The ASWSU Senate is putting its full force behind the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center‘s (GEISORC) It Starts Now campaign to make the campus a more welcoming environment for everyone.
Three senators wrote a resolution supporting the campaign and presented it at the senate meeting Wednesday night. The campaign is designed to increase awareness of harassment and bullying and put an end to it. According to the resolution, suicide ranks third among the leading causes of death for people ages 15 to 24.
Senator Brenna Stroup sponsored the resolution with Senate Pro Tempore Derrick Skaug and Senator James Cockburn.
“We just saw (the campaign) was obviously making a big impact on people,” she said. “Everyone was wearing the shirts, and everyone was excited about it … and so we wanted to make sure that senate was a part of that and being supportive.”
The resolution states that nearly 30 percent of American youth is either a bully or a target of bullying, according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center.
The senate’s resolution encourages students to interrupt offensive jokes and to speak up for people being harassed, especially when they are not able to defend themselves. It also resolves to “educate others and themselves, and try to see life from someone else’s perspective.”
Skaug said he expects the resolution to pass at next week’s meeting. But Senator Joey Pacific thought the resolution was lacking in emotion.
“I think this is a really awesome resolution,” Pacific said. “However, I don’t think it goes far enough … This week a 14-year-old boy killed himself because he had been bullied and teased so much. There have been gay people who their roommates have harassed them to the point that they just don’t think they can live anymore … and they shot themselves; they’ve hung themselves. I think we need to have that really emotional language, or this resolution is just going to fall flat.”
Stroup said she agrees with Pacific that the resolution is slightly dry, and she is looking forward to adding to it and collaborating with her fellow senators.