Friday, September 03, 2010

University of Arkansas Reverses Policy Change Decision


Last week, the SSDP chapter at the University of Arkansas worked with campus administrators to adopt new guidelines equalizing the school penalties for student alcohol and marijuana use. The policy was announced and the change was made in the UA student handbook. Victory was ours and a sensible policy was enacted. Or so we thought...

This week, UA Chancellor Dave Gearhart repealed the change in policy.

SSDP worked on the SAFER campaign, passing a referendum with 67 percent of student voters agreeing that the penalties for marijuana possession should be equal to the penalties for student alcohol violations. Members of the UA board of administrators (including the dean of students and assistant dean for student life) worked with the students to develop new guidelines to reflect the referendum and student concerns.

But after the new guidelines were released on-line and posted throughout the residence halls, UA Chancellor Dave Gearhart called off the change in policy because he and other university officials felt it sent the wrong message. Just look at this:
1) The new campus guidelines, now moot.
2) The old sanctions.
Send a letter to the Chancellor Gearhart and tell him to respect the vote of the students and the hard work that SSDP members put into creating a sensible drug policy on campus.