At its Dec. 1 meeting, the Board of Governors (BoG) voted to approve the current version of Carleton’s sexual violence policy. This was despite opposition from three student representatives on the Board—Greg Owens, Fahd Alhattab, and Michael Bueckert. The policy passed, with all non-student members of the Board voting to approve it.
This gulf between student representatives and the rest of the Board shows the disconnect between Carleton’s BoG and the larger student body, and a desire to rush the implementation of a sexual violence policy to meet the government’s requirements.
The process of getting to this point has been long, and many students have been very engaged with giving feedback on the policy. Students have let their voices be heard on how the policy should deal with rape culture and be more survivor-centric, among other issues. While the university did take a substantial amount of feedback on the policy, there were still many areas that people didn’t feel comfortable with in the final version approved by the Board.
The students who voted against the policy represent both undergraduate and graduate students, proving discontentment doesn’t come from just one student group. Legitimate concerns were raised, such as shortening the amount of time between revisions of the policy from three years, that were dismissed by the Board at the meeting.
The BoG should have taken the legitimate objections and concerns of the student members, who were elected to represent the student body, into account when approving the policy that will be set in place for the next three years.