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Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


ASM calls on Chancellor Mnookin to declare UW campus as sanctuary for transgender, gender-diverse students

Council hears stories from students, introduces legislation recognizing importance of transgender, gender-diverse students
Ben Kapp

The Associated Students of Madison Student Council met Wednesday to discuss the support of transgender and gender-diverse students, with a special order given by University Health Services. 

Two students spoke during the meeting’s open forum regarding legislation to make the UW campus a sanctuary campus for transgender and gender-diverse students. 

UW freshman Camren Livermore encouraged ASM to adopt the legislation given UW is a diverse campus with transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse students.


“Should any anti-trans legislation be passed at the state or national level, UW students in particular would be at risk of losing access to rights due to the current lack of sanctuary legislation,” Livermore said.

The ASM Student Council heard this sentiment and introduced the legislation, recognizing the importance of transgender and gender-diverse students, faculty and staff. The Council will vote on the legislation at the next meeting.

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The Council called on Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin to declare UW a transgender and non-binary sanctuary campus, in order to protect students, faculty and staff from any state or federal bills that discriminate against gender-diverse individuals.

Assistant Director of Violence Prevention at UHS Sam Bowen also appeared before ASM to give an update about the growth of UHS violence prevention education. 

“I’m here to announce to you all that our campus has recently expanded from offering sexual assault and relationship violence prevention education to exclusively first year students, to now offering it every year to all undergraduate students,” Bowen said.

American universities that receive federal assistance have to offer violence prevention education, and UW has been complying with this requirement since 2013, Bowen said. 

UW’s violence prevention education is provided through GetWIse courses, which offer students the opportunity to choose between multiple topics in the program. The courses prepare students by teaching them how to support survivors of violence, how to navigate social expectations around sex, how to recognize potentially violent situations and more, according to UHS.

A completed GetWIse course is required for all incoming freshman and transfer students.

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With UHS’ recent expansion of the program, this education is now expected of sophomores, and encouraged for juniors and seniors, Bowen said. In future years, the “expected” language will expand to all undergraduate students, with UHS hoping this shift in perspective will foster an environment where students take a refresher GetWIse course each year.

“Sufficient dosage is a key, needed ingredient for good prevention work, so the idea that audiences need the same message multiple times in order for it to sink in,” Bowen said.

The risk of victimization accumulates over an undergraduate’s college career, and data shows violence prevention education is important at every stage of an undergraduate’s path, Bowen said.

Bowen said the incresed educational opportunities will further support violence prevention efforts.

The Student Council is scheduled to meet next Oct. 25.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated Oct. 14 to provide clarity on the status of the legislation recognizing the importance of transgender and gender-diverse students.

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