This year marked the second consecutive year in which Safeboats have had a presence at Lake Shasta during Memorial Day weekend.
Droves of college students make the holiday weekend an annual boozefest out on the lake, renting houseboats to do so. In an effort to minimize the effects of binge drinking, unprotected sex, dehydration and other obstacles drunk college students manage to create for themselves, the Safeboat is on hand to lend aid.
This is a fantastic idea. The ASUCD Senate allocated $1,372 to fund Safeboats this year, an increase of $572 from last year and it is still a fantastic idea. If it rose in cost, it would continue to be a fantastic idea.
ASUCD Senator Mo Torres agrees … kind of.
“I think it’s incredibly important that Safeboats have a presence at Houseboats,” he said. “Students should take initiative in ensuring the safety of all UC Davis students at such a potentially dangerous event.“
Indeed! Why, then, did he vote against the senate’s efforts to provide funding to Safeboats?
“With such a limited amount of money available in the senate reserves, I question the necessity to fund Safeboats when Houseboats is a party and nothing more … I can’t justify allocating such a great amount of money to something that is neither educational nor empowering to the campus community,” he said in an e-mail interview with The California Aggie.
Torres‘ concerns certainly bear consideration; the way in which ASUCD funds are spent should always be met with heavy scrutiny. It is imperative that student dollars be spent wisely.
This thinking however, is precisely why ASUCD should fund Safeboats. Providing emergency services and ensuring student safety are two areas discussed annually during ASUCD elections. Passing up a chance to actually provide such a service would be foolhardy.
Safeboats aided one Houseboat-goer with alcohol poisoning this weekend, almost certainly saving her life. Many others were provided with necessities such as bandages, condoms, sunscreen and water.
Students will rent houseboats and engage in dangerous activities regardless of whether or not ASUCD decides to help fund Safeboats. Getting drunk on a boat with hordes of others getting equally drunk might be a stupid idea, but the evidence suggests that people will continue to partake in the freshwater fun for years to come.
Given this, helping to provide emergency services to those involved is brilliant and is an example of tangible good. It has already made a positive impact on people’s lives.
It is our fervent hope that Safeboats can continue to count on ASUCD for funding in the future.