MSA to discuss med. amnesty, fare-free zone

Its meeting on Tuesday will be ‘packed’ with multiple resolutions.

Tyler Gieseke

The Minnesota Student Association will decide at its meeting Tuesday whether it will work to secure medical amnesty laws for the state of Minnesota and a Light Rail Transit fare-free zone for the University of Minnesota campus.

The forum will vote to approve these two resolutions and the lobbying platform of the Minnesota Student Legislative Coalition for the next state legislative session.

“It’ll be a really packed forum,” said MSA Speaker of the Forum Sophie Wallerstedt.

MSA President Taylor Williams said committees already discussed the resolutions on medical amnesty and the fare-free zone and seemed supportive.

Medical amnesty laws provide underage individuals with protection from a citation when they have been drinking alcohol and call for medical assistance. Ten states — including Michigan, New York and Texas — have passed medical amnesty laws.

If the resolution passes, MSA plans to work with MSLC to lobby for these laws, Williams said, but also to reach out to stakeholders like high school student governments and public health and city officials.

Medical amnesty is an important issue because “it’s one of the most simple ways students can advocate for themselves,” Williams said.  

Williams and MSA Vice President Jilian Koski said they would push for medical amnesty laws as part of their campaign platform last spring, Wallerstedt said.

The resolution for a fare-free zone states that MSA will work with the Metropolitan Council — the organization that oversees Metro Transit — and other stakeholders “to create a fare-free policy that benefits University of Minnesota students and the surrounding community.”

The fare-free zone would stretch between the West Bank and East Bank stations of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit.  

Williams will also address the forum about what MSA has accomplished this fall. He said MSA has been successful in getting a more diverse set of people involved with the group.

Last year, he said, one of his friends who was an international student came to forum with him.

“He was the only person in the room who was not white,” he said.

Now Williams said he thinks forum is representative of campus and the student body.