While Senate heard several proposals on Monday night, the most contentious was a proposition to ban the song “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke at all ASSP-sponsored events because of its lyrical content allegedly about rape.
Senior Tucker Rogers and senior Laura Nile, senator for the School of Theology, presented the proposal.
Nile presented a website, Project Unbreakable, which shows rape victims holding up signs with quotes from their attackers. She explained that the “Blurred Lines” lyrics frequently echo the pictured quotes.
Nile said that SPU’s campus should be a safe place for victims of sexual assault, and the words of the song could be a trigger that makes those victims relive their trauma.
Many senators expressed concern about banning songs based on their content.
“You can find something wrong with every song,” senior Jessica Trace said, explaining that banning the song could open a door to restricting any music.
Nile and Rogers emphasized that the ban was not related to moral content, but to student safety on campus.
“If we were to look at this specifically as an objectifying song, then we’d have to ban pretty much every song on the Top 40,” Rogers said. “We’re distinguishing this as a safety concern.”
Other senators were concerned about the effectiveness of the ban. Trace noted that it would not affect students’ ability to play the song in the dorms.
Several alternatives to banning the song were discussed. Senior Everan Chaffee suggested an ASSP guideline for the subject matter. Scott Jackson, vice president of campus ministries, recommended conversations with KSPU and hall councils to encourage campus groups to choose not to play the song.
Jackson said that holding forums and discussions that educate on rape and sexual assault would be more effective than banning a single song.
“I’d rather us be known as being against rape culture, being against sexual assault and being against media that accepts that and encourages that,” Jackson said.
The proposal was tabled for a week of academic consideration. Senators will vote on it next Monday.
At the meeting, Senate also met with representatives from the Campus Ministry Task Force who were seeking student input on the role and purpose of University Ministries.
Senators discussed the role of University Ministries toward students who were not Christians and the lack of a mandatory chapel.
“I really love that we’re able to choose to go to things if we want to, and we’re also able to choose not to go,” Chelsea LaBelle, vice president of campus activities said. “We’re able to make decisions for ourselves.”
Senators also discussed whether University Ministries should be primarily student-driven or staff-driven.
LaBelle said that it was important for students to support each other’s faith and connect with each other as peers.
Josh McBrayer said that having staff involved in ministries would offer the opportunity to have long-term influence over the campus culture.
Senate also voted on the ASSP budget for the year. Matt Garcia, vice president of finance, reviewed the budget and explained the few changes from last spring’s pre-approved budgets.
The $734,997 budget was unanimously approved.
In addition, Senate approved two new members.
Reed Hawkins was appointed chief justice of the Constitutional Advisory Board. The Constitutional Advisory Board is responsible for resolving disputes and maintaining the ASSP constitution.
Grace Crawford was appointed senator pro tempore of the School of Psychology. She will serve for the fall quarter while the senator of the School of Psychology, Taylor Cline, studies abroad.