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RHA hosts Joint Session for several campus organizations

MSA, LBC, Four Front, PHA, IFC and the student curator attended the session.

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Residents Halls Association Advocacy Committee Chairman Eric Dude speaks about the Good Samaritan Resolution during joint session on Monday at Stotler Lounge. The Missouri Students Association and RHA passed the resolution.

Nick Ehrhard/Senior Staff Photographer

April 3, 2012

The Residence Halls Association hosted this semester's Joint Session on Monday.

In attendance were the Missouri Students Association, the Legion of Black Collegians, Four Front, Panhellenic Association, Interfraternity Council and the UM System student curator.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs opened the meeting with the keynote speech.

"I commend you for looking for solutions and not just complaining about the problems," she said to the organizations. "I have great confidence in what you're going to do. I'm proud of the contributions you make."

Following Scroggs were updates and announcements from every organization.

RHA President Chris Rucker emphasized the increase in number of events hosted by RHA as well as upcoming plans to start a Bike Share Program and host a regional conference in Columbia.

Several representatives of MSA, including President Xavier Billingsley, Director of Student Services Nick Droege and Director of Student Communications Zach Toombs announced future plans for the organization.

Droege explained an initiative to open a food pantry on campus. He cited statistics and demographics that would find a nearby food bank extremely beneficial, such as single parents, international students and students with very little expected family contribution.

He also called for volunteers and coordinators to donate their time to make the food pantry as successful as possible.

"We are working with food banks and local farmers and gardens to make this as sustainable as possible," Droege said.

He also mentioned plans to form a marketing team to remove the negative stigma that generally accompanies food pantries.

Toombs then took the floor to discuss MSA's "More for Less" campaign. The campaign strives to educate students and help them voice their opinions to the state government about the UM system's budget cuts proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Representatives from PHA and IFC discussed changes to Rush Week for sororities and initiatives to improve the academic performance, risk management, diversity and freshman experience in the 28 fraternities on campus.

After introductions, RHA and MSA presented legislation regarding a "Good Samaritan" policy for students caught drinking in residence halls, a change to the Smoke-Free Campus legislation, Campus Dining Services tweaks and a vote for the opposition to budget cuts to the UM system.

RHA Advocacy Committee chairman Eric Dude proposed to the organizations a policy of "medical amnesty" when a student calls 911 for help when another student is severely intoxicated in a residence hall. This means that both the student calling and the student in need of medical attention would not receive punishment from their hall coordinator for the incident.

This "Good Samaritan" proposal would provide an alcohol education course free of charge to the students involved and would not be on the students' permanent record.

After some debate regarding the definition of "amnesty" and a question of how many times a student can receive medical amnesty, the legislation was passed by RHA and MSA.

MSA then proposed to change the date for the Smoke-Free Mizzou policy to go into effect from Jan. 1, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2013. The bill was passed unanimously.

Legislation that would make CDS locations such as Emporium and Time Out at Dobbs advertise the dollar amount of the food they are selling in addition to the meal point amount also passed unanimously.

After another unanimous vote of opposing Nixon's current budget cut proposal, RHA Speaker of Congress Kathy Rudd passed the Joint Session gavel on to MSA Senate Speaker Jake Sloan, the host of the Fall 2012 Joint Session.

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