SGA holds meeting to discuss Survivors Bill of Rights – Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Proposals for amendments to the Survivors Bill of Rights have been discussed between the administration and the SGA to strengthen student safety against sexual violence on campus

Ana Pietrewicz / Daily college student

On Thursday evening, members of the University of Massachusetts Student Government Association held a public meeting at the Student Union Black Box Theater to consider proposed amendments to the Survivors Bill of Rights after a discussion between the administration and the SGA.

The Survivors Bill of Rights gained traction on campus about a month after allegations against the Theta Chi fraternity escalated. SGA leaders spoke of their unwavering determination to raise awareness and improve safety on campus.

The SGA leadership at the meeting consisted of Hayden Latiner-Ireland, Chairman of the Administrative Affairs Committee, Audrey Gabriel, Secretary of Sustainability, and Hewan Weldai, Chairman of the Social Justice and Empowerment Committee.

“In response to all the cases and incidents of sexual assault on campus, we have really seen a lot of outpouring of support from the students,” said Gabriel, a young microbiology and public health student. “We started an email chain that circulated during the protests on campus. That’s really how we got a lot of support and took things even further. “

SGA members analyzed a list of 22 amendment points for the bill, including the original amendments and administrative revisions. The list can be viewed on this Google spreadsheet. The spreadsheet contains financial, legal and emotional support for survivors.

The SGA specifically highlighted its concerns about a currency hedging amendment. For example, Amendment Nine states: “If a survivor becomes pregnant as a result of an assault, the college or university will fund any abortion method or other emergency contraceptive method, such as ‘plan B’. “

The administration’s alternative was: “If a survivor has problems with pregnancy due to assault, the Center for Women and the Community will provide information on rights and resources. This includes information on the Massachusetts Crime Victims Fund established by the Victims of Crime Act. The administration said its suggestion for a Nine Amendment helps clarify legal support for survivors.

“It’s just a lack of accountability on [admin’s] in part for not being willing to provide the details, the financial need, a quick investigation and other things that make the experience of survivors much easier, ”said Emmy Currier-Dougherty, a junior arts major at the studio, who attended the meeting. Currier-Dougherty said they want more justice for survivors on campus.

“There’s a kind of hard line that’s been taken in this very vague, ‘It can happen, it might not happen. But we’ll do our best to direct you to the right resources, ”said Weldai, junior in biology. “But it’s not enough.”

“It’s something that students really care about and that they will show up for. And I think it’s important that this be continually emphasized in these conversations. It’s not just me, it’s not just [Gabriel], It’s not only [Weldai]. The student body wants that, ”said Latiner-Ireland, major in political science.

SGA encourages students to comment on changes through a Google form.

Liesel Nygard can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @LieselNygard. Caitlin Reardon can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @caitlinjreardon. Jadine Reis can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @jadine_reis.

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