By Anita Alem
The Rice University Emergency Medical Services presented a proposal to the Student Association that would guarantee on-campus housing for two In-Charges/In-Charge Trainees per college.
EMS member Nitin Agrawal and Patrick McCarthy, REMS captain and Baker senior, presented the proposal at the SA meeting on April 9. EMS proposes that "the two individuals with the longest time of service within Rice EMS will be guaranteed housing at their current residential college; the colleges that do not have two IC/ICTs are required to offer housing to one individual from another residential college determined [by] a rotating schedule based on founding order."
"For example, if Hanszen [College] had three IC/ICTs, two of them would be guaranteed [housing] at Hanszen, and then the third one would be required to be offered housing by Baker," Agrawal, a Senator and sophomore at Baker College, said. "After Baker offers housing, regardless of the outcome, Baker goes to the bottom of the list and then [the] next IC/ICT who needs housing at a different college would be offered it by Will Rice [College] and so on."
SA President Ravi Sheth said constructive debate and discussion is necessary before proposals are passed, and he stressed the importance of taking this legislation back to the colleges for in-depth discussion.
"Sometimes you need concrete proposals on the table to consider alternatives that could be beneficial, for example, the alternative proposal of guaranteeing all (and not just two) ICs," Sheth, a Martel College junior, said. "At the meeting next week, Senate will be able to vote to pass this resolution, reject this resolution or table [this] resolution to allow for a new proposal to be introduced at the beginning of the year. This is a decision that is up to the Senate, and ultimately, the will of each of the colleges."
According to Agrawal, EMS is concerned that the current situation in which ICs are not guaranteed on-campus housing may impact the response time. Next year, two ICs will be living off campus.
"Rice EMS is able to respond to calls within five minutes while [the Houston Fire Department] has a response rate close to 12-15 minutes," Agrawal said. "The only reason why Rice EMS is able to have such short response rate is because the In-Charges, one of which is required to be at every call, lives on campus and is able to quickly go to any place on campus where the call occurs."
Sheth said the impact this proposal could have on the housing selection will be different for each college, given the diversity of housing-jack guidelines.
"However, I think it is important to recognize how small of a change this will actually be — there are usually only [six to eight] ICs on campus each year, and many of these students already have guaranteed housing," Sheth said. "Ultimately, only a handful of students will truly be affected by any guaranteed housing proposal, and this number is incredibly small in comparison to the total number of on-campus students."
Agrawal said EMS would like for these changes to be implemented in fall 2014 if the proposal is voted on this year. However, Agarwal said REMS is also considering following the Student Association's recommendation to expand the legislation next year to guarantee all ICs on-campus housing instead of two, if the proposal is not passed this year.
"If it does pass, I think it will allow Rice EMS to continue to grow," Agrawal said. "Having the Rice EMS leadership team be on campus will allow them to focus on not only improving patient-care service, but also improve the organization as a whole."