The Associated Students of Madison heard from Chancellor Rebecca Blank and voted to move forward with adding mental health hotline numbers to Wiscards Wednesday night.
Blank opened the ASM meeting by discussing recent events regarding new surveys and initiatives on campus. Blank discussed the university’s recent diversity initiatives.
“Every school and college has been tasked with developing a diversity and inclusion plan about what they are going to do inside their school and college,” Blank said. “At the end of the day, raising awareness for these issues is something we can do at the center, but more is going to happen out there in the schools, colleges, departments and the places people live.”
Blank also discussed the American Association of Universities survey on sexual misconduct on campus.
The report found overall, sexual assault on campus was being reported at the same rate as it was in 2015, the last time this survey was done.
“The best news in this [survey data], in my opinion, was that we see a big increase in knowledge about where you do go to report if you or a friend of yours has experienced something where you do need help,” Blank said.
ASM voted to move forward with getting phone numbers for UHS Mental Health Services, the Rape Crisis Center and the Suicide Hotline put onto the back of Wiscards by next school year. The proposal passed with a vote of 21-0-2.
Representative Yogev Ben-Yitschak discussed why he thought this initiative was important.
“There is symbolism behind it,” Ben-Yitschak said. “I was reading some of the things people said about the California state law that was passed that all high school and college IDs have to have a suicide hotline, and one of the things that was said was that this law was to honor those who had died by suicide and to end the stigma around them not talking about issues like this.”
The next ASM student council meeting will be on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Student Activities Center.