The Student Assembly (S.A.) had a full agenda at their meeting yesterday, including a visit from President Hunter R. Rawlings III and a presentation from the Judicial Administrator on the new Medical Amnesty Protocol. President Rawlings began by commending the S.A. on their efforts to communicate effectively with the administration and with the entire Cornell community.
Each Assembly member had the opportunity to ask Rawlings a question. The inquiries ranged from concerns over the rising costs of college education to questions about the University’s plans for a new life sciences building.
Stuti Mandala ’04, vice president for finance, asked about the president’s opinion on the current dilemma facing international students who have been unable to travel freely between their home and the University.
“One of the worst aspects is that students who have been here for a long while, and then go home for a short visit, are having a difficulty coming back,” Rawlings said.
The president has recently attended meetings in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the issue, and he called the situation “frustrating.”
S.A. members also got a glimpse of the humorous side of Rawlings, a Classics scholar, who responded to a question concerning his opinion on Greek life by saying, “As you know, I am very pro-Greek. I teach Greek.”
He added that he was very concerned about the role of alcohol in both the Greek community and outside the Greek system.
Alcohol consumption was also the topic of a presentation on the new Medical Amnesty Protocol given by Mary Beth Grant, judicial administrator, and Tim Marchell, director of alcohol policy initiatives.
The protocol allows students who call for medical assistance following excessive alcohol consumption to bypass the J.A.’s office. Instead, the student will be given a letter explaining the new protocol and will have to attend educational sessions at Gannett: Cornell University Health Services.
The new policy only applies to students engaging in underage possession of alcohol and disorderly conduct, and not more serious offenses. However, it does also apply to the student who calls for assistance for an ill person as well as the organization sponsoring the event where the alcohol was present.
“This applies only in medical emergency situations,” Grant said. Underage students who are caught drinking but are not in need of medical attention are still subject to review by the J.A.
The new protocol was developed to encourage more students to call for help by reducing some of the penalties that previously accompanied such action.
In the past, students have been reluctant to call because they fear the punishment to themselves or their friends or organization, according to Marchell.
“I’ve heard that a lot of students, particularly [resident advisors], believe that the publicity is a little misleading,” said Steve Blake ’05, undesignated representative.
For instance, the current campaign for the new protocol features a monopoly card with the saying, “Get out of J.A. free.”
Marchell and Grant discussed the problem of first getting students’ attention about the program and said that they have mailed a copy outlining the program to every student.
“It’s going to take some time for the student body to understand exactly what this entails,” Marchell said.
Archived article by Mackenzie Damon