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SG hears proposals on first aid, dining hall nutrition labeling

Vice President of Academic Affairs Aditya Jain presents his FAIR Health Act to the student body. The proposal lost in a 7-22 vote on the senate floor. LEXI MATTHEWS/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Boston University’s Student Government met Monday night to discuss proposals on first-aid kits and dining hall nutrition labels and to hear updates from SG departments.

Representatives of the Food Equality Accountability and Safety for Transparency (FEAST) Act presented their proposal, which aims to restructure the labelling system of foods offered in campus dining halls to more accurately convey their accordance with dietary restrictions.

The group presented photos of pepperoni pizza, cheesesteak and chicken that had been inaccurately labeled as vegan and vegetarian on dining hall display boards. The creators of the FEAST Act said they believe this is potentially harmful for students who may have allergies, practice certain religions or live lifestyles that require accurate nutritional information.

The group proposed a new labeling system that would fix inaccurate labels, add more nutritional information and designate new categories such as ovo-vegetarianism and lacto-vegetarianism.

Kristina Hathaway, a junior in the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, said she empathizes with the concerns that the act aimed to address.

“I think people who are vegetarian or vegan shouldn’t have to worry about not knowing for sure what’s in their food,” Hathaway said, “especially because that’s so important to their choice of living and how they want to eat … Especially for allergies and stuff like that, I know it can be a big issue, so I definitely think it’s worth looking into.”

No vote was held on the implementation of the FEAST act during Monday night’s meeting.

Representatives of the First Aid In Residence buildings (FAIR) Health Act, a proposal presented three weeks ago which would install first-aid kits around common rooms in student dorms, held a discussion on the proposed act regarding concerns many had with the pilot.

Discourse ensued over the locations where kits would be placed, the involvement BU Housing would have in the act’s implementation and the necessity of the kits given the fact that resident assistants are required to provide first-aid supplies for their residents.

The vote to allocate funds was not passed in a 7-22 vote with five abstaining.

Daniel Collins, a senior from the College of Fine Arts, said he believes the problem that senators had with the proposal was not with the principle of safety, but with the overall implementation.

“The problem seemed to be that there were going to be a lot of logistical hurdles,” Collins said. “The second aspect of that was that they were going to be stepping on the toes of the RAs and whether it was an overstep of Student Government’s power.”

Executive Advisory Commission members Bryce Stack and Jamie Orosz proposed an ad hoc committee to digitize all prior SG paper records with help from senators, students and the public.

The committee would meet weekly during the spring semester to scan, summarize and upload all records into the Student Government archives. Once all the records have been scanned, the committee’s task would then be complete, and it could subsequently be disbanded.

Stack said the committee would take help from wherever they can find it, as dozens of boxes dating back to the 1980s currently clutter the Student Government office.

“The more the merrier and the quicker this can be finished,” Stack said.

The senate voted to approve the committee 27-0 with 4 abstaining votes.

City Affairs Director Sarah Paco said her department is building a relationship with the Community Service Center and discussing logistics for an opioid epidemic discussion panel.

Communications Director Archelle Thelemaque told senators that the communications department will be working on developing town hall events in the spring semester to promote an open dialogue between students and SG members.

Environmental Affairs Director Grace Li presented events the department will be holding in the future, including a BU Wind Power Purchase Agreement student forum Friday and an “Earth Week” in April.

The senate also voted to confirm co-chairs of the Student Elections Commission. The candidates spoke of their goals to run the next election smoothly and promote it well so all students can learn about and participate in it.

Ria Wang, a sophomore in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Vanessa Rodriguez, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences and CAS junior Ayomide Ojebuoboh were all confirmed unanimously.

Audrey Martin contributed reporting.

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