JAMAUL John rode away with the top prize in the feature clash of the 15th annual Hand-in-Hand Mutual Fire and Life Insurance Companies cycling competition, which was held yesterday in the National Park.John, who has been in dominant form of recent, stayed with a pack of four other cyclists from the sixth of the 35 laps in the School Boys and Invitational. The riders battled well in the last lap to assert dominance and the distance that separated them was not great, but as has become the norm over the last few weeks, the 22-year-old was the first across the line in 1:15:48secs.Paul De Nobrega finished second ahead Briton John, while Christopher Griffith placed fourth and Curtis Dey fifth. Some 21 riders started the feature event. John later said that he was elated with the win and thanked his sponsors from Team Coco’s for their continuous support.Along with the feature clash, cyclists battled in four other events.Junior Niles won the Veterans Under-50 five-lap race after finishing in a time of 13:05.45. He was followed by Kwame Ridley and Jaikarran Sukhai. In the Veterans Over-50, Ian Jackson got the better of Andy Spencer and Kennard Lovell over five laps while in the Juveniles 10-lap, Sherwin Sampson defeated Aaron Newton after clocking 21:56.14.The Mountain Bikes five-lap Novice battle was won by Darius Ramsammy with Nigel London in second and Lennox Jackman third.In the other event, BMX Boys 6-9 two-lap race, Lennox Jackman Jr emerged ahead of Aditya Deokarran and William Green respectively.All three youngsters were presented with new bikes compliments of the sponsors. Meanwhile, Business Development Personnel Shannon Yan pledged Hand-in-Hand’s continued support of the cycling event.
Students in the freshman seminar “It Ought to be Law” successfully introduced a bill to the California state Senate that would make it mandatory for all public high schools in the state to have automatic external defibrillators available.Senate Bill 63 has been introduced into the California State Senate by Senator Curren Price (D-Los Angeles), who represents the area surrounding USC.The bill also stipulates all school-sponsored athletic events have AEDs available for use, schools have an emergency plan in place and school officials take a certified training course to operate an AED.Professor Nina Rathbun and former State Sen. Kevin Murray teach the class, which has two sessions, with a combined 21 students enrolled.“The entire class is about learning the political system, and in particular, the California state political system, through the practical experience of introducing [a] bill, and lobbying for it, and following it through,” Rathbun said.Students were asked to brainstorm ideas for a bill the first few class sessions. They then chose the issue of AEDs as their focus after hearing about a student-athlete in Texas who experienced sudden cardiac arrest, but whose life was saved because of an AED, according to Rathbun.“I have a friend who suffered from cardiac arrest on a football field in my neighborhood, and almost died from that,” said Emily Welch, a freshman in the class who is majoring in economics and English. “A law was passed very similar to the law that we are trying to pass … We all decided that this was something we wanted to see through in California.”The bill was drafted entirely by students, and students conducted their own research on the subject of cardiac arrest.Murray is USC’s politician-in-residence, and used his experience in the Senate to help students understand the legislative process.“Senator Murray has been a driving force in pushing the students to act professionally and helping them know what the next step is,” Rathbun said.Price introduced the bill to the Senate in early January.The bill was referred to the Education and Health Committees on March 3, and is currently in the Education Committee.The class is planning to fly to Sacramento on March 23 to give testimony to the Senate, according to Rathbun.“It’s quite likely that the bill will get out of committee which is the next step, and I think that it has a fairly good chance of passage,” Rathbun said. “The major issue will not be substantive, but financial.”The bill mandates that costs related to the AEDs will be funded by the state “if the Commission on State Mandates determines that [the] act contains costs mandated by the state.”Students said the chance to work on real legislation has been invaluable.“It was an incredible opportunity,” said Navtaj Singh, a freshman student in the class majoring in political science. “Creating a bill, learning the type of language used to come up with it, [learning] the costs we have to be aware of and learning about the other aspects leading up to the presenting the bill to the Committee and the Senate.”