JMU Board of Visitors Ignores Issue

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

JMU's Board of Visitors decision in April to pull the Plan B birth control from the university health center was met with mixed reactions. Some agreed, saying the pill is a form of abortion. Others that disagreed protested and gathered signatures on petitions. WHSV's was at today's meeting to get the latest.

With little fanfare and no discussion, members of the JMU board of visitors chose to ignore the issue of the Plan B birth control pill. Despite presentations by JMU SGA president Levar Stoney and board student member Tim Brooks, the education and life committee of the board chaired by Mark Obenshain refused comment. Stoney was disappointed, but not surprised.

"I believe it's just an injustice," says Stoney. "In my years here at JMU I've never seen such a disregard for student opinion. We laid it out on the table that 3000 students plus signed a petition."

Virginia victim's rights groups were also disturbed by the lack of dialogue.

"I was surprised by the reaction that the student body president got from that committee," said Lyda Costello Kiser. "To have the committee that's supposed to focus on student affairs almost to ignore what had been done I think is too bad."

Obenshain says the pill is for now a dead issue for the board.

"This is an issue that was fully vetted at the last meeting," says Obenshain. "It's received considerable attention statewide and otherwise over the past month and I have heard anything that's personally changed my view and the board has spoken."

With three board members retiring, Stoney hopes Governor Warner will appoint people more in tune with student's views.

Stoney says the students are targeting October as the next time they'll bring the issue up again.


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