Student Alliance Against Sexual Harassment and Assault (SAASHA) is a new task force put into place by LUCC. Created by senior Elizabeth Vidulich and sophomores Hannah Shryer and Corby Johnson.
Earlier in the year, these students placed posters around campus asking students to respond to whether or not Lawrence’s sexual assault policy works. With these results, they went to President Burstein.
Currently, many programs on campus are in place to deal with sexual assault. SAASHA plans on implementing a different approach to these same issues.
“Our goals are to facilitate prevention because it is such a basic safety requirement,” explained Shryer.
Unlike SHARB, Sexual Harassment Assault Research Board, which is focused on the disciplinary aspects of sexual violence, SAASHA aims to focus on prevention. Also, SAASHA is comprised of students unlike SHARB, which is mainly faculty members who have full time jobs.
“[SAASHA] peaks the interest of the activist side of campus,” begins Jack Canfield, President of LUCC, “It is geared toward students who are interested in making change on campus as opposed to dealing with what already happened on campus.”
Though currently just a task force, LUCC recognize the relevance of SAASHA’s focus and considers the possibility of making it a standing committee in the future.
“Unfortunately, I don’t see the issue of sexual assault and harassment going away any time soon,” said Canfield, “There is enough to do that it wouldn’t fit in Student Welfare or Residence Life.”
LUCC gives SAASHA hopes to provide necessary resources and funding for future projects.
Besides open forums, SAASHA hopes to host bystander intervention trainings. With time, these trainings might be required as a requirement for party registration.
Canfield shares his reservations on attempting to implement this too quickly.
“There is not a national standard for bystander training. Making this mandatory before it has been well thought out and tested risks making this training something that people have to do instead of something that people are hopefully interested in doing,” said Canfield.
Currently, SAASHA meetings are held to plan for next year.
“Right now [attendance] is mainly women, which is to be expected but is also a little unfortunate,” said Canfield, “Everyone needs to be educated on sexual assault and violence but the fact is most of the people committing sexual violence are men.”
SAASHA meetings are held every Sunday at 2pm on the fourth floor of Warch.