The Associated Students of Madison stood in solidarity with sexual assault survivors and undocumented students at the University of Wisconsin Wednesday.
ASM passed legislation asking Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW System President Ray Cross for sanctuary status for UW and all other UW System campuses. This would mean the system cannot release information student documentation status information to federal immigration authorities.
“It is the university’s responsibility, and our responsibility as student representatives, to ensure the safety, inclusion and support of every student on this campus,” Rep. Omer Arain said.
The legislation comes in the wake of threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a immigration policy that protects some undocumented people who arrived in the U.S. as children. Rep. Janelle Perez said undocumented students will be forced to leave the university and discontinue their education if DACA is revoked.
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As part of ASM’s efforts to support sexual assault prevention, each member will have to attend a five-hour sexual assault bystander intervention training run by Green Dot, an program aimed at reducing sexual assault on college campuses.
They will also have to invite representatives from University Health Services, UHS team’s Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment or End Violence on Campus to speak at ASM. These organizations allow members to get involved at the student level.
ASM will also focus more on ensuring they work with all other governing organizations for better results, ASM said in a statement.
This legislation comes after multiple sexual assault allegations against UW students in the past year, including 30 criminal complaints against senior Alec Cook.
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The committee also addressed the impeachment of Rep. Tyriek Mack, who is facing above the maximum number of unexcused absences. Mack said he did have a reason for his absences, though he did not notify ASM Chair Carmen Gosey prior to the meeting.
Rep. Janelle Perez said if the committee voted to remove Mack, they would also be losing what few members of color the committee has.
“As a person of color on this campus coming into this space, I felt attacked,” Mack said.
Many ASM members cited Mack’s passion to student government and his past contributions to the committee in their argument to keep Mack on ASM. The committee decided in a vote of 20 to 1 that Rep. Mack would not be impeached.
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Mack said he will discuss tokenism during the committee’s next legislation meeting. Tokenism happens on campus when a number of people from underrepresented groups give the appearance of racial equality within the student body, staff and faculty without making real changes, Mack said.
The one vote that wanted to impeach came from Rep. Katrina Morrison. Mack responded to that one vote in a Facebook post after the meeting ended.
Rep. Mack is also up for impeachment from the Student Services Finance Committee. The SSFC will make a decision during their meeting Thursday. ASM will meet again next Wednesday.