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Members recommend medical amnesty policy

Megan Doyle | Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Campus Life Council (CLC) passed a recommendation to include a medical amnesty policy in du Lac while also debating progressive discipline and the levels of administrative action at its meeting Monday.

Council members passed the medical amnesty recommendation with a 12-1 vote. The policy would prevent a student seeking medical treatment for a friend from getting in trouble with the Office of Residence Life and Housing (ORLH).

Controversy over the policy in past meetings caused the recommendation to be revised and represented to CLC at Monday’s meeting.

“Students would at least know that this would be kept in consideration,” student body president Grant Schmidt said. “I feel that these revised points attest to that.”

The new recommendation suggests a medical amnesty policy be established “that, under normal circumstances, allows students to report emergencies without automatically incurring a disciplinary record.”

The ultimate decision on whether to adapt this policy will be left up to ORLH, Schmidt said.
Council members also discussed how to best keep discipline at the lowest administrative level, which is often a student’s dorm.

“This recommendation is about keeping things in the realm of the people who know students most closely,” student body vice president Cynthia Weber said.

Weber said this policy would allow students to avoid an unnecessary disciplinary record when a rector could deal with a minor offense instead of sending the student to ORLH.
Several of the rectors on the council objected to the lack of clarity in the definition for this recommendation.

“I am a structure guy,” Fr. Pete McCormick, rector of Keough Hall, said. “I don’t see the structure here and I’m worried about the message that gets sent that [discipline] will always get kicked back to the rector.”

The recommendation would free the hands of ORLH by giving more room for discretion, Judicial Council president Ian Secviar said. It would also be in keeping with the goal of pastoral care that is central to the philosophy behind residence life at Notre Dame, he said.

Zahm House rector Corry Colonna said CLC should not assume that sending a student to ORLH for discipline negates the educative role of the rector.

Council member Gus Gari said there was a need to recognize that the policy of referring discipline to the rector would work as “an exception rather than a norm.”

CLC members will review the recommendation and represent it to the council next week.
Council members also agreed to recommend that the new issue of du Lac should clarify the undergraduate tailgating policy.

The suggested change asks that individual students who wish to host a tailgate may do so without consulting the Student Activities Office, Schmidt said.

CLC will invite Bill Kirk, associate vice president of Residence Life, to its next meeting in order to hear its recommendations and continue its discussion on du Lac revisions.