A forum entitled Be Heard held by the Scripps Associated Students (SAS) Oct. 16 addressed the recent dissolution of the SAS Sexual Assault Committee.
SAS voted Sept. 8 to dissolve the Sexual Assault Committee, which was chaired by an SAS member and comprised of SAS senators.
“SAS wants to be supportive of all the things that are going on with [preventing] sexual assault on this campus,” SAS President Marta Bean SC ’14 said. “That’s why we [held] a Be Heard forum on sexual assault. We just felt that the committee wasn’t doing what students want it to do.”
She said that SAS decided to dissolve the committee because there are other groups at Scripps College that address sexual assault and the committee was too exclusive.
“We didn’t want the opportunity to be on a committee to be only [for] SAS senators,” Bean said.
“Last year, the Sexual Assault Committee was very programming-based, which was something that SAS wanted to move away from,” SAS Vice-President Alexandra Frumkin SC ’15 said.
Frumkin said that other groups, such as Choice USA and It Ends Here, thoroughly address “the programming aspect of sexual assault and consent conversations.”
“We … didn’t want to overstep our role in student government,” Frumkin said. “It’s really easy to … [talk about] why sexual assault is bad, but is that furthering the cause? Is that really moving us forward?”
The Be Heard forum was primarily focused on discussing the sexual assault policies of the 5Cs and their effects on Scripps students and survivors of sexual assault. The forum also addressed the challenges of creating a unified sexual assault policy for the 5Cs and providing support resources for survivors of and witnesses to sexual assault. At the end of the forum, the discussion was opened to the student body to allow them to express the way that they wanted SAS and other student governments to address sexual assault.
“We’re hoping people will be really inspired and interested in [the sexual assault] discussion after coming on Wednesday,” Frumkin said before the event.
“It was a really interesting discussion … about how much work there is in creating a unified sexual assault policy, and even how much work there is in getting people aware of their own school’s policy,” said Katherine Shearer SC ’17, who attended the forum. “I don’t think it matters that the Sexual Assault Committee was dissolved, because now there will be more focus on the groups that actually deal with this 24/7.”