Published: Wednesday, 14 October 2020
The Role of Students
In April, the Associated Students Lobby Corps had the opportunity to lobby alongside equal rights advocates and co-sponsors of SB 493 to a staffer of Assemblymember Robert Rivas asking for his support. The hard work of students, professors and activists across the state paid off as Governor Gavin Newsom finally approved the bill on September 29
What is SB 493?
Senate Bill 493 is an equity measure that works to protect students from discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harrassment and sexual violence. The bill is an extension of Title IX, ensuring that higher education institutions in California have the appropriate processes for responding to allegations of sex-based discrimination.
Why is SB 493 Important?
Sexual harassment is extremely prevalent in colleges and universities. one in five women report experiencing some form of sexual assault while in college. An estimated 62% of women and 61% of men are sexually harassed in college, but due to underreporting, the actual numbers are possibly even higher.
These extremely high rates mean that colleges and universities must implement proper guidelines to tackle this problem. These provisions begin with schools providing counseling services and training for school officials to approach these issues in a sensitive and respectful manner. Amidst an investigation, supportive measures that allow students to alter class schedules and housing arrangements will be offered. SB 493 also requires schools to establish prompt timelines for investigations to prevent retraumatization for victims. It clarifies that schools must respond to allegations regardless of whether the event occurred off or on campus, as long as it interferes with a student’s education. Lastly, the bill expects schools to conduct an equal and transparent process for both parties involved and outlines the exact procedures to be applied.
SB 493 & Retention Rates
SB 493’s objective is to prevent schools from abdicating their responsibility to protect students and their access to quality education. Without these regulations in place, student pushout, in which survivors drop out because of the lack of support and safety in higher education, is a common result.
Voting is Essential
The recent signing of this legislation highlights why gender issues are still relevant in today’s political climate. As November 3 dawns on voters, it is vital to recognize how the candidates of the general election influence our lives, protections and security.
October 19 is the deadline to register to vote by mail! Fortunately, every registered voter this year will be receiving a mail-in ballot. You can drop off mail-in ballots at ballot boxes, such as the one on campus, or mail them in before November 3. Of course, in-person voting will be available on Election Day as well. Depending on your county, early voting is possible at certain vote centers.
Leos: I prefer the Womanist movement over the feminist movement, womanism is more inclusive and emphasizes the role intersections of race, class and gender oppression relate to gender issues. With that being said, I hope in 10 years we are in a place where womxn are equal with each other, we cannot ask for equality among all genders when there are sub-hierarchies within our gender identity.
Please register to vote and continue to expand your knowledge on the candidates and propositions. We encourage you to participate in this year’s election and consider the lives of women, non-binary and LGBTQ students in your voting choice
For all other voter information related to CSULB, be sure to visit www.csulb.edu/vote.
This article was written as a part of the ASI Student Government advocacy series by Hannah Peedikayil, a second-year student at CSULB majoring in Healthcare Administration, serving as Lobby Corps Student-At-Large.