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CLC debates Good Samaritan Policy

Sarah Mervosh | Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Members of the Campus Life Council discussed technology and the Medical Amnesty Policy, which would protect students who have been drinking from getting in trouble while trying to help an intoxicated friend if they are hurt or sick, at their meeting Monday night.

Student body vice president Grant Schmidt reported for the task force on technology and student space in dorms. Schmidt said he and Fr. Pete McCormick, Keough Hall’s rector, plan to meet with the coordinators of the Web site agenda.nd.edu to discuss making it simpler and more appealing.

Schmidt pulled the Web site up on an overhead to show how he thought the Web site could be improved.

“It’s extremely updated and it’s very well kept. The problem with it is it’s not very appealing,” Schmidt said. “It’s just really, really confusing, in my opinion and in our task force’s opinion.”

Schmidt demonstrated how the Web site was confusing to him by clicking on the Athletics tab, and showing that Junior Parents Weekend, which is not an athletic event, was listed.

Schmidt also reported that his task force is working on creating more space for studying.

“We are also going to meet with the Office Registrar to discuss the possibility of using some of the rooms in DeBartolo for study space at night,” he said.

Diversity Council Representative Brigitte Githinji spoke in behalf of the new student introduction to Notre Dame task force, and said they will be focusing on multi-cultural and international students.

She also said that in the next few weeks, the task force plans to focus on what specific issues would be most helpful to these students and she said they are considering sending out surveys to get student input.

Chief executive assistant Karen Koski reported for the task force on the review of the Medical Amnesty Policy, which was formally known as the Good Samaritan Policy.

Rather than look at the implications of the policy on all rules on campus, such as parietals, Koski said that they task force has decided to focus on the Medical Amnesty Policy in relation to alcohol abuse.

“[The Medical Amnesty Policy] could apply to anything on campus, any kind of situation and the implications for that seemed harder to deal with than the alcohol ones. Not necessarily harder, but something that is too broad for us to deal with,” Koski said.

Fr. Jim Lewis, rector of Carroll Hall, expressed concern that the policy seemed to focus on protecting students who had been drinking from getting in trouble rather than on safety or alcohol education.

“It sounds more like a policy coverage … rather than deal with the more fundamental issue of alcohol abuse on campus,” Lewis said.

Schmidt said that students do think about whether or not they will get in trouble before making the decision to help an intoxicated student, which means that “the coverage is directly connected or correlated to the issue of safety.”

Koski said that although her task force had discussed “whether we want an educational solution or a policy solution … we did not by any means decide that policy was the solution that we were looking for, but just that the problem that we were addressing is alcohol.”

Student body president Bob Reish reported on the task force on the relationship between the University and off-campus students.

“We toyed around with the idea of should there be some off-campus student services,” Reish said.

Reish said they wanted to work on establishing that students need these services, and plan to do so by looking at what other colleges have to offer and perhaps implementing this issue into the Student Government survey, which will take place over Spring Break.

Linda Cirillo, rector of Lewis Hall, said the task force also wants to look into what services are already available for off-campus students so they can “find out what we really need that we don’t have.”