Student Works To Implement New Policy At MSU - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Student Works To Implement New Policy At MSU

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BOZEMAN -

According to the Students for Sensible Drug Policy website, 240 universities across the country have implemented a policy to prevent students from being penalized if they call 911 in a life or death situation.

"There is less than 50%, of people in situations of alcohol poisoning or overdose that do not call the cops because they have the fear of getting arrested," said Anthony Varriano, Montana State University graduate student.

MSU graduate student, Anthony Varriano would like to implement the call 911 Good Samaritan Policies at MSU, which would protect students from getting in trouble for abusing alcohol or using illegal drugs.

"Right now, there is no protection at MSU. If an MSU Police Officer or a Bozeman Police Officer wants to arrest someone for possession, they can do so," said Varriano.

MSU Police Chief, Robert Putzke said generally his department does not penalize or write tickets to students who call them, even if they have been drinking too much alcohol.

"I don't think that our University needs to have a formal policy about this issue," said Putzke.

He said typically students don't get penalized until police respond to multiple reports of the same person abusing alcohol or using illegal drugs.

"It gives us the flexibility of being a standard practice, so when someone abuses multiple times, we can take different action," said Putzke.

MSU student, Rachel Brown has personal experience with loosing a classmate because no one at a party called 911.

"One of my high shool classmates passed out at a party after drinking too much. No one at the party called the cops and he ended up dying," said Brown. "I feel like this would have been prevented if someone would have called."

She is on board with implementing the new policies.

"I feel like it should be implemented because so many kids die or something happens to them because they feel like they can't call," said Brown.

To get the policy implemented, several university departments including the Dean of Students would have to discuss it.

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