Undergraduate Student Government table resolution opposing proposed Title IX changes

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BTSU Director Patrick Nelson speaks to USG at Monday’s meeting.

Undergraduate Student Government has voted to table a resolution supporting the uphold of current Title IX sexual misconduct and relationship violence policies, postponing its intended final vote, at Monday’s meeting.

The table was motioned by USG Sen. Ryan Stults, who discussed wanting a greater discussion towards the issue, potentially through the creation of a subcommittee.

“I think we all agree it’s a super important issue,” he said. “To have a more inclusive, diverse and informed dialogue on this, I think we should try to form some sort of subcommittee and really look at the policy, implications and ramifications it has on BGSU.”

The resolution is a response to proposed changes made by the U.S. Department of Education last November; it states concern that the new policy would limit mandatory reporting and investigation of sexual assault crimes at BGSU.

The potential alterations, drafted by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, include:

— A new definition of sexual assault: “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity.”

— Required live hearings and cross-examination of a witness.

— University investigation requiring formal complaints by a Title IX coordinator.

— Title IX sexual misconduct and relationship violence policies applying only to allegations that occurred on campus or within campus-related programs and events.

DeVos’ proposal has been criticized by several students and faculty,including BGSU Title IX Coordinator Jennifer McCary.

In open forum, Patrick Nelson, director of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, spoke to USG regarding upcoming construction projects to the building.

According to Nelson, there will be renovations around the BTSU in the summer, including modifications to the Lenhart Grand Ballroom, the Hazel H. Smith Lounge, the Multipurpose Room, the main student union space and others.

Nelson also addressed the Union’s Starbucks location, stating it will be renovated during the summer. He specified it will remain where it currently resides, responding to rumors that it would relocate to the current location of Black Swamp Pub & Bistro.

In addition, Nelson spoke regarding the facility’s attempts to put student staff into greater focus.

“We’ve really made a point to put more time and energy on our student employees,” he said. “I don’t just want it to be furniture and equipment that’s being upgraded but also the service we provide.”

USG will be meeting next on April 8 in the BTSU, Room 208.