ASG Senate resolution calls for removal of students, organizations responsible for sexual assault


Allie Goulding/The Daily Northwestern

Lars Benson speaks at an ASG Senate meeting. Benson was one of the co-authors of a resolution that calls for the immediate and permanent removal of organizations found responsible for sexual assault from the University.

Jake Holland, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government Senate introduced a resolution Wednesday calling for students and organizations found responsible for sexual assault to be immediately and permanently removed from Northwestern.

The resolution follows an order from Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity national headquarters in Evanston to indefinitely cease operations at the Northwestern chapter after the University notified students last week about an anonymous report alleging multiple sexual assaults and potential druggings at the SAE house. The University announcement also said it received an anonymous report alleging that a female student was sexually assaulted and possibly drugged at a second, unnamed fraternity house earlier this month.

The Senate resolution said the administration should enact a zero-tolerance policy with “immediate and permanent removal of those students and organizations, including but not limited to SAE, from Northwestern’s campus and community” if they are found to be responsible for sexual assault.

The resolution also called on the University to increase funding for the Center for Awareness, Response and Education and to pay members of Sexual Health and Assault Peer Educators. It described SHAPE as “integral” in promoting healthy sexuality and consent on campus.

Lars Benson, co-author of the resolution, said the University must be proactive in dealing with allegations. Benson, a Weinberg junior, said the perpetrators of sexual assault “do not have a place within Northwestern’s student body” if they are found responsible.

“We assert that these are not isolated incidents, that they are evidence of a pervasive culture which encourages sexual assault, which allows sexual assault to transpire and which should be addressed by Associated Student Government and all of its members,” he said.

Gabrielle Bienasz, a co-author of the bill, said CARE is “indispensable” in assisting survivors of sexual assault and said it needs to hire an additional staff member to bolster programming on sexual assault within Greek life.

“It makes a lot of sense to have women in the conversation when you’re talking about … programming for fraternities,” the Medill freshman said. “We need the funding and the staff in order to make that a sustainable and lasting change.”

ASG Senate will vote on the resolution next Wednesday.

Senate also passed a resolution approving the creation of the Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility Membership Commission. The committee considers issues related to Northwestern’s investment activities and makes recommendations to the Trustee Investment Committee.

Students appointed to the commission will “be responsible for keeping detailed accounts of its process and deliberations, which Senate will have the ability to access by vote.”

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