For several semesters now, the Boston University Student Union has made implementing a medical amnesty policy a top priority, but it looks like all the talking, planning and petitioning may all be for naught. At the very least, the measure is certainly not ‘taking a very expedient, very fast route’ as Union President Matt Seidel said he believes.
Dean Elmore has had the amnesty proposal since Nov. 25 of last semester. If he felt that the initiative was really that urgent, it would’ve been acted upon by now, but apparently this is not the case. The reality is that even if BU adopts a form of medical amnesty, there will be no significant changes in alcohol policy, which supposedly has medical amnesty unofficially built-in. It’s true that the BU policy on alcohol is vague to begin with, but a medical amnesty policy is not going to change the fact that alcohol violations are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
The administration should seriously consider revising its alcohol policy to make it more clear, but the Union needs to find another priority. Instead of focusing on the weekend activities of students, the Union should look toward what students are really here for: academics. The Union has been talking about improving academic advising for years, but the system will not be fixed anytime soon. The Union began this semester not yet knowing ‘what the problem is’ with the system, Seidel said.
In addition to the advising policy, more needs to be done to put the Source Guide website in operation, which was ‘not close to completion’ at the beginning of the semester, Director of Information Network Services Richard Mendez said. Students currently do not have enough access to information about the courses they are interested in taking for the next semester. A few sentences about a course is not sufficient for a student to make an informed decision regarding whether they should take a course. Posting syllabi and a detailed descriptions on the site are much better tools for students as opposed to relying on sites such as ratemyprofessor.com. Also, students would benefit greatly from the Union’s efforts to launch a BUCOP website that would make BU’s double major policy much less confusing.
The Union’s vision for a medical amnesty policy may be in jeopardy, but there is much work to be done in other areas of the university. Before the Union gets caught up in its annual elections, it must finally take care of what happens inside the classroom, rather than on the weekends.