|

The GPSG has created a Student Safety Chair

BY DANIEL VALENTIN | DECEMBER 03, 2014 5:00 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Because of the issue of sexual assaults on campus, the University of Iowa Graduate and Professional Student Government has voted to create a Student Safety Chair to assist in creating campus-wide safety initiatives.

Group President Alyssa Billmeyer said the position would benefit undergraduate students affected by sexual assault by providing a place for them to come forward and receive help.

“It’s very easy for graduate students to reach out to undergraduates,” she said. “We are both in different stages in life, but not by much. It’s easier for us to relate to them.”

Billmeyer said the grad-student group will work with the It’s On Us campaign, a nationwide movement that aims to keep people safe from sexual assault by raising awareness and providing coping resources for victims.

“This isn’t just about having fewer sexual assaults on campus,” she said. “It’s also to make sure students are comfortable seeking help. No one should have to cope with this experience alone.”

Grad-student government Vice President Jon Scholte said the effort would begin with targeting undergraduates and medical-research buildings to make sure students have the resources they need when dealing with sexual misconduct.

He also said the group will reach out to fraternities and sororities, as well as sports groups in a hope to spread awareness and teach students about dealing with sexual assaults.

“As more people come forward to speak about their experiences, more people can receive help,” he said. “The goal is to make sure that students feel safe in their environment.”

Kira Pasquesi, the vice head of the Student Advisory Committee for Sexual Misconduct, said the committee aims to provide input from students that will translate to policy review.

She also said students have spoken to the committee about what problems they have experienced on campus and what they think ought to be done based on what they know.

“The GPSG provides a wide array of graduate and professional students,” she said. “The addition of the Student Safety Chair will be a great source for when they go back to the groups they represent.”

Pasquesi said the It’s On Us campaign involves shifting the culture to stop blaming the victims of sexual assault on what they should have done but rather believing the victims and providing support for them.

“These poor people choose friends, family members, and even professionals to help them get through this difficult experience,” she said. “That initial moment where the victim sees support is the most crucial.”

Pasquesi said the goal for this semester was to simply kick off the It’s On Us campaign and making sure students have tangible ways of dealing with sexual assault.

“It was about crafting a message,” she said. “Now, we just need to figure out how to get more people on board.”


In the Dec. 3 story “The GPSG has created a Student Safety Chair,” The Daily Iowan implied the new Student Safety Chair for Graduate and Professional Student Government is directly tied to the It’s On Us campaign. In fact, the Student Safety Chair and the It’s On Us campaign are separate. The article also implied that the Student Advisory Committee was tied to the Student Safety Chair, but all three are separate entities in GPSG. The chair, however, may deal with issues regarding sexual misconduct.

Also in the article, GPSG President Alyssa Billmeyer was misquoted as saying “It’s very easy for graduate students to reach out to undergraduates,” she said. “We are both in different stages in life but not by much. It’s easier for us to relate to them.” That quote does not accurately reflect sentiments made during the meeting. Kira Pasquesi was also misquoted as saying “These poor people choose friends, family members, and even professionals to help them get through this difficult experience,” she said. “That initial moment where the victim sees support is the most crucial.” This does not accurately reflect the meaning of what was said. The DI regrets the errors.


In today's issue:





 
Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.