Wellness Affairs plans new services

Undergraduate Student Government’s weekly senate meeting Tuesday night featured an extensive presentation from the Wellness Affairs Committee, an announcement of the 2013-2014 Elections Commission, senatorial announcements and a brief presentation from the Queer and Ally Student Assembly.

Wellness Affairs Director A.J. Pinto said his committee is reaching out to students who are California-certified emergency medical technicians. The committee wants to establish an on-campus organization that pays these students to provide emergency services to fellow USC students.

“There are student EMT services at other school’s campuses … We’re looking for a way to create and fund an organization for student EMTs,” Pinto said.

Pinto hopes the program would, among other responsibilities, establish a student-run ambulance service that could carry out emergency medical transports.

Given the frequency emergencies related to alcohol at USC this fall, Wellness Affairs is working to change a policy that can incriminate a student for underage drinking if they call for a fellow student to be transported.

“We’re talking about getting amnesty for students who call their friends in for transports, so they’re not held accountable for underage drinking themselves,” Pinto said.

Wellness Affairs is also still working to change USC’s smoking policy based on last year’s resolution to make campus smoke-free. Graduate Student Government representatives said they were concerned that international students would not support a smoke-free campus, a claim that Pinto says is unfounded.

“There is a higher proportion of international students that smoke compared to any other demographic, yet only 6.6 percent of them are smokers,” he said.

Another ongoing issue for Wellness Affairs is recreational space. Though the University Village development promises an increase in recreational space for students, Pinto said that recreational organizations are still underfunded.

“Space is a huge issue and money is a huge issue. While space has improved, funding hasn’t improved at all. We need to figure out how to get money for the rest of our activities,” Pinto said. “Right now, funding is an unnecessarily complicated system.”

After the Wellness Affairs’ presentation, Assistant Director of Elections and Recruitment Kelsey Hyatt announced the 16 new members of USG’s 2013-2014 Elections Commission.

“The elections commission is in charge of overseeing any violations of the elections code, and this is very important this year because of our new election code,” USG Vice President Ryan Park said.

The changes to USG’s election code have altered the timetable for students to campaign for positions in student government.

USG Senator Matthew Prusak announced a USG resolution to ban on-campus solicitation.

“Solicitors should not be on campus asking students for money or soliciting donations. If you see these individuals on campus, call DPS and they’ll take care of it,” Prusak said.

The resolution came as the result of an online survey that polled students’ opinions regarding on-campus solicitation.

Executive Director of the Queer and Ally Student Assembly Rebecca Grumet also gave a short presentation in which she announced an upcoming dodgeball tournament sponsored by QuASA.

“It’s a great way to bridge queer life and athletics, and it’s something that’s never been done before,” Grumet said.


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