Breana Archie would be a great Associated Students president.Read More
New proposed guidelines for Title IX focus on protecting institutions, but leave students without resources.
The Department of Education is changing the rules surrounding sexual assault on college campuses to protect the accused and reduce college’s liability.
The definition of sexual assault is being changed. Now, schools will only be accountable for formal complaints filed through proper authorities and for conduct said to have occurred on their campuses.
These new Title IX guidelines are a step in the wrong direction at a time when progress needs to be made.
A vast majority of rapes aren’t filed through the proper authorities.
This is seen at Sonoma State. Ten rapes were reported to the university last year, but hundreds of people reported a history of sexual assault when they visited Counseling and Psychological Services.
For many reasons, it is difficult for sexual assault survivors to come forward. Whether they know the perpetrator, are afraid of being believed or just want to move on, there are plenty of reasons why someone might not go through the proper channels to report their sexual assault.
To compensate for the fear sexual assault victims face, colleges need to be proactive in finding the sexual assaulters and removing them from the university. The responsibility can’t fall solely on the victim.
Only holding a college responsible for sexual assaults that occur on campus allows for rapes that are reported as off-campus to be swept under the rug. Only 37 percent of Sonoma State students live on campus.
A student is still a student even when they leave Sonoma State property. Just because a student lives off campus doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have access to the same resources that students who live on campus do.
Universities should be held responsible for sexual assaults off campus too, especially if they involve a student perpetrator and student victim. The culture of Sonoma State doesn’t end where its property does--it extends across Rohnert Park and Cotati, into the neighborhoods where most of its students live.
This new set of guidelines also redefines sexual misconduct and only condemns severe, pervasive and objectively offensive sexual misconduct. This narrow definition would allow for administration to overlook Title IX violations if they do not believe it to meet this new criteria. This will impact those who work, teach and attend Sonoma State.
Another issue with the new guidelines are that they create a new rule that calls for cross-examination of sexual assault victims. Although this wasn’t previously outlawed, it’s frowned upon due to the potentially traumatic problems associated with questioning an alleged sexual assault victim by asking them to relive their assault. The new rules explains that attorneys must be allowed to submit questions on their behalf for the alleged victim or accused to answer.
These new rules let colleges off the hook for sexual assault. Laws are needed to force colleges to be proactive in preventing sexual assaults, or else they will do the bare minimum.
Eleven percent of students are sexually assaulted in college, according to the Department of Justice. This is an epidemic of dramatic proportions, and these new rules will only make it worse.
Sonoma State may be able to scrape by the letter of the law with minimal campus-wide communication on sexual assaults and rapes, but it would be false to say that Sonoma State is making student safety its highest priority.
The Sonoma State STAR first began investigating rapes that occurred on campus after the 2018 Annual Security Report was released by Sonoma State this October.
It’s happened again. On Saturday, Oct. 16, 11 people were shot to death in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Robert Bowers, 46, went into the Tree of Life synagogue, shouted racial epithets and proceeded to gun down everyone in site shortly before 10 a.m.. Other than the 11 fatalities, six people were injured and four of those were responding police officers.Read More
This midterm election has released record-breaking numbers, allowing for increased representation in both the House and Senate, as well as multiple gubernatorial candidates in the epitome of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Ninety-two women have been elected into the House of Representatives and 10 joining the ranks of the Senate making it a record-breaking 112 female representatives in Congress serving at one time.Read More
In October, Sonoma State University released a timely warning crime bulletin detailing a theft of a student’s laptop that occurred in the Student Center.
The theft sparked concerns, and started a conversation among students and Student Center staff.
Since the theft, a new accessory has be installed in the student center; a sparkly new charging locker to distract students from the real issues.Read More
After a disaster, when all the people have been accounted for, the dust has settled, and the scale of the destruction is apparent, the focus usually turns to rebuilding.
For victims of a fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster, the desire to return to a normal life after losing everything is paramount.Read More
Proposition 1 will be on the ballot Nov. 6 and has the opportunity to create positive change within the California housing crisis.
Proposition 1 is the Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond and would authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund housing-related programs, loans, grants and housing loans for veterans.Read More
Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law, making records of internal investigations by police officers viewable to the public.
In the past, many internal investigations of officers were held behind a dark curtain. Things such as misuse of force, negligence, lying on duty and sexual assault were all kept under wraps in the name of protecting the public.
When curses come home to roost, often they do so long after the one who cast them has left the farm. Such as when an investigation knocks and retrospect answers. No one is learning this firsthand better than Brett Kavanaugh, former White House Staff Secretary and Supreme Court nominee swimming in hot water after the revelation of sexual assault allegations more than 36 years old.Read More
In recent years, Sonoma State University has experienced a fair amount of crimes occurring on campus.
From Kirk Kimberly’s murder in 2016 to the fatal stabbing in the spring of last semester, students are no strangers to crimes.Read More
California has just passed a bill that will require the state to get its energy solely from renewable resources. This means state operations will produce zero emissions by 2045. This futuristic goal is ambitious, but it sets the right tone. In a nation where emission regulations are regularly being thrown out, the onus is on California, with the largest state economy, to provide an example for the rest of the country to combat climate change.Read More
If the recent epidemic of mass shootings is any indication, America is no stranger to the conversation of gun control.
In fact, just weeks ago, the average citizen likely believed that every last argument having to do with guns had already been exhausted one way or another. Except, the one where the average citizen starts making his own.
A Nationwide prison strike began on August 21 in response to a prison fight at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina earlier this year that ended with seven inmates losing their lives.
With prisoners in at least 17 states participating, this strike has the potential to shed light on the vast room for improvement in the criminal justice system. This 19-day strike will go until September 9 and has been said to include labor and hunger strikes.