Director Casey Quoted in Campus Reform on Political Correctness at UC Berkeley

Young Voices Director Casey Given was quoted in Campus Reform on the University of California, Berkeley’s decision to do away with the term “spring admits” in order for freshmen who begin school in the spring to feel more comfortable.

“The manufactured outrage to a rather innocuous phrase is another symptom of Berkeley’s illness with freedom of expression,” Given told Campus Reform. “Despite being the literal home of the Free Speech Movement, the university has become overly obsessed with political correctness to the point of absurdity, as is well seen in the ‘spring admit’ example.”

You can read the entire story here.

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Syringe Exchange Programs Can Improve Public Health

While an HIV outbreak last week prompted Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) to override state law and implement a short-term syringe exchange program in order to curtail the high rate of disease transmission, a bill aimed at achieving the same effect in the country’s worst area of HIV infection has passed its first hurdle.

Miami-Dade County has one of the highest rates of intravenous drug use nationwide, with over 10,000 residents injecting drugs regularly. Considering that the average intravenous drug userinjects about 1,000 times per year and 67 percent of injection drug users in Miami-Dade reporthaving shared syringes, it’s essential that public officials find ways to reduce harm associated with risky behavior.

Sharing needles is a cheap way for injection drug users to get their fix, but it comes at a high price: injection drug use accounts for one-fifth of all HIV infections and two-thirds of hepatitis C infections. Miami-Dade County is now home to the highestrate of HIV infection in the United States.

Regrettably, old legislation has perpetuated this crisis. All across the state municipalities have placed bans on clean syringes, prohibiting their sale to anyone without a prescription. The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention & Control Act goes a step further by making it a third degreefelony for anyone without a prescription to possess a syringe. While well-intentioned, this legislation frustrates harm reduction initiatives and encourages dangerous behavior.

Fortunately, State Representative Katie Edwards has filed legislation which would create Florida’s first sterile syringe exchange program (SEP) and the bill has now passed its first Senate committee. The Infectious Disease Elimination Pilot Program (HB 475) is similar to the failed bills pushed through the state legislature in 2013 and 2014 and it would establish one regulated SEP in Miami where program staff and participants would not need to fear arrest.

The goal of the program is to allow intravenous drug users a place to safely dispose of their used syringes and to receive sterile syringes at no cost in order to enhance their welfare.

Read the rest at The Hill…