ASWSU supports absolving good Samaritans

Resolution raises awareness of alcohol conduct rules, safety


EZEKIEL NELSON | The Daily Evergreen

Jacob Lizarraga, left, authored a resolution to create flu awareness and encourage vaccination at an ASWSU Senate meeting. The resolution passed 15-1.

DAN DOUCET, Evergreen opinion editor

The ASWSU Senate passed a resolution encouraging WSU officials to withhold punishment for students who contact emergency services for incidents related to alcohol use.

The resolution, which they discussed at their weekly meeting, states that students in residence halls often fear calling for help because doing so could lead to punishment through the WSU Student Conduct system.

Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy Sen. Devon Holze said she authored the resolution to encourage policy that will make the campus safer.

“It makes sure no one is penalized for trying to help their peers,” Holze said.

The resolution asks WSU officials to adopt a recommendation from a student task force focused on conduct. The task force recommended WSU conduct officers refrain from punishing students with alcohol or other drug violations if they admit to possession while getting medical help.

The resolution includes statistics related to student alcohol consumption and alcohol-related deaths, such as that 113 people ages 15 to 24 die of alcohol poisoning annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It urges WSU faculty and staff to help inform students about the Good Samaritan policy through on-campus programming.

Freshman Delegate Blake Gurney said the issue is common and the resolution will support students.

“This is definitely a problem that I’ve seen around campus,” he said. “It’s important that we give students the opportunity to help one another so that they can be as safe as possible.”

The senators passed the resolution unanimously. They also passed a separate resolution that they hope will raise awareness about influenza and encourage students to get immunized.

ASVMP Sen. Jacob Lizarraga, the resolution’s author, said the flu is especially dangerous this year. He said students are susceptible to the flu because they are often in close quarters with other people during sporting events, public transportation, social gatherings and classes.

“Everyone is sick at this time of year,” Lizarraga said. “You can’t walk into the library without feeling like you’re going to get the plague. It’s everywhere.”

The resolution recommends all students, faculty and staff who have not yet received flu shots take part in immunization efforts. Senators passed it 15 to 1.

“I truly care about the health and safety of everyone on this campus,” Lizarraga said.