Senate drafts anti–rape culture pledge

On Monday, Senate continued to discuss last week’s proposal to ban Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” at all ASSP-sponsored events because of its debated references to rape.

Senate ultimately voted to turn the proposal into a pledge that students, faculty  and staff could sign, voicing their disagreement with lyrics that condone sexual assault.

Senior Laura Nile explained that she and senior Tucker Rogers revised the proposal as a result of the Senate discussion last week, saying that many senators seemed to like the idea behind the proposal, but didn’t support an outright ban of the song at events.

Nile presented an online petition site that allows people to sign their names to a pledge.

While the current site is public, it would be targeted toward SPU students and staff.

Nile said the new pledge was a way to achieve their goals of making Seattle Pacific a safe place for victims of sexual assault.

“I want students to be able to be a part of something and to stand up for what I believe is a justice issue,” Nile said. “I want to start conversations about that.”

Nile said students who sign the pledge would be choosing to take a stand against media that condones rape.

In addition to student signatures, leaders at SPU would be encouraged to discuss the pledge with their ministry groups and organizations.

Senior Scott Jackson, vice president of ministries, said the conversations that leaders have with their groups about the pledge would be just as valuable as the signatures.

“The process will be as important, if not more important, than the pledge itself,” Jackson said. “Out of that discussion, hopefully people will open their eyes to a new issue.”

As the senators discussed the wording of the pledge, they emphasized the necessity of taking a stand against all harmful media, not just music.

They also discussed having a specific statement that students could agree to.

“We need a definitive pledged statement,” junior Connor King, senator of fine arts, said. “Where a student of SPU can say, this is what I am pledging to do.”

Senators also discussed adding an addendum to the pledge to further clarify the topics mentioned.

“I want to have an addendum that explicitly says what we believe rape culture is,” Jessica Trace said. “Because I think that’s a big, broad thing that not a lot of people understand.”

As time ran out for debate, Trace expressed concern that Senate was rushing to finalize the proposal to approve it this week, and the proposal was tabled, with two against and one abstaining from the vote.

Senate will return to the discussion next Monday.

Senate also unanimously adopted updated conference fund guidelines and Finance Board guidelines.

This article was posted in the section News.
Kara Spoelstra

Assistant News Editor Kara Spoelstra is a senior ecology major.