Responsible action policy was at the forefront of the agenda at the Associated Students of Madison Legislative Affairs Committee meeting Monday.
The committee discussed the “Responsible Action and Medical Amnesty” plan, which seeks to provide protection for students who seek assistance for themselves or their friends under the influence of alcohol, according to committee Member Morgan Mae.
The committee discussed a bill that will effect anyone under the legal drinking age, allowing it to be applied to high school students as well as University of Wisconsin students.
The Wisconsin state legislature is currently reviewing a bill that will enact statewide policy regarding this issue, Mae said.
She said the proposed bill includes protection for minors who call on behalf of an impaired friend, provided they cooperate with the emergency responders.
Mae said in this way, minors can get help for friends without penalty, even if they are also drinking.
Mae said a minor under the influence who seeks medical attention will not be subject to a citation provided they meet several conditions.
She added that there is already a policy regarding responsible action that is incorporated into University of Wisconsin campus policy. She said although this policy exists, few students are aware of it.
“[We] need to publicize this, not only the campus policy, but also what we are trying to do at the state level,” she said. ”[We] need to start building a coalition of people who have pull at the state Capitol.”
Mae said nine other states have enacted laws similar in function to how this would work. She cited Michigan and Indiana as two recent examples. She said although Wisconsin has a different drinking culture than other states, if other states are concerned about it, then Wisconsin should be as well.
Mae also said there is a chance the bill could be amended to include restrictions on how many times it could be used.
The Legislative Affairs Committee plans to devote their efforts into turning this bill into law, she said.
Legislative Affairs Committee Chair Daniel Statter said he believes the committee should publicize the fact that other states have made this policy law as well.
Statter said the committee also opened up talks about its upcoming student regent campaign. The committee is seeking to create more student involvement in the selection of the student representative on the Board of Regents, he said.
Statter said this is important because the Board of Regents makes decisions about day-to-day life on campus.
ASM Vice-Chair Maria Giannopoulos said the committee also discussed upcoming plans to continue registering students to vote and as a pun on the election year, the committee is looking to register 2,012 voters by October 17.