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Iowa State Daily

StuGov makes commitment to sexual violence prevention, Senate bills debated

Azhan+Suddle%2C+the+LAS+Senator+for+Student+Government%2C+in+the+Memorial+Union+on+Jan.+23
Katarina Kotek
Azhan Suddle, the LAS Senator for Student Government, in the Memorial Union on Jan. 23

Content warning: The following article contains mentions of sexual violence.

Furthering Iowa State student resources in attempts to prevent sexual violence were highlighted during the Student Government meeting Wednesday, featuring a presentation from Health Promotion Coordinator Carrie Giese and Iowa State University Police Department Detective Natasha Greene.

“We are on the cusp of really extending our education and knowledge and training and response services around sexual violence prevention and response,” Giese said.

Iowa State is looking to expand its services past its previous implementation of the GreenDot bystander program by providing resources to curb rape myths, give more support to sexual violence survivors and teach students about consent.

“We’ve developed in conjunction with Detective Greene and another professional within the Student Health and Wellness unit, a curriculum called Green Flags that is focused on consent education that we’ll be building out within the community,” Giese said.

The Green Flag program has recently received approval and Giese and Greene are hoping to utilize Student Government to spread awareness and act as the student voice for preventing sexual violence.

Following the presentation, the Senate unanimously passed a proposal to prioritize sexual violence prevention.

Some senators were concerned about the absence of a specific dollar amount that Student Government was financially responsible for and how much financial responsibility Student Government had over the program.

“If we are talking about anything that we are going to support financially, we should be able to know how much are we talking, and that’s my major concern,” Sen. Azhan Suddle, a graduate student in chemistry, said.

While some senators shared this concern, it was later clarified by Senate Speaker Alex Cecil, a senior in agronomy, that passing the proposal is a commitment to supporting the prevention of sexual violence and any financial decisions will be made at a later date. Cecil also said the passage does not mean that Student Government will be financially responsible for the proposal, and has no financial obligations.

Orders of Business

A bill that would consider the election commissioner position as an executive officer failed to pass through the Senate with a vote of 3-9-5.

Nine members within various branches of Student Government shared their concern with the election commissioner being a part of conversations that could result in violating the commissioner’s impartiality for elections.

“I have serious concerns about if we do put the election commissioner, no matter who is serving in that role, on the chief officers, that it would decrease the work that we have put toward making sure that we have separation of powers, separation of branches,” Student Government President Jennifer Holliday, a senior in agricultural studies, said.

The following were approved without opposition:

  • Identifying official social media platforms of Student Government
  • Seating Sen. Asray Gopa on the Rules Committee
  • Adding a seat to the Rules Committee and seating Sen. Kolton Eisma to that seat (passed with two abstentions)
  • Confirming Esha Gadgil to director of information technology
  • Funding Rodeo Club Cyclone Stampede
  • Funding Equestrian Hunt Club (passed with one abstention)
  • Funding Vietnamese Student Association
  • Funding ISU Blood Drive
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