SGA opposes U.S. House bill

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The Student Governing Association objected to a U.S. House bill limiting university actions after a sexual assault allegation and heard from representatives of the K-State Center for Advocacy, Response and Education at its meeting Thursday.

SGA passed a resolution opposing U.S. House of Representatives HR 3403: The Safe Campus Act of 2015, and will send a copy of the resolution to several people, such as the Kansas politicians in the House, including Republican Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder, Mike Pompeo and Tim Huelskamp.

One of the primary reasons that SGA opposed the bill was because it limited a university’s actions after an allegation of sexual assault against a student. HR 3403 would only allow “interim sanctions” against the student until after the conclusion of a police investigation.

The “interim sanctions,” according to the bill, would include temporary suspensions, no contact orders, adjustments of class schedules and changes in housing assignments. Any further punishment, such as expulsion, could not be used.

“Even though this bill is probably not going to pass, it’s important that K-State sets a precedent that we care about the safety of our students and we take sexual violence really seriously here,” Emma Barnett, student senator and junior in political science, said.

According to K-State’s Center for Advocacy, Response and Education 2014-15 Year in Review, the center served: 30 victims of sexual assault or rape, 15 victims of dating or domestic violence, 10 victims of sexual harassment, three victims of stalking incidents and five victims in other categories. The data includes instances both on and off campus.

“We’re expecting that number to go up or at least remain constant,” Jessica Haymaker, CARE coordinator and advocate-educator, said. “And don’t think that’s the only amount of individuals who experience violence on our campus. Nationally, only about 10 percent of individuals who experience sexual violence – or any type of violence – will report it to authorities.”

A resolution to ban tobacco products from campus was not brought up at Thursday’s meeting. Instead, it was held in committee for action next semester.

“The main reason we decided to hold it is just we would like to kind of slow down the process a bit, examine it and make sure that as a whole our constituents are aware of this change and the impact it’s going to have,” Kurt Lockwood, speaker of the senate and senior in agricultural economics said.

A tobacco and smoking committee will meet Sunday at 6 p.m., according to Lockwood.

Several student organizations received allocation funding.

The Students of Cultural Studies received $6,500, the Family Consumer Science Education Interest Group $900 and the National Association for Music Education Collegiate $800.

The American Institute of Architecture Students received $1,000, the National Society of Black Engineers $1,000 and the American Society of Civil Engineers $400.

The Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management Club received $1,000, the Block and Bridle Club $500, the Veterinary Business Management Association $300 and the Pre-Dental Club $656.64.

Amendments were made to the Green Action Fund bylaws and statutes.

A resolution was introduced for action at the next SGA meeting. It is the fiscal year 2017 Educational Opportunity Fund budget, which allocates $370,000 in funding for academic scholarships and fellowships, need-based grants, community service programs and campus student service programs.

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Jason Tidd
Jason Tidd graduated from Kansas State University's Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2017. He was the spring 2017 editor-in-chief, fall 2016 news editor and spring 2016 assistant news editor. While at K-State, Jason played baritone in the Pride of Wildcat Land marching band.