Date: Wed, 06 Dec 2000 21:06:19 -0800
From: "D. Paul Stanford" <stanford@crrh.org>
To: restore@crrh.org
Subject: VT: UVM Student Government Votes to Dump Drug Question
Message-ID: <5.0.0.25.2.20001206210608.05024070@mail.olywa.net >

Newshawk: Grace Uckele
Pubdate: Wed, 06 Dec 2000
Source: Burlington Free Press (VT)
Copyright: 2000 Burlington Free Press
Contact: bfreepress@aol.com
Website: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com
Author: April Patti
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/hea.htm (Higher Education Act)

UVM STUDENT GOVERNMENT VOTES TO DUMP DRUG QUESTION

The Student Government at the University of Vermont voted Tuesday
night to join the fight against a new policy that delays or denies
federal financial aid to students with illegal drug convictions.

After half an hour of debate, about 30 voting members decided to add
UVM's name to the list of more than 20 colleges and universities
nationwide petitioning to rid the Higher Education Act of the drug
provision.

A new question on the federal financial aid form asks college
students whether they have any drug convictions. A conviction keeps
them from receiving federal aid.

For those seeking aid next year, the question will become more
strict: Students will no longer be able to get away with simply
leaving the question blank.

UVM Student Government President Chris Allen said the issue is being
handled very seriously within the student government and he will see
to it that a letter stating UVM's position on the issue is sent to
senators James Jeffords and Patrick Leahy and Rep. Bernie Sanders.
Allen said the student government is making a statement by joining
the protest.

"If you can accomplish that, then you have a chance to really catch
somebody's eye," Allen said.

While the measure passed easily Tuesday night, it was not unanimous.
Patrick Collins, Student Government speaker of the senate, was
against it.

"I don't think our dollars should be used to subsidize students who
break the law," Collins said. First and second drug offenses make a
person ineligible for aid for one or two years, he noted. "I don't
think (the provision) has the long-term damaging effects it has been
made out to have."

If the move to dump the provision makes it to the House, it might
find support from Sanders.

A spokesman for the congressman said he "thinks that criminal justice
is a separate sphere from education."
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