News Bites Week of Oct. 27

A nozzle and box for a Narcan spray.
The Pitzer Student Senate cancelled its plans to provide opioid overdose protection kits on campus. (Courtesy of Tom Wolf via Flickr)

Pitzer Student Senate cancels plan to buy overdose reversal drug

Pitzer College Student Senate decided not to move forward with their bill to purchase Naloxone when they became aware that Campus Safety already carries doses of it, according to Senate President Clint Isom PZ ’20. 

Naloxone, commonly known under the brand name Narcan, is a non-prescription medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. The bill, which was approved in March 2019, stated that $500 from the reserve fund would be used to purchase 12 doses of Naloxone to be placed at various locations on Pitzer’s campus. 

Anna Chang, a spokesperson for Pitzer, said they would focus instead on creating awareness of Campus Safety’s existing Narcan Program that was launched in November 2018. 

The senators that wrote the bill weren’t aware that Campus Safety carried Narcan, according to Isom.

All campus safety officers in the field are required to carry two doses of Narcan, according to Campus Safety director Stan Skipworth. 

“The second dose is for anyone who could become contaminated with the opioid and might also become affected through contact when simply by trying to help the original patient,” Skipworth said.

Skipworth cited the rapid expansion of opioid overdoses in the country and the Southern California region as a prime reason for launching the program.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California saw statistically significant increases in drug overdose death rates from 2016 to 2017. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates that 2.1 million people in the U.S. struggle with an opioid use disorder. 

Campus Safety officers have not had to administer any doses of Narcan yet. Claremont Police have also subsequently launched a similar program, according to Skipworth. 

— Anushe Engineer

Pomona hires new vice president for advancement

Pomona College hired Maria Watson as its new vice president for advancement, according to officials.

Watson has 25 years of experience at nonprofits and in fundraising, Pomona President G. Gabrielle Starr announced in an email to students. She’s currently the associate vice president of development at the University of Southern California and previously worked at the Lincoln Center and Fordham University.

At USC, where she’s worked for the last eight years, Watson launched a New York City-based branch of the advancement office and worked on the college’s $7 billion fundraising campaign.

“In Pomona, Maria noted, she sees a highly successful institution with true intellectual purpose, strong values and an enduring commitment to access and opportunity — what she calls the ‘perfect combination,’” Starr said. “Her aim is to align Pomona’s philanthropic support to match its academic excellence and, in doing so, boost the positive change Sagehens make every day in the world around them.”

Watson will be responsible for overseeing fundraising at Pomona, including major gifts, alumni and parent engagement and planned giving, according to Starr.

Watson will start work Jan. 6, pending formal appointment from the Board of Trustees in December.

— Marc Rod


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