Student Council passes sexual assault resolution
Council continues discussion on issues surrounding honor and sexual misconduct
Student Council passed the Sexual Misconduct Awareness, Recovery and Tangible resolution Tuesday evening, outlining tangible points of advocacy on the issue of sexual assault at the University.
There are seven proposals under the SMART resolution calling for increased bystander action and reporting as well as greater transparency from the Sexual Misconduct Board and a more rigorous assessment of the current state of sexual misconduct at the University. The resolution also states Council is “dedicated not only to identifying these potential solutions, but to diligently working towards their implementation.”
Brian Head, a third-year Commerce student, spoke for One in Four, an all-male group which gives talks to males at the University about issues of sexual assault and misconduct. He expressed the group’s support of the resolution, providing a certain level of privacy is maintained for the victims of sexual assault.
“We are speaking in favor of this resolution,” Head said. “[But] I think we should protect the survivors while still being transparent about the issues and assaults that are going on at UVa.”
Honor Committee Chair Nicholas Hine, a third-year College student, expressed the Committee’s support for the resolution.
“I think honor is often seen as the solution to some of the frustrations we see with the Sexual Misconduct Board and I think it’s a good conversation to have, but because of this highly restrictive legal-regulatory framework it can’t be an honor offense,” Hine said. “What the SMART resolution does is it takes it beyond that stopping point.”
Representatives from Council’s SpeakUpUVa also spoke in support of the resolution. First-year College student Abraham Axler, chair of Council’s representative body, said there is still a lot to be done.
“I’m extremely pleased that we passed this resolution unanimously but the real work happens in the coming weeks and months as we begin to implement the action items in the bill,” Axler said.
International Studies Office Director Dudley Doane also spoke at the meeting about a new initiative launched by the International Studies Office — an archiving mechanism for study abroad students to record their stories abroad and for international students to record their experience on Grounds.
“The idea is that this structure, which is mobile, would be used as a facility in which we would collect stories digitally,” Doane said. “So video, audio, tablets, and those stories would be archived. One objective would be to show the public what folks are doing overseas but then the facility could also be a place to hang out. It’s not large but it could be used in several ways.”
The Architecture School is currently designing the structure and the Engineering School is working on developing a way to digitally collect these experiences.