SGA on safety
Responding to the tension on campus in recent weeks, the Student Government Association (SGA) addressed various ways to make students on the Hill safer at its Nov. 20 meeting.
The community forum on Tuesday, Nov. 15, inspired three new policies for the SGA agenda. Since the forum, the SGA website has been updated to include links to resources for victims. SGA is also working with Grey Benjamin ’14, Student Gender and Sexuality Resource Officer Berol Dewdney ’13, Male Athletes Against Violence (MAAV) President Eric Barthold ’12 and Student Health on Campus (SHOC) Co-President Sarah Falkof ’12 to create a wallet-sized card detailing sexual assault victim information “that students can carry to have contact numbers and some tips,” SGA Co-President Justin Rouse ’12 said. Another “long-term goal [is] working with the senior leadership committee” to educate students about pursuing a healthier hook-up culture on campus, Rouse said.
Discussion on keeping students safe extended beyond the issue of sexual assault. Junior Class Co-President Erika Hinman ’13 moved to have Campus Life purchase reflective vests that would be available to students at the Information Desk in Pulver Pavilion. Her concern was that, with the number of daylight hours shrinking, the visibility issue of students running created a safety hazard for both runners and motorists. A number of Waterville residents have also issued complaints. Hinman said the vests “could help solve the animosity between Waterville and Colby students.” The motion was largely supported, and, with the amendment of having the vests available at the Athletic Center, passed.
Hinman made another motion to have the Academic Affairs Committee specifically encourage professors to hold more classes on Friday mornings but end them by noon to enable easier weekend traveling for students and professors alike. SGA Co-President Laura Maloney ’12 specified that the policy “would be to encourage [professors] to change their times, but it would not apply to the science departments.” The SGA Executive Board voted to break the roll call tie, and the motion passed.
Treworgy Dorm President Lori Ayanian ’14 recommended that the Student Security Advisory Committee advise Security to have more student parking available in the Roberts Lot, specifically by allowing resident students to use commuter parking. She referenced an SGA survey, in which “most people said they felt that they didn’t have adequate information about student parking.” Off-campus Representative Emma Suojanen ’12 said, “As a commuter, I can say that it’s very difficult to find a spot to park if you’re not here before 9 [a.m.]. I think the problem is more of an education thing. People don’t know where they’re allowed to park.” Though the motion did not pass, Rouse assured members that “because of the survey results, the educational component of where students can park will be addressed.”
Senior Class Co-President Tracey Tomlinson ’12 described her efforts in working with Athletic Trainer Dawn Strout to set aside an hour every few weeks in which the gym would be open only to women. A separate hour would be established for men-only use, and the program would be geared toward non-athletes, who might find the gym atmosphere intimidating. Looking ahead, Publicity Chair Raymond Rieling ’12 announced plans to begin heavier publicity campaigning for the establishment of a Gender and Sexuality Resource Center after Thanksgiving break.