol and drug intervention program, and must also sign a waiver that notifies his or her parents about his or her participation in the protocol. There also must be no evidence of other crimes, such as breaking or entering or assault, during the incident.

The bill additionally states that if a student who is also intoxicated calls for a friend in need of emergency medical help, that student will not be penalized either. Thus, the bill helps to eliminate a student's hesitation to call for help because he or she is afraid to be punished for underage drinking.

President of the Student Body senior John Stefanski emphasized that this legislation is for serious medical situations only, and cannot be utilized if students are simply drinking and want to avoid punishment.

"This is for people who are showing acute alcohol poisoning," he said. "There is a difference between someone being heavily intoxicated versus someone needing medical assistance."

During the debate, senator senior Calvin Davis argued that the stipulations added, such as a counseling requirement, ensuring that students will be unable to use the bill as a means of evading penalty.

"The provisions added erase concerns that this a 'get out of jail free card,'" Davis said.

The bill will now be presented to Miami University's Student Affairs Council.

Later in the meeting, senate also unanimously passed a resolution named Restructuring the Election Procedure of Vice President for Student Organizations.

The bill, which was presented at last week's meeting, states that the Vice President of Student Organizations will now be elected by a bylaw specified board, instead of by the student body.

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Stefanski said because the vice president for student organizations manages such a large and significant budget, the election procedure should be less political, and more technical. The specified board that will select the vice president will be comprised of the outgoing student body president, the vice president of student organizations, the outgoing chief of staff, the outgoing treasurer, the advisor to the vice president of student organizations, and four members of the funding committee.

Junior senator Brandon Patterson argued that the new board would be able to designate a vice president who is capable of handling such an immense budget.

"This bill is really going after an elite individual that can do the job right," Patterson said. "This position is in charge of [some] of the tuition of all Miami students. Knowing that a qualified person is allocating my money to student organizations is important."

The meeting concluded with the presentation of the Emergency Call Box Bill.

Senior senator Rose Kaplan explained that the bill is meant to show support of the university's renovation to the emergency call box system. Currently only 12 call boxes exist on campus, and according to the bill, they are "technologically outdated and contain parts that are no longer manufactured."

The Miami University Police Department (MUPD) and Information Technology (IT) Services are working to install 30 new emergency call boxes that will have Internet access and an emergency PA system in the most populated areas on campus.

The resolution encourages that "prompt action be taken to get these Emergency Call Boxes installed in a prompt fashion."

This bill will be voted on at next week's meeting.