District student leaders convene

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American hosted four other D.C.-area universities Saturday night to discuss the possibility of reducing Metro fares for college students and improving safety on campuses.

Student leaders from GW, American, Maryland, Marymount University and George Mason attended the D.C. Metro University Student Alliance meeting.

“We are from three different jurisdictions representing students,” said sophomore Kyle Boyer, Student Association assistant vice president of community affairs. “The important part is for everybody to get more involved. At the end of the day hopefully we are all going to benefit from (these meetings).”

Boyer, who is running for SA executive vice president, told student leaders in attendance about the advances being made in the his organization’s Metro fare initiative. He stressed the importance of reduced Metro fares for university students and emphasized the need for each university to publicize this initiative to their constituents.

“This body of 11 schools represents more than 145,000 college students,” Boyer said. “Go back to your campus newspapers and get your campus talking about (the Metro initiative). Make that 145,000 number a little more significant.”

Many of the students in attendance supported the Metro project and said their efforts will bring results with the proper amount of research and determination.

“Our students are paying taxes in the district, we are subsidizing everything,” said Joe Vidulich, president of undergraduate student government at American. “We are a big constituency and we are overlooked.”

Another issue discussed at the meeting was campus security. Leaders from each university talked to each other about how their respective campuses ensured the security of their students.

SA president Nicole Capp praised GW’s alcohol medical amnesty policy, which does not punish students for the first time they are hospitalized for alcohol poisoning and does not cite intoxicated students who seek medical attention for friends.

“We wanted people calling,” said Capp, a junior. “Callers shouldn’t worry about getting in trouble. “(Making) that call is so important.”

Though the student leaders passed no resolutions about security, Vidulich said student body presidents now have ideas to take back to their universities to benefit their constituents.

“We now have a basis of what security is like on different campuses,” he said. “I think one of the next priorities of this council will be to establish some sort of student bill of rights.”

Vidulich, who hosted the meeting, was pleased with how the night went.

“We now have a clear idea of what we are going to be doing about transportation,” he said. “If we can accomplish that in the next year, we will have done more than any other universities could even think about doing.”

The council will meet again at the University of Maryland-College Park Feb. 23.

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