George Washington University Students Approve Higher Education Act Resolution, but Student President Vetoes 5/5/00

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On April 27, The George Washington University chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) introduced a resolution condemning the higher Education Act of 1998 drug provision, which denies or delays financial aid to anyone with a drug conviction. SSDP introduced the resolution with the endorsements of nine student groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Latinos for Progress. Hundreds of student signatures had been collected on petitions, far exceeding the student government requirement to introduce a resolution. After a period of debate, the Student Association Senate passed the resolution condemning the drug provision by more than 20-to-1.

But Student Association President Caity Leu vetoed the resolution several days later, citing lack of student support. "President Leu has conceded that the drug provision will have a racially and economically discriminatory effect," GWU SSDP President Kristy Gomes told The Week Online. "Yet she refused to rescind her veto."

GWU SSDP is now lobbying the Student Association Senators to reconvene to override the veto. "As the student body president, Caity Leu has a responsibility to speak for and serve the students," Gomes said. "By supporting this unjust law and ignoring the voice of the students, she has failed in her assignment and embarrassed the university."

For more information on the Higher Education Act drug provision and the student movement to overturn it, please visit and online.

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