StuGov passes bill censuring Department of Residence for recent events

Sen. Kate Alucard speaks during an open forum at the Oct. 30 Student Government meeting. Students came to talk about recent controversial events on campus and to address President Wendy Wintersteen.

Cassie Lehmann

Wednesday night, Student Government passed a bill censuring the Department of Residence for their reaction time and statements on issues regarding recent events.

Censuring is the expression of strong disapproval of criticism.

“[Students] have been told a lot over years that things will change, and they don’t change,” said Senator Ian Searles. “I would like to see the Department of Residence, as a unit, take the resolve clauses that we have, the actions that we have outlined, take some initiative and put those into place. 

The bill titled “Censuring The Department of Residence” does just that. 

Many members of Student Government came together to back the bill.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Ian Searles for himself, Sen. Ludwig, Sen. Joshua Hanyang, Sen. Mason Zastrow, Sen. Alex Klein, Sen. Hayat Sumael, Sen. Lydia Greene, Sen. Matthew Klaes, Speaker Kelsey Culbertson, Vice-Speaker Schrader and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Hoffman, according to the document.

“Racism has no place or protection on campus as it violates the University’s Principles of Community, and […] there have been high profile events in recent years that have highlighted the systemic failure of the Department of Residence within the University to respond to incidents of harassment of protected classes,” according to the document.

This censuring comes after Bean House in Geoffroy Hall was defaced multiple times with a racial slur, pictures surfaced of Student Government Adviser Alex Krumm with his face painted black previously posted on his Instagram and students protested the events by blocking off Lincoln Way, demanding to talk to President Wendy Wintersteen.

One case specially mentioned was a recent instance in Geoffroy Hall — “one such instance was the failure to publicly or privately address the recent racist vandalism in Geoffroy Hall in a reasonably timely manner,” stated in the bill.

“[Senators] felt the issue that was made was not the addressing, it was the communication of the addressing,” Sen. Searles said. 

A resolution the bill enforces is a campus-wide policy of a 48-hour administrator response time to all events to the parties affected, whether or not the solution is clear. All parties involved in the case will be kept up to date on the status of the case as well.

Going beyond the bill, Student Government will be establishing a committee to enforce the new act. 

“[The committee] will make sure there is an action plan set into place and acted upon in a timely manner, emphasis on a timely manner,” Searles said.

The bill passed Wednesday night with a vote of 25-0-1.