Last Thursday, Student Senate convened with resolutions covering the weighty topics of institutionalizing penalties for convicted sexual assault and condemning the recent uses of glue as a means of placing posters around public areas on campus. Both of these resolutions can be found at the end of the article.
Speaking in sponsorship of the Resolution Concerning Sexual Assault, Vice President and senior Trevor Sorensen said, “It is the school’s practice to expel students found guilty…of sexual assault. And this resolution just asks them to put that in writing.”
The use of the term “guilty” in the resolution was clarified to include “administrative or judicial means,” referring to being found guilty of sexual assault by the Knox College Grievance Panel or a court of law.
Next on the docket was a Resolution Concerning Vandalism, brought to the floor in response to recent posterings in Seymour Union that utilized glue, making them purposefully difficult to remove.
“It created a divide in our community, and that’s a problem… We cannot accept that people are going to damage Knox property in the placing of anonymous posters,” Sorenson said, once again in sponsorship.
Surprisingly enough, given the lengthy discussions in previous week’s sessions on similar topics, both resolutions passed with minimal discussion, mostly over specific phrasing and mistakes in the documents, and overwhelming support.
As the final item under new business at the meeting, the chamber entered into a discussion on notification of sexual assaults. The stated purpose of the discussion was to give a recommendation on whether or not a campus-wide e-mail should be sent out in the event of a sexual assault, much like they are for muggings or other significant crimes on campus.
“After an incident like that… a notification should be sent out with victim approval… [The victim] should have all the choice in that matter,” Senator and sophomore Angie Ostaszewski said.
Over the course of debate, many present seemed to agree on the point that involved parties should not be mentioned by name, though the location of such incidents would still appear in the Campus Safety Log.
The debate covered a wide variety of related topics and possibilities of implementation before the speaker’s list was closed and exhausted after half an hour.
Senate also approved a Green Fee proposal to replace the seven showerheads in Seymour Union with low-flow units at a cost of $125.09, leaving approximately $27,100 in the fund for the year.
Senate approved several additional funds requests: $170 to Chinese Club for a lantern festival; $2,676 to Habitat for Humanity for a spring break trip to Texas and $826 to Amnesty International, also for a spring break trip. Senate also approved the creation of the Good Food club. At the end of the meeting, there was an estimated $36,000 remaining in the discretionary fund for the year.
A Resolution Concerning Sexual Assault
WHEREAS: Sexual assaults have been a topic of much discussion and deliberation,
WHEREAS: The act of sexual assault is deplorable and has the potential to occur to any member of this campus,
WHEREAS: A criticism of the administration on this issue is that many students feel that the issue is not being taken seriously enough or being met with appropriate measures,
WHEREAS: The principle duty of the Student Senate is to respond to and recommend policies concerning student interests and issues,
WHEREAS: The current policy put in place by the school is in practice one of the removal of students found guilty either through administrative or judicial means as it pertains to sexual assault,
THEREFORE : Student Senate strongly recommends that the school’s policy concerning sexual assault explicitly states that when a student is found guilty of sexual assault, he or she is permanently removed from the Knox community. Student Senate wishes to see immediate action with regard to this policy change and is updated as progress is made.
A Resolution Concerning
WHEREAS: There has been a recent rise in the use of glue as a means of posting signs,
WHEREAS: The use of glue has vandalized school property,
WHEREAS: Using spray glue, wood glue, Gorilla Glue, or other adhesive substances of the like do not facilitate positive discussion,
WHEREAS: This manner of attachment has detracted from the message of the signs and instead focused conversation on the method of delivery,
WHEREAS: The removal of the glue has been time-consuming for the already overworked maintenance staff and has negatively impacted the student relationship with said staff,
THEREFORE : The Knox College Student Senate here assembled does not condone, support or otherwise promote the posting of signs whereby campus or community property is vandalized or destroyed in any way. We respectfully ask that such actions cease.