SGA passes resolution for required sexual assault course

Nicole Ziege

The Student Government Association passed a resolution to require a sexual assault online course for first year students and several other resolutions at their meeting Tuesday night.

Resolution 1-17-F supported the addition of a one credit hour course on sexual assault education to the colonnade requirements for first-year students.

“There is no required curriculum that covers sexual assault education including, but not limited to, consent, prevention, active by-standing and Title IX policy,” according to the resolution.

The resolution was co-authored by Public Relations Committee Chair William Hurst, SGA S.A.V.E.S. Committee Chair Ashlyn Jones, Senator Annabelle Ford, Campus Improvements Committee Chair Garrett Edmunds and Senator Alex Sergent.

“I do not believe that our campus does enough to prevent sexual assault,” Hurst said at the meeting. “You can go four years through college and not have any sexual assault training, which I think is a disgrace, to say the least.”

Hurst said the resolution was created after seeing other universities, including Stanford University and University of California-Berkeley, implement one hour required courses. Hurst said those campuses decreased in the number of sexual assaults.

Hurst said he hopes to use the course as a replacement to University Experience, an optional three-hour course for freshmen to become more familiar with campus.

“The university does some, but it’s still not required,” Hurst said.

WKU also provides “Green Dot, Red Dot” training about sexual assault prevention and awareness during MASTER Plan and recommends HAVEN, an online course for incoming students. There are no penalties for not completing these courses, however.

There was debate of if it was “too much” to require a semester-long course about sexual assault education and prevention.

Senator Alex Sergent said that the resolution is not about “mandating some idea” and “mandating something extra to graduate.”

“What it’s about is cleaning up the net that has rather large holes that allows a lot of people to slip through,” Sergent said. “We’ve got to close this to make our student body safe.”

The resolution passed 29-1 with two abstentions.

The Senate also voted on Bill 10-17-F, which allocated the funding of $100 for a beard contest sponsored by the sustainability committee to promote “No-Shave November.”

During November, participants in “No Shave November” refrain from shaving for the entire month to promote prostate cancer awareness, research, treatment and prevention.

Five female judges from the sustainability committee will determine the winner of who can grow the “best beard.” The prize will be a sustainable shaving kit.

Sustainability Committee Chair Ian Hamilton, one of two co-authors of the bill, amended the amount of funding in the bill from $250 to $100. He said the money will go toward making posters for the event.

“Although the original intent is for cancer awareness, the environmental impact of these efforts will be tremendous,” according to Bill 10-17-F.

Hamilton said that although he and McKinney had intended to focus on the sustainability impact of the bill, they decided to focus on cancer prevention as the “main focus” of the bill.

The bill passed with a 25-3 vote and five abstentions.

The senate also voted on Bill 14-17-F, which amended a section for constitutional amendment elections at the end of spring and fall semesters to the bylaws of the SGA constitution. Prior to this, constitutional amendment elections took place at the end of the spring semester and at the beginning of the fall semester.

Senator Lucas Knight, one of two co-authors of the bill, said that how SGA handled amendment elections now made “no administrative sense.”

“This is a very simple administrative change that would be very beneficial to us,” Knight said.

Bill 14-17-F passed unanimously.

Reporter Nicole Ziege can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].