Student Association trying to change SU’s drug and alcohol policy
By Natalie Rubio-Licht, Staff Writer
December 5, 2018
Syracuse University’s Student Association is trying to change the Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Tobacco Policies to provide amnesty to students calling for immediate medical assistance, said SA Vice President Kyle Rosenblum, at last Monday’s meeting.
SA members are beginning research on changing the current policy to make it a Good Samaritan policy, or one providing medical amnesty, Rosenblum said. He added that they want to work with SU administrators to make the student body aware of the policy if changed. Rosenblum said he and Speaker of the Assembly Will Pritchett are working on the proposal with Students for Sensible Drug Policy, an international nonprofit organization.
“The policy does nothing unless students know about it,” Rosenblum said.
The Prevention, Education, and Intervention section of the policy states that students are encouraged to seek out help in cases of intoxication and alcohol poisoning. It also states that students will not be subject to disciplinary action when seeking help from certain services including the Counseling Center and its Options Program. Emergency services such as Syracuse University Ambulance are not listed.
“It’s very convoluted, and it’s hard to understand the policy because it’s rather hidden,” Pritchett said. “They’re great services, but if you’re in that situation where you or a friend need of medical assistance, the first call that you make should be to a provider that will give you medical assistance immediately, not a long-term counseling service.”
Pritchett and Rosenblum said the majority of schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference have Good Samaritan policies. Rosenblum added that the policy at SU is not distinctly labeled this way.
After further research on what policies exist at other universities and how they can be applied to SU, they will talk with administration to see if this change is feasible, Rosenblum said.
If they receive pushback, SA will move forward with a resolution stating that they support the policy change, said SA President Ghufran Salih.
They hope to have the policy changed by fall 2019, Rosenblum said.
“[This] is a way to promote a safer student experience because no student should ever feel like they can’t get medical help when they need it because they’re afraid of conduct issues,” Salih said.