Correction appended.

Ohio University Graduate Student Senate invited a panel of directors of different organizations to discuss sexual misconduct at OU as well as resources the university offers to students. 

Executive Director and Title IX Coordinator Sara Trower started the conversation by mentioning OU President Duane Nellis’ first “Breakfast for Progress,” where he charged the university with the task of becoming a national leader in addressing the issue of sexual misconduct.

“Sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual violence in all of its forms is not always something that happen full blown,” said Trower. “But there are certain circumstances within a community that contribute to the erosion of the concepts of stability … and lay the foundation … for the kind of abusive power that contributes to incidents of sexual misconduct.”

Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones continued with information concluded in a 2016 climate survey on sexual misconduct, which included “numbers that can be breathtaking.” 

According to the report, 74 percent of OU students have been told sexist remarks, been catcalled or have received offensive, sexualized comments by another student. 

“That’s the very definition of rape culture,” Hall-Jones said.

The report also highlights that nearly 45 percent of students that took the survey have experienced sexual harassment by faculty and staff. 

College of Education Senator Bahman Shahri asked the panel how the interim “Freedom of Expression” policy would affect protests and gatherings regarding faculty members accused of sexually harassing students. 

OU Police Department Chief Andrew Powers emphasized that “we (OUPD) very much want to work with people who are activist-minded, who want to raise awareness — try and help them in ways that won’t involve them getting arrested.”

GSS then announced a resolution to write a letter to the editor of The New Political in regards to statements in the publication that GSS claims misinformed the public about the intentions and the ability of GSS to unionize. The resolution passed.

At the end of the meeting, GSS Vice President for Legislative Affairs Christopher Glick announced that he would be resigning at the end of the meeting. 

In his statement, Glick describes his reasoning as “a conflict of interest that I did not have when I was elected to this position in April.” 

“I take great joy in the work that I was able to do last year as a representative and so far this year as VPLA, and I wish all of you the greatest joys and the best of luck in all of your future endeavors” Glick said.

GSS President Maria Modayil then informed all body members that an internal search for nominations of a new vice president for Legislative Affairs of GSS will be accepted until Tuesday, Oct. 17, by 5 p.m. She announced that if there was no internal candidate, “we will be opening it up to the general public.”

GSS meets bi-weekly in Walter 235.


Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly stated Christopher Glick's position. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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