“Something needs to be there for people to go to in confidentially,” said Ashlee Martie, CSS sophomore.
Since 2013, The Gender Equity and Anti-Violence Allies, or GEVA has provided a semi-confidential program where a group of advisers helps students who experience sexual violence or misconduct.
“It’s just for the people who are scared to go forward,” said Martie.
GEVA, however, doesn’t require an investigative response, unless a reporting party requests it.
“They don’t want to cause a scene they just don’t want to make a big deal about it. And they’re maybe not ready to talk because they don’t want to deal with all the psychological stress that’s gonna come with it,” said Martie.
But now the school is considering doing away with that and would instead always require an investigative response.
They said that such a policy would be in line with Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools.
“I think we’re committed to reaching the best outcomes we can in light of rapidly changing and developing federal guidelines, national discussion. So it’s a complex situation,” said Bob Ashenmacher, CSS executive director of marketing, communications.
School leaders said if GEVA goes away, counseling and health services at the school will be alternatives.
“We pay attention to their academics. We pay attention to their emotional, and even spiritual lives here at St. Scholastica. And certainly, that includes safety, that includes healthy relationships,” said Ashenmacher.
But many students said they’re not on board, and will be circulating a petition and requesting a meeting with the president.
“The decision was made behind closed doors, so it would just be nice to know why they were thinking about getting rid of it or at least know the reason. Or if they were going to get rid of GEVA what other plan they have in place,” said Martie.
“We’re really glad to have such impassioned and compassionate students who care, and we want their voices heard,” said Ashenmacher.