'If you can't hear the bullets, how do you know they're coming?': SGA discusses emergency preparedness for disabled students
At Monday’s Student Government Association meeting, the diversity committee addressed emergency procedures for students with disabilities and the house discussed new legislation.
Emergency Preparedness for Students with Disabilities
Nova Moore is chair of the diversity committee, and they are also a student with a hearing impairment.
“I’m a disabled student on campus,” Moore said. “I’ve actually had instances in the past where my disability was not prevalent for emergency preparedness plans. I don’t know what to do during a tornado drill when I can’t hear the tornado sirens.”
Moore said this is a larger problem when it comes to other disabilities in emergency situations, like an active shooter.
“We have a low-vision student in our SGA,” Moore said. “What does she do if there’s an active shooter situation? If you can’t see the bullets, how do you know they’re coming? If you’re a deaf person in an active shooter situation, if you can’t hear the bullets, how do you know they’re coming?”
Moore said that “Run, Hide, Fight” is a sound procedure for able-bodied people, but not everyone is capable of hiding or fighting.
“I’m mostly worried about what we can do to get a contingency plan for those with low vision, low hearing and low mobility,” Moore said.
Next week, the committee is planning to hear a presentation from CMU’s Emergency Management team and have an opportunity to ask questions, but Moore said they do not have high hopes.
“I’m thinking they’ll just give the range of regular details on emergency plans,” Moore said.
Tax Information Accessibility Legislation
A piece of legislation, written by Moore, was introduced.
The resolution would update the Registered Student Organization policy manual to include more resources for RSO finances and taxes.
The legislation cited a lack of knowledge about filing tax information for RSOs in a survey Moore conducted in an earlier meeting.
In the survey, Moore determined that more than half of the RSOs sampled do not know if their RSO needs to file taxes.
The changes proposed by the legislation called for increased availability of tax consultations.
“The student government association should add onto its legal clinic by making appointments available for tax consultations and by providing information about RSO finances and banking,” according to the legislation. “If this is not possible, the Student Government Association should work to partner with an RSO or a department on campus that focuses on financial responsibility to offer tax consultations and information on finances to RSOs in need.”
There were two announcements at the meeting, one from the general meeting and another during the house agenda.