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CCSC Members Give Their Next Steps On Sexual Assault Policy

Last Friday on Low

A recent Friday afternoon on Low

The lowdown of last night’s CCSC meeting brought to you by Bwog’s student-government-savvy Joe Milholland. 

At Sunday night’s Columbia College Student Council meeting, VP of Policy Sejal Singh and VP of Communications Abby Porter gave updates on the sexual assault policy. They went over what has happened so far – the change in the policy without input from survivors or activists (much of which the university is required by law to do) and the meeting with President Bollinger – and talked about future goals they have for sexual assault policy.

Specifically, they want to to work with Sexual Violence Response (SVR) on bystander training. They also want to change how the consent workshops function with GS and grad students, who get the same education as CC and SEAS students despite their different demographics (the current consent workshop apparently refers to all the participants as being “around 18”).

Singh also wants reforms to CPS to help sexual assault survivors. She wants survivors to get top priority treatment and not have to go through CPS’s extended 2-call system. She also wants more trauma counselors for LGBTQ student survivors (there is currently only one).

Singh also said that, according to Suzanne Goldberg, more sexual assault data will be released on Tuesday. Activists have asked for data on how long cases take to be adjudicated, what kinds of punishments are given, how many cases are overturned, and the percentage of respondents found guilty, but there are no specifics on what data exactly will be released, and since the administration has been reluctant to give out this data before, Singh “can’t promise anything” about what will happen Tuesday.

Other Updates:

  • Singh has also been meeting with Dr. Stewart to make testing for disabilities easier. Some students come to Columbia without knowing they have learning disabilities, and, if they are not on Columbia’s healthcare program, testing can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, a cost that is especially difficult for students on financial aid. Singh is trying to see if the Emergency Health Fund can cover the costs.

  • The council voted in favor of supporting a resolution that asks SEAS to extend benefits to military veterans who are part of the Yellow Ribbon Initiative and in the 3-2 program.

  • Pre-professional Representative Chris George has been meeting with CCE. He’s gotten some technical changes to Lionshare. He also asked about first-year job and intern positions, but, apparently, CCE can’t do anything about it because companies simply don’t want to hire first-years.

  • President Bailinson noted that dining plans are up. The administration is considering opening up John Jay dining hall earlier and making spring break dining plans.

  • Student Services Representative Chris Godshall, spurred by Student Worker Solidarity, looked into getting air conditioning in John Jay for the workers. Since the unit would take up the space of 15 bedrooms, he didn’t support the plan. Singh commented that the air conditioning unit was “not feasible.”

  • Student Services Representative Charles Sanky is meeting with Scott Wright about the package center.

  • The council reviewed their by-laws, looking for changes they could make. They found a reference to a now-defunct committee referred to only as PCSA. The council puzzled over his until former VP of Policy Bob Sun, who was in the audience that night, told them it was the President’s Committee on Student Affairs, a committee that Prezbo had set up “when he was new and eager to do things” (Sun’s words) and that had met once in the 2005-2006 school year. There’s no record of what happened to the committee after that.

No Red Tape coverage via CBS Local

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14 Comments

  • Idea says:

    @Idea Don’t call complainants survivors until it has been determined that an actual assault occurred. It unfairly biases processes and is an apriori determination of guilt.
    Also, what will data on the percentage of respondents found guilty accomplish? Radical feminists won’t be happy unless that number is greater than 100%.
    Singh- consider using your brain a little.

    1. Sejal Singh Fan Club says:

      @Sejal Singh Fan Club Over this past year, the adjudication process has been reformed so that both complainants and respondents are informed of their rights going into the process, both respondents and complainants are able to bring lawyers into the hearing, and there are now multiple investigators taking notes during the initial parts of the process—all things that increase transparency, accountability, and clarity of the process for all involved.

      Also, if you’re getting up in arms about advocates pushing for more accessible mental health services for all people who need support after experiencing violence, then….you might suck.

    2. Sejal Singh Fan Club VP says:

      @Sejal Singh Fan Club VP This may be nit picky but also not every survivor of trauma who goes to CPS choses to undergo the adjudication process. Or is even able to. So to conflate the terms ‘complainants’ and ‘survivors’ is reductive. Tl;dr, stay in your lane, Sejal Singh is a goddess.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous you mispelled ‘dickwad’

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous “Some students come to Columbia without knowing they have learning disabilities”

    Legitimately don’t understand how you can not realize something like this that seems so critical to even getting you here?

    1. Kid With A Learning Disability says:

      @Kid With A Learning Disability Hey Anon!
      I’m someone with a learning disability, specifically ADHD, who wasn’t diagnosed until CU — and even more bizarrely, until the end of sophomore year. There’s a lot of lit on how particularly women with ADD are not diagnosed because ADD is coded as such a hyperactive-boy-disease. My experience was this: I’d always had a very hard time reading/focusing, but tbh very little focus was necessary to do well in high school. I was always told, and always told myself, that I was just uninterested in HS subjects and that it would be better in college. When I got to college, it didn’t get better — but the notion of my having a learning disability seemed somewhat fantastical. All of these books I kept buying and never finishing, the fact that I couldn’t sit through a movie — that just meant I was dissipated, and dilettantish, and lazy, and also just being a spoilt dick. Also ADD clearly was just a way for kids to obtain adderall scripts.
      Anyway, I eventually talked to a good neurologist, and it turns out that it was in fact my brain being patently Awful At Focus! And even from my own v. anecdotal experience, I know at least 3 kids who went through a similar experience.
      (it doesn’t help that some of the symptoms for ADD specifically overlap a bunch with depression, so if you’re not bouncing off the walls with energy psychiatrists will often say it’s just depression. may the lord of crazybrains help you if you are Depressed AND Anxious AND w/ ADD.)

      So, anon, that’s my tale of getting to Columbia with a learning disability.
      Hope it helped,
      A Double-Major In the Humanities Who Just Got Very Good At Faking It Until It All Blew Up In Her Face.

      1. Kid With A Learning Disability says:

        @Kid With A Learning Disability Anyway, that’s just my particular example but i’m sure there are many, many out there.

      2. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Hmmm…I guess I didn’t realize stuff like that happened past high school. Thanks for helping clear up my misconceptions!

        (Hopefully this “tracks” from above)

  • Columbia's New Theme Song says:

    @Columbia's New Theme Song LETS ALL SING ALONG!!

    You can’t hurry love
    No, you just have to wait
    She said love don’t come easy
    It’s a game of give and take!

  • Ray Rice says:

    @Ray Rice When I went to Rutgers we didn’t have this rape problem. Hell if a woman said no lets just say we didn’t resolve it by penetrating them. We took care of it in a different way. I had an encounter like that once in an elevator, I made sure I didn’t rape her.

  • Sejal Singh Fan Club Treasurer says:

    @Sejal Singh Fan Club Treasurer Super proud that the student government is on the front lines of this!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Dr. Seward*

  • Ray says:

    @Ray Back when I was in college a few things were held sacred. 1) No means no, 2) Only Yes means yes, and 3) what happens in an elevator stays in the elevator. Lord, how things have changed. We need to address these three concerns, people are losing their jobs out there and having their lives irrevocably altered by the unfortunate stigma associated with societal rejection of these three norms.

  • Ray27 says:

    @Ray27 I see that some people down voted my comment. I will be the first person to admit my mistakes. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. I have decided after my terrible act of violence that the only way I can atone for my action is to become the new international face of No Red Tape. That is why, starting today, I will carry a KING size memory foam mattress everywhere I go. Because the weight of rape culture is larger than a twin sized mattress. Atlas shrugged, but Ray Rice cried for the survivors.

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