The Maneater

TAPP to host panel discussion about sexual violence legislation

TAPP President Helen Bass: “This event is not intended to discredit nor support movements for survivor-based policy or proposals for increased defendants’ rights — it’s to get people with different ideas in one room together for a discussion.”

Tigers Advancing Political Participation is raising a question for the MU student body regarding campus sexual assault legislation: “Whose Right?”

At 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 in Leadership Auditorium, TAPP will host a panel called “Whose Right? A candid conversation on campus sexual assault legislation.” Law professor Frank Bowman and Assistant Vice Provost and Title IX Administrator Ellen Eardley will discuss current and proposed adjudication processes for sexual violence on college campuses. According to the Facebook event, the panel encourages “candid conversation” in a “frank, open and honest” manner.

TAPP President Helen Bass explained via email why students should care about the issues presented and make their voices heard at the event Thursday night:

Why should students be interested in this event?

“Sexual violence hits close to home for a lot of students, so reactions can be very emotional. A lot of discourse happens on social media. TAPP’s role is to encourage these conversations but also do anything we can to inform them. If students are interested in furthering this issue, we hope they come to the event with the intent of understanding well-formed thoughts that may be a little different than theirs, or maybe even help them understand why they support the policies they do. We hope they learn some of the legal and technical underpinnings of the issue as well.”

What are some examples of the adjudication processes that Eardley and Bowman will discuss with the students?

“Eardley will outline the Title IX investigation and adjudication process regarding sexual violence, describe some of the specific characteristics of sexual violence cases that make them different from other offenses, and discuss how and why the investigation/adjudication process has been so focused on college campuses rather than with traditional law enforcement. Professor Bowman, as a professor of criminal law, will discuss some of the issues that have been brought up with proposed legislation regarding due process for defendants in campus adjudication processes. Both speakers may also touch on proposals for ‘affirmative consent’ on college campuses.”

How will the atmosphere be comfortable enough for students to openly discuss serious subject matter?

“Well, we’ll have food, so that’s a start, right? But really, we’ll begin by setting down some rules for conversation, including responding respectfully to other students that choose to speak. This event is not intended to discredit nor support movements for survivor-based policy or proposals for increased defendants’ rights — it’s to get people with different ideas in one room together for a discussion. We usually find that once students participate in an event, they realize that there’s actually a lot more to agree on than disagree on.”

Is there anything else that students need to know before this important event?

“Read up on some of the legislation that’s been proposed so far. Who supported what? Why? What do you think were their motives? If you don’t agree with a piece of legislation, why not? What do you think you know about Mizzou’s policies?”

Edited by Waverly Colville and Jeremiah Wooten | wcolville@themaneater.com, jwooten@themaneater.com

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