A committee of the University of Wisconsin’s Associated Students of Madison’s discussed the United Council Convention and reviewed next steps for its 18+ entertainment plan.
Legislative Affairs Committee Vice Chair Morgan Rae, among the members who attended the convention, led a session on Responsible Action, which would allow for underage individuals to call for assistance when they have been drinking without fear of receiving a ticket.
Rae said during the session she led, representatives from UW-Platteville, UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse all showed their support for Responsible Action.
“We had people from Platteville, Eau Claire and La Crosse writing letters to their senators and representatives with their reasons for supporting Responsible Action,” Rae said.
Rae said these universities hope to pass similar resolutions on their own campuses in the future.
According to Rae, United Council also supports the bill, which protects students under the legal drinking age from being penalized if they call for medical assistance or have witnessed a crime.
“Each April, United Council votes on their campaigns for the following year and last April, Responsible Action was voted as one of their campaigns for this year,” Rae said. “United Council as a whole is supporting it.”
ASM Press Officer David Gardner said United Council is a statewide student association, made up of a collection of students and student governments across the UW system.
Gardner said ASM sends representatives to United Council conventions to represent the university on statewide issues. Additionally, he said United Council can serve a stronger voice on statewide campaigns.
“We have worked on Responsible Action at the campus level, but United Council can really take it to the next level.” Gardner said. “They can work with other campuses to create a united front.”
The committee also discussed how to move forward with its 18 + entertainment plan.
Second Vice Chair Rachel Lepak has been working to provide the UW campus with more entertainment options for students under the legal drinking age.
Lepak said she plans to sit down with existing businesses and lobby for them to provide more entertainment for students between the ages of 18 and 20.
“This is not a policy change,” Lepak said. “We are trying to convince people that they should promote this kind of business. In order to do that we need to sit down with them and show them that this is something that will benefit everybody.”
Lepak said the two biggest barriers to this campaign are the city of Madison Police and the businesses themselves. She urged members to help lobby and attend meetings with business owners to let them know why it is important to provide more entertainment options to underage students.
Legislative Affairs Chair Daniel Statter said it is important for business owners to understand there are students who are willing to pay to stay within the campus area for this very specific service.
“As long as we can get a strong business with a strong business plan to appeal to the [Alcohol License Review Committee], I’m fairly confident that this can do well,” Lepak said.