In response to the editorial “GERMS Depends on Privacy” (The Hoya, March 24, 2009, A2), I would like to voice my concern about a possibly dangerous interpretation. As a member of GERMS since 2006 and the current director of public relations, I have been heavily involved in the issue of confidentiality.

y first administrative priority for GERMS has always been to maintain the trust and confidence of the student community. This trust is critical to avoiding a Hilltop tragedy when friends, afraid of getting in trouble, fail to call for help. While current university policies and practices may provide a rare disincentive, GERMS is already working in good faith with university administrators to find policies that better satisfy our goals for student well-being.

I want to make an appeal to the student community not to consider atypical disciplinary actions when making the decision to call GERMS. Student safety is our priority and our collective responsibility. Consider the well-being of our friends rather than getting in trouble when the time comes to call 687-HELP.

Taylor Burkholder (MSB ’09)

Director of Public Relations, GERMS

arch 25, 2009

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