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UB students ask professors to include sexual assault, Title IX information on course syllabi

SA Assembly passes resolution calling for Faculty Senate to make requirement


Minahil Khan
Minahil Khan by Yusong Shi |

Student Association President Minahil Khan poses for a photo during her SA presidential run in the spring of 2015. 

Course syllabi usually include information on things like homework due dates and how much the final exam counts toward the overall grade.

The Student Association Assembly wants syllabi to include another key piece of information for students – information on sexual assault.

The SA Assembly will ask the Faculty Senate to require that professors include information on sexual assault and Title IX polices on all course syllabi. The assembly unanimously passed a resolution asking the Faculty Senate of this during its final meeting of the semester Wednesday.

“We know campus sexual assault is an issue,” said SA President Minahil Khan, who presented the resolution to the assembly. “It’s another step that the university can take to make sure that all of students’ rights and accommodations are communicated to them in a very specific and clean-cut manner so that they know they get the appropriate information.”

Requiring faculty to include sexual assault policy information on course syllabi has been done at several other universities, including the University of Michigan.

The exact wording of the resolution states that the SA Assembly “calls upon the UB Faculty Senate to require all course syllabi to include a statement related to unwanted sexual experiences which should include relevant harassment, discrimination, and Title IX policies,” and provides a sample statement of what syllabi could say.

Khan said including Title IX information on syllabi would not only provide students with information in a document they are likely to read, but would also educate faculty on accommodating students that are victims of sexual assault.

UB’s Sexual Violence Response Policy states that students can request accommodations, including academic accommodations, be made “in order to ensure safety, prevent retaliation, and avoid an ongoing hostile environment.”

“It gives students an opportunity to not only know their rights, but know what accommodations they have,” Khan said.

Khan said including such information also sends a message that the university takes the issue of sexual assault on college campuses seriously.

“It kind of needs to transcend every part of the university,” Khan said. “So while we have a lot of great programing going on and we have polices that are a lot more favorable than other schools, I think that it’s another measure to take for UB to illustrate that they’re committed to the issue inside and out through every department and every facet of the university.”

Khan, who has already had a preliminary conversation with Dean For Undergraduate Education Andrew Stott, and the assembly will now approach the Faculty Senate with their resolution. It’s their hope that the senate will pass some sort of legislation on the matter when the body reconvenes next semester.

The next Faculty Senate meeting is set for Feb. 2.

Tom Dinki is the editor in chief and can be reached at tom.dinki@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tomdinki.


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