Columns / Discourse / Student Senate / February 25, 2010

The Senate Perspective: February 25, 2010

To say the campus atmosphere the past two weeks has been stressful would be an understatement. As a campus, sexual assault is major concern and has been a key topic of discussion as a result of current events that transpired. The Student Senate and the Executive Board are well aware of this and have been and will continue to take immediate action regarding student safety.

This week, the Executive Board as a whole is presenting a resolution to the floor of the Student Senate recommending that the school adopts a policy that calls for the removal from the Knox community any student found guilty (whether it be through administrative or legal channels, both of which are encouraged for use by the school) of committing a sexual assault. This is more or less the current policy in place. However, it is not explicitly stated and we, the Executive Board, strongly feel it should be. Members of the Executive Board are also bringing proposals to faculty committees that we are voting members of regarding the issue of sexual assault. As a result of a joint meeting between the Executive Committee to the Faculty and the Student Life Committee – a meeting which, I would like to add, was attended by many concerned students who also brought suggestions of their own – a number of suggestions and proposals have been generated and will be made publicly available in the near future for the campus to see and also follow the progress on.

In light of all the positive action both on a student governance and administrative level that has been taken as a direct result to a number of deplorable incidents on this campus, some negative actions have occurred that the Executive Board cannot condone and discourages in the future. Posters that were put up using spray glue, wood glue, Gorilla Glue or other adhesive substances of the like do not facilitate discussion but rather create undue and unnecessary work for the already overworked janitorial staff. It is not that we disagree with the statements on the message; on the contrary, the posters themselves were a method of discussion and fostering discussion. However, the method in which the posters were put up not only detracts from the statement that was made but also causes the message of the poster to be ignored and instead focused upon its delivery.

Furthermore, targeting the personal property of individuals or individuals themselves is also wrong and nothing more than a form of intimidation. Last week the Student Senate voted down a resolution that would have banned the use of anonymous posters – a resolution that the Executive Board as a whole, regardless of opinion on the topic, felt was a worthwhile discussion to have and decided to bring to the floor of the Senate – and these recent events are painting the use of anonymous posters in a negative light due to their delivery.

The Senate and the Executive Board will be continuing to work to institute change within the school with regard to sexual assault. Sexual assault has the potential to affect every member of this campus and this community and unfortunately it already has. The Senate has heard the desire for action on the issue of sexual assault and is acting accordingly. That said, we are open and receptive to further suggestions on how to help prevent and properly deal with the issue at hand. We will continue to keep the student body updated as to the administrative and policy changes enacted or new policies introduced as they occur.

Student Senate Executive Board

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