Senate passes resolution supporting Mizzou students


Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

SESP sophomore Gwendolyn Gissendanner (right) speaks in support of a resolution she authored. The resolution, which says the student body stands in solidarity with Mizzou students, passed unanimously.

Shane McKeon, Development and Recruitment Editor

Associated Student Government Senate unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday saying the student body stands in solidarity with students fighting for racial justice at the University of Missouri.

The passage came hours after a day on Mizzou’s campus in which racially-motivated threats swirled on social media, prompting some professors to cancel classes. University police also arrested a man at another Missouri university for making what they called “a terrorist threat” over Yik Yak.

SESP sophomore Gwendolyn Gissendanner and Weinberg sophomore Nehaarika Mulukutla authored the resolution.

“It’s also important that we take a stand on this so Northwestern can reflect on its own racial problems and the ways students of colors still are marginalized on this campus,” said Gissendanner, who is For Members Only’s senator. “As Northwestern students, we have to look at ourselves and work toward racial justice on this campus.”

Former Mizzou President Timothy Wolfe, who announced his resignation Nov. 9, faced protests from student activists and staff who said he mishandled incidents of racism on campus. Mounting pressure over the past few weeks included the school’s black football players refusing to practice or play until Wolfe resigned.

Mulukutla, a Panhellenic Association senator, noted that threats against Mizzou’s students of color have cropped up on social media.

“Anyone receiving an education should feel safe on their campus,” she said.

Senators skipped the typical debate period before passing the resolution unanimously.

Early in the meeting, Senate continued efforts toward ASG’s “It’s On Us” campaign. Weinberg senior Erik Baker led a “brainstorming session” with senators on how students should move to address sexual assault on campus. Baker is the senator for SHAPE, MARS, College Feminists and Title IX at NU.

Baker referenced survey data that the University collected this spring. The survey found 96 percent of respondents who experienced a sexual assault told a peer.

Because so many students turn to their friends after an assault, Baker said it is important for students to know how to support peers who have been affected.

“How do we make sure that these interactions are as healthy as possible?” he said.

The survey also found that 48 percent of respondents “did not agree that they knew where to get help if they or a friend were sexually assaulted.”

Wendy Roldan, vice president for student life, said CARE maintains a flow chart of how sexual misconduct cases are handled.

“That resource is out there, but students aren’t getting to it,” the McCormick junior said.

In addition, the data showed 53 percent of male undergraduates believe “rape and sexual assault can happen unintentionally, especially when alcohol is involved.”

Baker said students should combat the narrative of “accidental rape.”

“This has been studied really extensively, and that phenomenon just does not occur,” he said.

Later, Weinberg senior Mackenzie Schneider, vice president for A-status finances, presented her committee’s recommendations for fall funding. Her committee proposes funding for all A-status organizations, groups that typically receive thousands — or tens of thousands — of dollars in ASG funding.

One senator asked why the proposal included $110,550 for Mayfest. The proposal cited “great planning” as a reason for increased funding, which the senator balked at. In May, Mayfest cancelled Dillo Day after severe winds threatened students’ safety.

Schneider said the cancellation was beyond Mayfest’s control, and that in those cases, funding is not affected.

“You can’t control the rain,” she said. “If it doesn’t happen because the exec board fails to put it on, that’s something you could control. But NUPD saying it’s not safe is not something Mayfest can control.”

Senate will amend and confirm A-status proposals next week.

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Twitter: @Shane_McKeon