(Featured photo courtesy of Dave Gentilini)
On Sunday, Jan. 31, Student Government passed two new pieces of legislation.
The Restrooms-For-All Resolution was authored by Senators Danielle Thrasher and Ethan Browning. This resolution aims to address the need for restroom facilities for transgender and gender non-conforming students.
The document specifies that restrooms facilities inside of the Harry C. Moores Student Union should be renovated to accommodate these needs.
Thrasher said, “As a transgender woman, I have faced a great deal of adversities related to restrooms. In high school, I was forced to use the nurses’ restroom after the Trump Administration rescinded Obama-era restroom guidance for trans youth.”
Thrasher is now hoping to use her student government power to ensure a safe space for the Trans community on campus.
The other piece of legislation was the Title IX Awareness Act, authored by Senator Ethan Browning and Speaker of the Senate Bree Chambers. The abstract of the document reads, “To raise awareness on Title IX policy, issues, and consent-awareness.”
Title IX is a federal law that states no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
The passing of this legislation means a lot to Browning, who has personal experience in regard to Title IX.
Browning stated in an email, “I was led to write this legislation with Speaker Chambers because, as a survivor, I feel compelled to do what I can to prevent future incidents from impacting anyone else, in whatever ways I can. Additionally, being surrounded by friends and those close to me who have also had these experiences, has made the responsibility to act and raise awareness that much more pressing.”
Student Government will be collaborating with Health and Wellness and the Title IX team to host student-led tabling events where informational materials and discussions can be shared with the student body.
For Browning, the passing of this legislation is only the first step in ensuring a more safe and knowledgeable campus community. In the future, Browning hopes to pass legislation that expands even more on this topic, and he urges the University’s safety committee to
This call to action echoes the urgency already brought about by the campus’ crime statistics.
In the recent safety report released by Capital this past December, it was revealed that rape and stalking cases had skyrocketed from 2018 to 2019; reported rapes going from 1 to 11, and stalking cases rising from 6 to 10.
This is the highest it’s ever been in the past few years. While the crime statistics for 2020 are not readily available for viewing, the numbers from 2019 paint a concerning picture that should be addressed.
This past Tuesday, Feb. 2, Student Government passed another bill that will allow for a gallery walkthrough event of the Danny Lyon exhibit in Blackmore Library. These tours will be hosted every Friday evening during February as a way to commemorate Black History Month. Wine will be served on the second and third Fridays of this month, and other beverages will also be available. The gallery walkthrough will allow for only 10 students at a time.
According to the official bill, Student Government will be allocating no more than $1,800 total to fund these events.