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SA Senate commends review of discrimination, harassment policies

Eric Lee | Hatchet Photographer

The Student Association Senate passed a resolution Wednesday supporting the University’s efforts to update language in its harassment and discrimination policies.

The resolution, which passed 21–0–4, commends proposed revisions to the policies, which were introduced to the Faculty Senate Friday and provide definitions of harassment and discrimination and examples of sanctions for discriminatory and harassing behavior. The updates come after students voiced concerns over the specificity of the University’s discrimination policies following the circulation of a racist Snapchat on campus in February.

“I would look favorably if everyone voted, but, ultimately, what it is is ensuring that it’s clear what the equal opportunity clause is,” Sen. Vaibhav Vijay, CCAS-U and a sponsor of the resolution, said of the updated policies.

Sen. Colin Medwick, SOB-U and a sponsor of the resolution, said the resolution is a show of the senate’s support for more inclusive University-wide policies.

“The Student Association ourselves did not write the changes to the University policy – that was the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement – but this resolution is just the SA commending the changes,” Medwick said.

The senate also confirmed Imani Ross, a former SA senator and candidate for SA president, to serve as a senate policy aide. Ross was previously approved as an adviser to Ojani Walthrust, the SA’s executive vice president, but Walthrust annulled the position late last month after senators raised concerns that she would serve as a director instead of an aide.

The senate unanimously confirmed sophomore John Olds and first-year graduate student Lily Joo to serve in the Joint Elections Commission, the body that oversees SA elections.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the senate approved an $11,000 allocation for the GW chapter of Young America’s Foundation to host Ben Shapiro, a conservative political commentator, at one of the organization’s events next semester.

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