ASG helps fill student positions on newly formed committee
THE SANTA CLARA
February 2, 2017
In an effort to suppress intolerance on campus, the Office of Student Life and the Associated Student Government are working together to select two student representatives for the Prevention of Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination Task Force.
Created by the University Coordinating Committee (UCC), the goal of the Prevention of Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination Task Force is to end sexual harassment, prejudicial treatment and other student misconduct.
The Task Force currently consists of faculty, staff and administration, including individuals from the Office of Student Life, the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Title IX Office and the General Council’s team. Reconvened in spring 2016, the Prevention of Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination Task Force plans to update the university’s current policy by the end of the academic year in accordance with recent state and federal legislation.
Over winter break, applications for the student positions poured in. ASG received the interest of as many as 27 students after Senate Chair Neil Datar sent out a campuswide email.
“It was particularly cool because it was over a break and people were still engaged enough to see an opportunity to benefit the campus and apply,” Datar said.
According to Datar, student representatives were not initially considered to work on the task force.
However ASG’s executive board, which ran on a platform of greater student involvement in administrative decision making, requested student representation on the task force.
“It’s beneficial to students to have other students represent them,” Datar said. “It’s beneficial to faculty and administration making these decisions to hear directly from students to hear what’s going to impact (students) most.”
The Task Force continues the work of the Policy 311 Task force, which was formed in 2007.
The Policy 311 Task Force standardized policies for the investigation and grievance process regarding sexual misconduct and discriminatory incidents filed by members of the campus community.
Belinda Guthrie, chair of the Prevention of Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination Task Force, said that the task force will draft policy about reporting discriminatory incidents and ensure fairness in the enforcement of such policy.
“Coming up with a recommendation for the reporting is just one piece of the task force’s work,” Guthrie said. “Equally important is making sure that the process is equitable for students, faculty and staff either if they were victims or respondents of discrimination, harassment or sexual violence incidents.”
The application process began with an interview with ASG members. Subsequently, ASG members recommended six applicants to the Office of Student Life, who were then interviewed.
Two student representatives will be selected for the positions.
“I want two students who have a genuine interest in the university’s approach and response to issues of discrimination, harassment and sexual violence,” Guthrie said. “This has been going on an ongoing resolution since 2007.”
The Office of Student Life expects to submit its final recommendations to Jeanne Rosenberg, vice provost for Student Life, by the end of the week.
Due to the large number of applicants, Datar said that those not selected will be offered positions on other university committees with student appointees.
One such committee is the Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC).
“I think the task force will benefit the school community as a whole because (it) is focused on macro-level policy making,” Datar said. “The task force will be making recommendations and decisions that will be carried out on broad and generally applicable level.”
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