The Daily Northwestern

ASG candidates discuss sexual assault, Greek life at town hall

Associated+Student+Government+president+and+executive+vice+president+candidates+Nehaarika+Mulukutla+and+Rosalie+Gambrah+talk+during+a+town+hall+co-hosted+by+ASG+and+Political+Union.+The+two+said+the+University+should+provide+more+funding+for+programs+to+support+sexual+assault+survivors.+
Associated Student Government president and executive vice president candidates Nehaarika Mulukutla and Rosalie Gambrah talk during a town hall co-hosted by ASG and Political Union. The two said the University should provide more funding for programs to support sexual assault survivors.

Associated Student Government president and executive vice president candidates Nehaarika Mulukutla and Rosalie Gambrah talk during a town hall co-hosted by ASG and Political Union. The two said the University should provide more funding for programs to support sexual assault survivors.

Oreste Visentini/The Daily Northwestern

Oreste Visentini/The Daily Northwestern

Associated Student Government president and executive vice president candidates Nehaarika Mulukutla and Rosalie Gambrah talk during a town hall co-hosted by ASG and Political Union. The two said the University should provide more funding for programs to support sexual assault survivors.

Alan Perez, Reporter

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Nehaarika Mulukutla and Rosalie Gambrah, Associated Student Government candidates for president and executive vice president, called on the Northwestern community to increase support for sexual assault survivors on campus during a campaign forum Thursday.

During a town hall co-hosted by ASG and Political Union, the two Weinberg juniors answered questions about sexual assault, Greek life and student wellness in front of a group of about 10 students in Harris Hall. The two candidates are currently running uncontested with voting open until 5:00 p.m. Friday.

Referring to a recent decision not to pursue disciplinary action against two fraternities involved in sexual assault allegations, Mulukutla said she was concerned about the University’s commitment to supporting sexual assault survivors.

“If you want to say that you stand with survivors, then put your money where your mouth is,” Mulukutla said.

She said NU should fund more programs to ensure that survivors feel supported by the community, including counseling for survivors from low-income backgrounds who cannot afford private sessions in the Evanston area. The University is able to refer students to third-party counseling off campus.

Mulukutla also emphasized the role Greek life plays in sexual assault, adding it is necessary for students to critically examine the system in conversations about assault.

“We have to put in measures that adequately and universally mandate what punitive and restorative measures for sexual misconduct look like,” Mulukutla said.

Meanwhile, Gambrah reiterated the campaign’s central focus on holistic wellbeing, which includes the need for better approaches toward mental health. She said though the current campus culture normalizes a stressful environment with high involvement and academic achievement, this does not have to be the case.

“You can be successful at Northwestern without trading your mental wellness,” Gambrah said. “The two go together.”

Mulukutla said instead of the short and “passive” programming put on during Wildcat Welcome, the University should seek more proactive programming that extends the conversation beyond freshman year.

The candidates also said they hope to make ASG more accessible to students by increasing access to their representatives. Mulukutla proposed a new plan to make communication easier between ASG and the student body by receiving ASG-related questions and recommendations from students via email.

Though Mulukutla and Gambrah are the only ticket, Weinberg senior Tom Kerby, who attended the town hall, said he didn’t have any concerns about this year’s uncontested election.

“We need passionate people who are willing to confront and address the issues,” he said. “That’s all I’m looking for.”

Email: alanperez2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @_perezalan_

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