Rutgers student assembly discusses Title IX training, passes 2 resolutions
The Rutgers University Student Assembly passed two resolutions in an effort to prevent violence against women and increase academic diversity at Rutgers.
On March 24, the Rutgers University Student Assembly held its weekly meeting at the Red Lion Cafe on the College Avenue campus.
The three resolutions presented were A “Resolution to Cosponsor Take Back The Night,” which passed with unanimous consent, a “Resolution to Support a Diversity Core Curriculum Requirement,” which passed and a “Resolution for Rutgers University Student Assembly to Submit a Constitutional Question to the Student Body,” which did not pass.
Jackie Moran, the Title IX Coordinator at the Office of Student Affairs, and Juhi Bhatt, the Investigations Specialist, were invited to speak about the new Title IX Policy and how it applies to the University by Mohamed Asker, a School of Engineering sophomore, and Margaux Taylor, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
One of the key policy changes involved defining affirmative consent, Moran said. The policy is titled “Student Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, Stalking and Related Misconduct.”
"(Rutgers) no longer (has) a ‘no means no’ policy — it is a ‘yes means yes’ policy,” Moran said.
There is a growing problem of sexual misconduct in the digital age, she said, in reference to sexting. She urged couples to “please put your phones down” when engaging in sexual intimacy.
Moran cited the iSPEAK survey, which found one in five of all University undergraduates had another Rutgers student tell them that they had experienced sexual violence.
Seventy-seven percent of students, who were victimized since coming to Rutgers-New Brunswick and who told someone about it, told a close friend, according to the iSPEAK survey.
The “Resolution to Support a Diversity Core Curriculum Requirement" was also presented.
“We are diverse in name and not in academics,” said Yasmin Ramadan, one of the authors and members of the task force designated to enhance the core curriculum under Dean Peter March of the School of Arts and Sciences.
Students do not see their backgrounds reflected in what they study, not making for much diversity in academic inquiry, said Ramadan, a School of Arts and Sciences senior. Any attempts to include diversity are “usually shot down,” erasing marginalized groups.
The bill proposes one course on national diversity and one on global diversity. Each course requirement will be replacing an already existing core requirement from the 21st century and arts and humanities current core requirements, meaning the new requirements will not add additional coursework to the core.
The second bill was “Bill to Cosponsor Take Back the Night,” authored by Margaux Taylor and Meenal Patel.
"Take Back the Night is an international march protesting and speaking out on violence against women," according to the legislation.
The event involves a rally, a march from Douglass Campus to College Avenue Campus and a speak-out.
The last bill presented was “Resolution for Rutgers University Student Assembly to Submit a Constitutional Question to the Student Body.”
The new Constitution for RUSA proposes a three-branch system comprised of the assembly and executive branch, which currently exist, and an additional judicial branch.
Several other Big Ten schools have implemented a judicial branch in their student government, said Sen. Viktor Krapivin, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. Many issues have been politicized by the student assembly such that they can profit from legislative decisions.
The legislation also modifies amendment procedures such that the assembly “can propose legislation and pose questions directly to the student body” and students can vote on the legislation.
Bushra Hasan is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in cell biology and neuroscience. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @Hasanabanana for more.