Interim Chancellor David Ward and Dean of Students Lori Berquam said Monday they support a Responsible Action Bill the student government is lobbying for at the state level.
Ward and Berquam endorsed the bill in a meeting to discuss the proposal with ASM leadership.
According to an ASM statement, responsible action is a current campus policy to protect intoxicated underage individuals from citations when calling authorities for help. The statement said if it is passed at a state level, the responsible action policy would be enacted across Wisconsin.
ASM Chair Andrew Bulovsky said he finds it “absolutely awful” that students are afraid to call the police. He said he hopes this bill will take away that disincentive to call for help.
“Responsible action deals directly with a campus safety issue and ASM is proud to work toward it,” Bulovsky said.
Bulovsky said the support of Ward and Berquam gives increased clout to the issue. He said responsible action deals with a serious issue and having the chancellor and dean’s support gives it more credit.
ASM Press Office Director David Gardner said he considers support from the chancellor and dean a “huge” victory for the campaign. He said their support is something that will allow student council to move forward faster.
“It is a strong symbol that UW [University of Wisconsin], as the flagship of the University of Wisconsin System, supports responsible action and shows that other UW schools should too,” Gardner said in response to the importance of having the support of Ward and Berquam.
ASM, having conducted multiple surveys and worked with many campus groups, has determined the responsible action policy makes students safer on campus, Gardner said.
He said ASM considers the collaboration with the chancellor and the dean valuable because Ward and Berquam will provide insight into passing the bill.
The responsible action proposal will be brought in front of the Chancellor’s Alcohol Policy Group on campus, Bulovsky said. This action is important, he said, to ensure the language makes sense and everyone stands on the same page.
Gardner said ASM has representation on the policy group, which deals with alcohol policy and works with different stakeholders on campus. This policy group, he said, can attest to the importance of the policy.
Bulovksy said, as of now, they have only verbal support from the chancellor and dean. He said the next step is attaining a written endorsement.
LAC Vice Chair Morgan Rae worked with Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, to introduce the bill to the Senate and Assembly, the statement said. After they secure co-sponsorship and support, the bill will be introduced to the Senate.
Bulovsky said Rae and LAC Chair Dan Statter have been exceptional in this process to make sure students and admiration engaged.
LAC will meet Feb. 18 to engage in further discussions regarding collaboration with UW administration to pass the Responsible Action Bill.