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SGA to propose revised alcohol policy focused on education

Last semester, Loyola’s Student Government Association (SGA) created a proposal to provide amnesty from disciplinary sanctions in emergency situations involving alcohol or drug-related hospitalizations. Loyola administrators rejected their proposal saying that the Student Code of Conduct provided enough flexibility to keep “good Samaritans” out of trouble and that they wanted a plan that was more informative. This semester they plan on addressing the problem with a different approach: education.

SGA aims to have a completely new proposal written and submitted to Dr. Sheila Horton, the vice president for Student Development and dean of students, prior to the school closing for spring break. This time, however, they are also proposing an educational campaign designed to teach students the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning and drug overdose.

For the proposal, they plan to use similar language and recommendations to that of Boston College’s alcohol policy, which Horton helped pass in 2009 while at the College. With this new proposal, they hope to have the existing alcohol policy revised to include stated provisions for good Samaritans, since our current policy does not include those specifications.

The new educational campaign will feature several themes encouraging students to act responsibly when going out and consuming alcohol. One theme, “Go Together, Stay Together” is meant to encourage students to go out with friends, stay with those friends, and hold each other accountable for their actions and alcohol consumption—to not leave friends at the party or bar behind.

Another theme is “One night is the difference between prevention and reaction.” This theme also encourages students to responsibly monitor their alcohol consumption, and to know how to prevent potential alcohol-related emergencies.

“We want to focus more on health and safety instead of the disciplinary,” said senior Louis Margules, the director of judicial affairs for SGA.

At the SGA committee meeting on Friday, several members met to brainstorm what kind of messages and themes they would like to see that would support the new campaign. Several ideas for posters, which are to be printed and put up on campus in the next few weeks, were passed around the room. Additionally, SGA members discussed making cards, brochures and magnets to disseminate to the Loyola community, outlining the symptoms of alcohol poisoning, and what to do in cases of such an emergency.

They also considered talking to the Office of Student Life about placing permanent fixtures in every dorm room bathroom, which would outline the symptoms of alcohol poisoning and what to do in an alcohol-related emergency.

Members also discussed setting up a table near the entrance to Boulder Gardens Café later next week to educate students about preventing alcohol poisoning and what to do should someone they know suffer from such an overdose, and considered planning alternative activities to late-night drinking.

SGA members met again on Sunday to begin drafting the new proposal, which Margules said Student Body President Brendan Fulmer, 2014, wanted to be proposed to the Loyola administration before spring break.

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SGA to propose revised alcohol policy focused on education