ASUN sig 2020

The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska will meet Wednesday night for its first official meeting of the 2021-22 academic year.

During the meeting, there will be Appointments Board confirmations as well as the Freshman Campus Leaders Association Appointments Board election.

ASUN announced in an Instagram post Tuesday that it will launch an emergency fund to provide survivors of sexual assault financial assistance that can go toward healthcare, counseling or any other individual needs. 

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As of now, there is no legislation included in the meeting agenda regarding recent events about sexual violence on campus, but external Vice President Patrick Baker said there is a “high likelihood” there will be emergency legislation regarding the fund proposed at the beginning of the meeting. 

ASUN will not verify survivors’ stories for them to qualify for the fund, but the student government will verify where the money is spent, he said. The fund builds upon a previous campaign promise to create an emergency financial fund for all students for things like rent, food and other necessities.

Baker said anyone who wishes to donate to the fund should specify the money is for it, and ASUN will ensure the money goes directly to survivors. 

In that same Instagram post, ASUN said it is also advocating for change to current policy that allows residential assistants who have been accused of sexual assault to remain in their roles during an investigation. 

“ASUN is advocating for a policy change to ensure that alleged perpetrators are not allowed to continue exploiting power dynamics,” the post said. 

Baker said he has not heard if there will be members of the student body or community speaking at the meeting, but he invited those who want to tell their stories and voice their concerns to do so during the meeting’s open forum.

“To any students that want to come, or community members, there is the opportunity to speak and kind of voice your concerns to the ASUN body,” he said. 

Wednesday's public senate meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Platte River Room in the Nebraska Union.