ASMSU, student groups promote medical amnesty
ASMSU teamed up with Student Health Services and MSU Social Norms to campaign for medical amnesty awareness Tuesday afternoon outside Olin Health Center.
The event, titled “Step up. Step in. Be a good Wingman!” was targeted to teach students about the positives of taking advantage of the Michigan law.
Medical Amnesty is a law in Michigan that makes revisions to the minimum drinking age law, allowing people under 21 to be exempt from consequences if they are in need of medical attention.
The law was originally championed by ASMSU, MSU’s undergraduate student government, before it was amended statewide in June 2012.
The event featured activities such as a duck pond trivia game, a ball pit and free t-shirts. Although all of these events were fun for students, the goal was to promote a serious cause.
Jessica Leacher, ASMSU’s vice president for governmental affairs, stressed the need for more awareness for medical amnesty across campus.
“Even though (medical) amnesty passed in 2012, students still don’t know what it is,” said Leacher, who also is a member of The State News board of directors.
ASMSU members focused on talking with students about the law throughout the event, with getting students comfortable with the law being the primary concern.
Students are able to be more focused on their own health and safety without fear of consequences because of the law, MSU Health Education Services Coordinator Dennis Martell said.
MSU Social Norms Coordinator Rebecca Allen said she wants to show students that faculty members trust them and believe they make the right choices. Allen said if students do go past their limit, she believes they will do the right thing.
Allen is one of the people working on “The Duck Campaign,” a program made by MSU Social Norms.
The purpose of the campaign is to challenge the myths of drinking behaviors of students at MSU. The group has published statistics that show many students are more responsible than they are made out to be.
Allen said not only do kids make good decisions themselves, but they also make good decisions when helping a friend. According to MSU Social Norms statistics, most students would call 911 for a friend who had passed out from drinking.
For some students, the option of medical amnesty brings a much needed relief.
Psychology junior Jack McWhinnie recalls past experiences before medical amnesty legislation passed, where he wouldn’t consider attending the hospital when drinking.
“In the past I had to run from the hospital,” McWhinnie said. “I was treated like a criminal.”