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Monday, November 12, 2018

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SGA shows support for updating UH drug policy


UH drug policy. Cameron Barrett, Alison Lawrence, Andrew Trinh, at a senate meeting passing the Modern Drug and Alcohol bill

The Senate passed two bills, one that seeks to prompt UH to update its drug and alcohol policy and another that looks to have more options for halal and kosher diets. | Cristobella Durrette/The Cougar

The Student Government Association Senate passed a bill Wednesday night that ceases reference for prosecution of students for possessing illegal drugs and alcohol on campus.

The bill shows SGA’s support of updating the University’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention policy, but is still in need of administrative approval from the University.

The current policy, according to the bill, doesn’t differentiate between use and distribution of drugs and alcohol on campus. The bill sets to update the policy’s language, including the removal of the threat of outside legal punishment.

SGA President Cameron Barrett said that while current Dean of Students William Munson has been lenient disciplining students for violating this policy, future deans may not be as lax.

“We can’t count on him being here forever,” Barrett said. “It’s important to note that the point of policy is to make sure the outcome is not dependent on who’s in charge.”

The University will still be able to discipline students for drug and alcohol infractions, if administration were to approve the bill’s changes

The policy in place states that overdose from cannabis is possible and “may result in fatigue, paranoia, and possible psychosis.” The DEA has stated that no overdose from cannabis has ever been recorded. The updated version of the policy passed by the Senate removes the clause that says that an overdose from cannabis use can happen.

The Senate also passed the Food Inclusion Act, which signals SGA’s support for including more kosher and halal dining options on campus.

Presently, only Tandoori Nite and Moody Dining Hall offer halal food options, according to the bill. The bill calls for all buildings with two or more dining locations to offer halal and kosher food options.

Auxiliary services would be required to justify why halal and kosher options were not available at a certain location.

The bill hopes to ensure dining locations keep an updated menu specifying which menu items are halal, kosher, vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten-free.

Barrett said SGA is currently talking to University administration about approving and implementing the newly passed bills.

The Senate also discussed the Inappropriate Consensual Relationship Act, which seeks to prevent relationships that could cause exploitation or favoritism, such as between a professor and a student or a boss and an employee.

“We want to keep that positive, inclusive educational environment,” SGA Chief of Staff Allison Lawrence said. “Keeping it safe and preventing those types of relationships is key to that.”

The bill was not voted on at this meeting

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