Student Senate passed a bill Wednesday that denounces banners that perpetuate rape culture and urges for student action.
The bill was introduced after the banners during Ohio University’s Welcome Weekend went viral on Twitter.
Eight Welcome Weekend banners were taken down by the Athens Police Department and City Services because none of them had sign permits, according to a previous Post report. Everyone complied immediately when a code officer or APD officer asked them to take their banners down.
Some banners that were up during Welcome Weekend were posted on social media and got a significant number of views. One banner was posted by the Twitter account Bobcat Barstool, which posted a photo of six men in front of a house with a large banner that said: “You taught them to walk we’ll teach them to ride,” with the caption “save some women for the rest of us.”
The bill urges students to take a stand, support one another and consider the implications of banners such as those hung during Welcome Weekend.
The bill says: “As a Bobcat, actions both on and off-campus reflect the identity and values of Ohio University.”
The banners go against the values and morals of being a bobcat, said Maxeen Ramlo, Women’s Affairs commissioner and the primary sponsor of the bill.
“Image and actions such as these give a harmful representation,” Ramlo said.
Adam Boesinger, off-campus commissioner and a secondary sponsor of the bill, said it’s a moral imperative to call out rape culture whenever people see it.
The bill will be sent to OU’s director of Sorority & Fraternity Life and dean of students, among others.
The senate body also passed a bill that demands the Athens City Council audit all towing companies under contract with city agencies.
The bill was introduced after hearing of how tow truck operators in Athens have been accused of overcharging, which is a violation of Athens City Code. City code says that the maximum towing fee in Athens is $50, but a former OU student settled with a towing company after being overcharged $128 in towing and “administrative fees”, according to a previous Post report.
Boesinger, the primary sponsor of the bill, brought up how even though the students are being overcharged may seem insignificant, it could be the difference between a student buying a textbook or not, or putting food on the table.
“This may seem like a small amount of money, but this is a very big issue to the students and residents of the Athens area,” Boesinger said.