By Elsa Spaulding
The Associated Students of Lewis & Clark (ASLC) met on Oct. 18 to discuss and vote on new legislation to be enacted schoolwide, one of which addressed the recent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court despite multiple allegations of sexual assault .
Senate Resolution Number FA18 SR001, drafted by ASLC senators Annika Jackson ’22 and Celeste Kurnik ’22, states that the ASLC formally rejects Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“This legislation expresses the feelings of Lewis & Clark students surrounding the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court following his numerous sexual assault/misconduct accusations,” Jackson said.
The authors proposed this resolution, not to show distaste for Kavanaugh’s particular political leanings, but to formally state that the community at Lewis & Clark College has zero tolerance for acts of sexual assault and misconduct.
“We wanted to clarify that for us this was not a political issue, but a human issue. Our decision to reject Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation was concerned with his sexual assault/misconduct allegations, not his political beliefs,” Jackson said.
The official ASLC document for this resolution also notes that only about 2 percent of all rape and related sexual assault charges are determined to be false according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and that the members of ASLC stand with and believe the survivors of Kavanaugh’s alleged crimes based on this statistic.
“Our motivation behind this (resolution) is to show the students of Lewis & Clark that we support and believe survivors of sexual assault as a whole, not to make a political stance of any kind.” Kurnik said.
This resolution was unanimously voted into effect by ASLC and will be submitted to the offices of Brett Kavanaugh, all United States Federal Senators, all United States Federal House Members, President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Kavanaugh accusers Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, Julie Swetnick, and the entire student body at LC.
Representatives from several student unions were also present at the meeting and used the dialogue to advocate for the needs of their respective communities.
The Disabled Student Union (DSU) spoke in regard to the limited handicap accessibility on campus, and expressed concerns over the administration’s lack of comprehensive action to address this problem.
“There’s a lot of able-bodied people at this school, and it’s their privilege to not understand how severely impacted disabled students are on this campus. ” Disabled Student Union Representative Nicole Lewis ’21 said.
The DSU hopes that the administration at LC will begin to prioritize accommodations for students with physical or mental disabilities.
“Disabled students don’t necessarily feel that Lewis & Clark wants them to come back because there are so many things that inhibit them, like lack of support from student services and the administration not wanting to acknowledge their problems,” Lewis said.
Other senators from ASLC expressed concern over the lack of resources available to disabled students on campus and expressed interest in forming a Senate Partnership with the DSU.
“The administration’s general disregard for the concerns of disabled students is really concerning,” ASLC Senator Jack Bishop ’21 said.
This partnership would seek to provide assistance for disabled students whenever possible and advocate for more accessibility on campus via legislation and direct communication with administrative officials.