Editor's note: Part of this story has been corrected.
Editor’s note: This story mentions sexual assault.
October’s series of ASUN meetings held some important news for students, including expansions to CARE resources, graduate stipends, safe ride services and student health care.
The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska began October by passing all of September’s athletic resolutions, including renovations to Memorial Stadium, a new advertising deal with Playfly Sports and the sale of alcohol at Husker basketball games.
Melissa Wilkerson, interim director of the Center for Advocacy, Response & Education, spoke alongside University Health Center physician assistant Bethany Burt during ASUN’s Oct. 5 meeting about a new resource for CARE this year — SAEK (Sexual Assault Evidence Kit) exams.
More commonly known as rape kits, the exams will give students a faster way to receive completely confidential and cost-free testing. If students wish to use the kits for legal purposes, the Lincoln Police Department can keep them for up to 20 years.
External Vice President Alec Miller explored student safety and expression last month. Miller met with students, Union administration and Student Affairs about starting a prayer space in the Nebraska Union. If anyone has spiritual or faith-based materials to contribute to it, they can be dropped off at the front desk of the Union.
Miller also met with Blake Givens of the University of South Carolina to discuss emulating the city of Columbia’s partnership with Lyft to offer students safe ride services through the app. Currently, if any student finds themselves in an unsafe situation and needs a ride between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., they can call 475-RIDE to receive a ride through zTrip.
In addition, health center representatives attended a Graduate Student Assembly meeting to discuss how health insurance works with the members, according to GSA President Andrew Donesky. A draft of a survey to be sent to students was provided to Donesky earlier this month to help ensure student health insurance plans are fair. The draft was also forwarded to other student government leaders for review.
Donesky is also meeting with university administrators about expanding graduate stipends.
The next weekly ASUN meeting will be held today in the Platte River Room of the Nebraska Union at 6:30 p.m.