Association of Big Ten Students Overview
Members of UISG spent the weekend of February 4th-5th at the Association of Big Ten Students winter conference discussing off-campus safety, consent education, the DACA program, and more.
Over this past weekend representatives from the University of Iowa Student Government attended the winter conference for the Association of Big Ten Students at The Ohio State University. Delegations from the student governments representing each B1G school exchanged ideas relating to issues that are pertinent to all fourteen schools, discussed organizational structure, and voted on legislation to move the conference forward as a collective. Among the legislation passed by the Association, three bills were co-sponsored and co-written by the University of Iowa Student Government.
The first is a resolution in support of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. This bill, being considered at the federal level, would combat sexual violence by establishing new campus resources and support services for student survivors, ensure training standards for on-campus personnel, require new transparency requirements, establish a uniform discipline process and coordination with law enforcement, and develop enforceable Title IX penalties and stiffer penalties for Clery Act violations.
The second bill supports the establishment of K-12 consent education in each schools’ respective state. As it stands few states require consent education in K-12 classrooms which leaves the burden of such education to universities. Placing such a burden solely on colleges has proven ineffective because it 1) misses those who do not attend college, 2) leaves colleges attempting to reverse 18+ years of socialization, and 3) a majority of campus sexual assaults happen within the first 6 weeks a student is on campus. A K-12 consent program is a part of a comprehensive plan to combat sexual violence on college campuses, as the program would introduce the idea of consent before students arrive on campus, helping the systematic problem of victim blaming and rape culture that is all too prevent nationwide.
The last piece of legislation sponsored by the University of Iowa reaffirms support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program, established in 2012, provides eligible undocumented immigrants with the ability to apply for temporary deferrals of deportations and work permits. These DACAmented individuals have a 92% collegiate enrollment rate and contribute to vibrant university communities throughout the country both in and out of the classroom. In light of discussions to end the program, the Association of Big Ten Students joined more than 500 college and university presidents across the United States supporting the program that allows numerous immigrants to pursue educational opportunities that previously could not.