SGA Senators learn about new sexual assault policy

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Saint Louis University has created a new sexual assault awareness test that will be a requirement for all students beginning next week.

At this week’s Student Government Association meeting, Jenn Scheessele & Katherine Weathers from the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action addressed the SGA senators and executive board about the University’s new sexual assault policy. Scheessele spoke about the changes from the previous sexual assault policy and about a new, 15 question test on sexual assault. If a student does not take the test, a hold will be placed on their account, and they will be unable to register for classes in the spring semester.

“This new policy is a means of creating awareness about addressing an important issue on college campuses,” Kripa Sreepada, vice president of diversity and social justice, said.

Scheessele and the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action looked at other universities policies regarding sexual assault to create this new sexual assault policy. Scheessele also gave facts regarding nation-wide campus sexual assault.

“One in five women and 6 percent of men will be sexually assaulted while in college,” Scheessele said.

The new policy also addresses the definition of consent. Consent now means that person must be “affirmative and engaging” in their request for sex.

Scheessele identified two places that will provide a location for students to report sexual assaults confidentially: Student Health and Counseling Services and the YWCA St. Louis Regional Sexual Assault Center, located on West Pine Blvd.

Weathers also addressed the new conduct policy regarding sexual assault. Weathers addressed the treatment of the parties involved in sexual assault cases as well as the procedural process.

“Both parties get the same treatment, and there is a very fair and open process,” Weathers said.

Weathers stated that a level 2 assault will always receive a hearing from the Student Conduct Board. A level 2 assault is defined as rape.

Weathers stated that if a student was drinking during the time of the assault, he or she would not be charged with an alcohol violation. Weathers also stated that bystanders could be found liable if they were aware of the sexual assault and did not report it to the proper authorities.