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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Anti-violence legislation to be introduced at ASM meeting

The Associated Students of Madison (ASM) will vote on a new piece of legislation for the 2022-23 school year relating to sexual violence around the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on Wednesday.

The legislation will prioritize the appointment of an anti-violence coordinator as well as an anti-violence committee as a part of the student governance body. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Erin Tritz, Diverse Engagement Coordinator Ndemazea Fonkem, Rep. Kunal Sanwalka and Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment (PAVE).

The legislation emphasizes that the need for this bill stems from the unchanged statistics in sexual assault reports on campus. 

On campus, less than half of students are aware of the University Health Services Survivor Services or know that Title IX is a reporting office, according to legislation sponsors. 

ASM recognizes that “the majority of the work advocating falls on registered student organizations. There are many systemic issues in place that need to be addressed on a structural level as this issue impacts thousands of students on campus.”

If the formation of this committee is approved, they will work alongside predetermined organizations that have been working to reduce the stigma of sexual violence on campus, including PAVE, Sex Out Loud, STIXA, Culture of Respect, Embark and Relationship FLAGS, among others.

The anti-violence campus coordinator will be a currently enrolled student at UW-Madison that will be appointed by the student council at the first meeting of each session. 

The position description outlines that “they will serve as a liaison between ASM and violence-prevention organizations on campus.”

The coordinator will stay well informed on the agendas of all external UW-Madison sexual violence prevention organizations as well as campus-sponsored offices. They will be the spokesperson for ASM to ensure that they will be centering the needs of survivors and honoring the identities and experiences of marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by any kind of violence.

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