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Rutgers University Student Assembly passes 3 agenda items on Feb. 11

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File Photo | The Rutgers University Student Assembly passed three resolutions on Feb. 11. The bills ranged from encouraging students to vote during The Daily Targum's 2016 referendum to encouraging RUSA members to receive Title IX training.

The Rutgers University Student Assembly passed three agenda items presented on Feb. 11.

The meeting started with guest Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) Chief Kenneth Cop and Capt. Paul Fischer discussing the new communication services with the police forces through text.

Students would be able to “text the RUPD in situations where they are unable or uncomfortable to call the police,” according to a previous article by The Daily Targum.

The system is now live.

At least 50 students have already used the new police system for various reasons ranging from requesting an escort to reporting a suspicious package, complete with an image attachment, Cop said.

The number to text is 69050, and students must include “RUNB” in the body text to signify they are reaching out to the police force using the new texting service. While the police force is available at all times, the service is still in its pilot phase.

During the question and answer session with Cop and Fischer, School of Arts and Sciences first-year Joe Clark, who is also on the Legislative Affairs Committee, asked about how RUPD will deal with the changing policies on sexual assault.

Clark cited his visit to the Senate High Education committee in Trenton regarding affirmative consent policies and sexual assault cases.

“Defining consent … (is) a conversation to be had with the administrative side, not necessarily me,” Cop said. “When I grew up, ‘yes’ meant ‘yes,’ and ‘no’ meant ‘no.’”

RUSA’s first resolution considered was “Resolution to Support the Referendum of The Daily Targum,” spearheaded by School of Arts and Sciences first-years Connor Munsch and Samuel Cutler, and Rutgers Business School sophomore Monica Sung.

The resolution is an effort to boost awareness regarding the referendum held every three years for the reaffirmation of the refundable $10.75 fee on a student's term bill.”

It is essential for the resolution to pass because “it’s the voice of the student body," Cutler said.

"It’s important we have a student newspaper with free speech at the University," Sung said.

The resolution passed with an amendment stating that RUSA will not be in favor or against the reaffirmation, but will simply promote voting during the referendum.

“I thought the resolution was necessary,” Munsch said. “The Targum is an essential part to students' daily lives and we should support them in their fight during the referendum period. It's unfortunate that not everyone else felt that way.”

The next item discussed was “The Unification Act,” written by Vladimir Carrasco, Viktor Krapivin and Mohamed Asker. The agenda item essentially calls for Campus Caucuses to attend and perform more work with the Residence Hall Association (RHA) to facilitate communication between the two “similar organizations,” according to the act.

“We decided to find a way to unify RHA and RUSA as one,” Asker said.

The assembly is "only as powerful" as the group of people it works with, shortly before the item passed, Krapivin said.

The final document presented for the night was the “Bill to Mandate All RUSA members to attend Title IX Training,” written by Asker, Margaux Taylor and Natalie Settimo.

Sexual assault prevention “must start with us (RUSA),” and if they are to consider themselves student leaders, they should be knowledgeable about “one of the most important issues on campus,” Asker said.

A friend of his was raped and approached him to get help after, he said.

“She expected me, as someone in RUSA, to know exactly where the resources at Rutgers were located,” Asker said.

This bill is to educate RUSA members on Title IX training, because “so few people know how the process happens,” Taylor said.

The bill passed with unanimous consent.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article said Monica Sung was a School of Arts and Sciences junior.


Bushra Hasan is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student student majoring in cell biology and neuroscience. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @Hasanabanana for more.

Bushra Hasan

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