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UCS discusses collaboration opportunities with student coalition End Sexual Violence at Brown

Council also approves amendments to Brown Band constitution

The Undergraduate Council of Students heard from student coalition End Sexual Violence at Brown about the group’s goals in a closed session discussion at its general body meeting Wednesday evening. 

ESV was formed earlier this year to call on the University administration to “finally step up and be the leaders that we need in the fight against sexual violence at Brown,” said ESV co-organizer Carter Woodruff ’21.5. 

In an open letter to the Brown community, coalition organizers documented the University’s “rich history of neglect and apathy toward sexual violence on campus.” 

“We’re making the argument that it’s their responsibility not only to support us in our anti-sexual violence efforts, but to embody what leadership looks like and therefore include anti-oppression efforts that are sustained,” Woodruff said. 

Just hours before speaking at the UCS meeting, ESV continued its week of protests with a Wednesday rally during which members of the student body called for the University to take action on sexual violence on campus. The week of protest also included putting up posters across campus calling for the University to “end the silence” and “end the violence.” 

Coalition members include students and student organizations at the University who are in support of mobilizing against sexual violence, Woodruff said. The network created by ESV has allowed for an “opt-in” space for community-based organizing and has led to “massive, overnight mobilization,” she continued. 

ESV came to the Council’s meeting Wednesday to request UCS to join the coalition and discuss ways that UCS and ESV can collaborate. Woodruff noted that UCS joining the coalition would be a significant way for the University to see the will of the student body. 

After ESV shared context about the group and the importance of UCS’s support, the Council motioned to move into a closed session to discuss what collaboration between ESV and UCS may look like, given that Wednesday’s general body meeting was the last of the spring semester. The closed session was held off-the-record in hopes of fostering a “more intimate conversation,” said UCS President Jason Carroll ’21. 

Also at the meeting, UCS approved two amendments to the Brown Band’s constitution, changes which require Council approval according to the group’s internal policies. 

The first amendment changes the Band’s current guidelines regarding where its funds are deposited to ensure that they align with guidelines provided by the Student Activities Office. The second amendment incorporates an anti-discrimination clause into the group’s constitution, which “prohibits harassment and retaliation” within the Band, according to the text of the amendments. 

The Council moved to suspend virtual rules of procedure and voted to approve both amendments during the meeting instead of at a subsequent meeting.



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