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Support and Uplift Student Workers

Growing movements such as Respect Workers, The Graduate Workers Coalition and the Poor People’s Campaign aim to uplift student employees in pursuit of better working conditions, proper healthcare requirements and the respect they deserve on-and-off the clock. The grass-roots work of these movements are initiatives that Defy wants to force onto the agenda of administrative offices that IUSG can access. Encouraging students to get involved, to schedule time for their mental health, to learn new hobbies and to improve personal skills is counterintuitive to the daily routine of many part-time workers. As expected, student-workers need to learn how to manage their academics, work and social experiences to stay afloat, but many feel overwhelmed by inconvenient scheduling options, no sick days, understaffing at specific locations and a lack of guidance from managers. Defy knows the importance of part-time workers on campus to run essential aspects of student life and will fight for the work of these growing student movements. Read our full policy here

Mandatory Diversity Training

IU continues to experience racial, sexist, homophobic, ableist, and classist discriminatory acts. These incidents are recurrent in classrooms, dorms, work environments and at campus-sponsored events by students, faculty, staff and auxiliary staff. While IU has made it clear that they value and hope to foster an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion the efforts have not led to substantial change for students of diverse backgrounds. In line with students on campus, the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and policies that Defy will enforce a call for the implementation of mandatory diversity training for all IU faculty, auxiliary staff and other
individuals who directly interact with students that is geared towards providing awareness of implicit biases and microaggressions with the goal of preventing discriminatory incidents from happening. Training would provide resources for conflict resolution specifically involving offensive and/or discriminatory acts based on race, sex, ability, sexual orientation, religion or gender expression. Additionally, this mandatory training system calls for the continuous evaluation of training and those taking the training to ensure accountability and effectiveness of training. Read our full policy here

Trigger Warnings for IU Notifications

IU crime notices report sexual assaults in compliance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.1 The email notifications subject line reporting such misconduct read as “CRIME NOTICE-REPORTED RAPE”. The subject line of an email is the first impression a reader will react to. The term ‘Rape’,
especially capitalizing every letter, has proven to be both retriggering to survivors and alarming to the general student body. Defy strongly advocates moving the trigger warning placed within the content of the crime notice to additionally be placed in the subject line while also replacing ‘rape’ with ‘sexual assault’. Read our full policy here

Implementation of a Land Acknowledgment Agreement

Acknowledging the histrocial Native inhabitants of the land IU sits on is an important first step in helping to support Native American students at Indiana University. Additionally, it is a first step in correcting the colonial narrative that has resulted in the erasure of Native peoples across this country.

Forced removal at land-grant universities resulted in the displacement of indigenous peoples and benefited the embarkment of a “new and prosperous future for its state residents” through higher education. As more offices and individuals acknowledge Native space, we hope that because Indiana University sits on sacred land, we begin thinking about the ways in which IU can contribute to making campus a more welcoming and inclusive environment for Native American faculty, staff, and students.
Read our full policy here

Definition of Consent

Indiana University’s Office of Institutional Equity defines consent as:
Consent is an agreement expressed through affirmative, voluntary words or actions, and
mutually understandable to all parties involved, to engage in a specific sexual act at a specific time:

• Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as it is clearly communicated. Defy calls for more clarification on the first bullet point, reading “Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as it is clearly communicated”. The second half of this statement “as long as it is clearly communicated” is unclear and difficult to define across various instances of sexual misconduct. This statement has the potential to lead to a lot of “he said/she said” with no clear way of proving whether or not consent was withdrawn. Defy strongly believes that both parties involved in sexual activity possess the right to withdraw consent at all times, and “as long as it is clearly communicated” is a statement that leads to victim blaming and opens the door to uncertainty in the reporting process. Read our full policy here

Lobbying and Government Engagement

Indiana University Student Government typically schedules an annual trip to the Statehouse in order to talk to Indiana’s state representatives about important student issues. In the past, this trip has been used to focus on communicating Indiana University Student Government’s
dedication to building a mutual relationship with elected representatives. Last year, the trip
focused on the lack of hate crimes legislation in Indiana and what student representatives can do to advocate for the passage of such legislation. The trip that was scheduled for the 2019-2020 academic year was cancelled due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to develop a symbiotic relationship with Indiana’s state government, Indiana University has to arrange for Statehouse trips more than once a year. Trips at least every two months would be required to maintain such a relationship between IU students and their representatives. This also implies that there is maintained contact between Indiana University Student Government and representatives in terms of updates on legislation and potential projects. Read our full policy here

Greek Community Training

The Division of Student Affairs’ Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life (OSFL) provides two
mandatory presentations on topics ranging from “drugs and alcohol abuse, hazing, sexual misconduct, and mental illness. In addition to these mandatory workshops and training, chapter leaders can request a presentation on any of the following topics: Risk management, traditions, diversity and inclusion, new member curriculum development, accountability and self-governance.
Mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training for Greek Organizations is one small step towards creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment in these communities. These workshops can highlight specific aspects of the membership experience such as recruitment techniques and brotherhood/sisterhood events. Additionally, such programming should not be held back until a members’ third year, but rather as a separate required attendance for all members annually. OSFL offers Step Up! Bystander Intervention Training where a briefeducation on microaggressions is addressed; Defy’s proposed mandatory training will be its ownseparate entity focusing on the overwhelming white population found in Panhellenic andInterfraternal Greek life, the historical racism rooted in the founding of Greek Communitiesacross United States college campuses and opportunities of growth and learning for theseorganizations. Read our full policy here

The Role of Technology in Sexual Harassment

The current IU policy for sexual misconduct has few references of technological implications
on sexual assault as a whole, including but not limited to: dating apps and cyberstalking.1 These are ever-changing parts of society that increase the risk for sexual misconduct to occur.
Implementation of sexual misconduct policy focusing on technology would raise much needed awareness and aid in prevention efforts both on and off campus. Additionally, a new policy would create more defined boundaries surrounding the definition of sexual misconduct, leading to less confusion when social media and/or dating apps come into play. Read our full policy here

Transparency in Sexual Misconduct Reporting Process

The IU sexual misconduct policy relays information to students about where to go to report an instance of sexual misconduct but does not provide adequate information on who is involved in the reporting process. Specifically, students are unable to see how faculty members who sit in on sexual misconduct hearings are chosen, which leads to confusion around who is making the decisions and whether or not biases are at play. Providing more transparency to the student body would allow for clarifications on how this
process works. All parties involved in sexual misconduct allegations deserve to know who will be responsible for making decisions in the case prior to the creation of the case. This will be vital information, especially for survivors who may be on the fence about reporting. Read our full policy here

Combating COVID-19

In the wake of a global pandemic, COVID-19 has proven the faults in a university and nation-wide system that undermines the importance of essential workers found not only in hospitals, but also in grocery stores, restaurants, transportation and at the campus level. Protecting the livelihood and financial situations of the students who reside in these vital positions is one of the most important lessons Indiana University must recognize moving forward.

Currently, RPS student employees who work more than one job are under the impression that they will only be compensated for one of their jobs. Additionally, these workers don’t know if they will be paid based off of their scheduled times or the average pay. There is a lack of clarification regarding sick leave if a worker were to contract COVID-19, labor caps in specific offices and the assurance that students will not be kicked out of these positions by default at the end of the semester.

Read our full policy here

Expanding the Indiana Lifeline Law

Indiana’s Lifeline Law was enacted in 2012, and since then it has become a vital part of college safety. The original intention behind this law was to take away the hesitation that students have in calling 911 when someone they know is in need of medical assistance due to intoxication, but is also underage and therefore at risk of arrest. Indiana University was a major part in lobbying for the passage of this law initially, and it should continue to be on the forefront of advocating for laws that protect students’ safety. One way to do so is to lobby for an expansion of the Lifeline Law that would protect the subject of the medical emergency, as well as the person calling on their behalf.
While the Lifeline Law was an enormous step forward in ensuring college students’ safety in 2012, there are a few things that the law leaves out. As it stands now, the law protects someone calling on behalf of someone having a medical emergency from arrest and further prosecution if they are also intoxicated and underage. It applies the same standard to someone who reports a sexual assault and someone who witnesses a crime. These protections are incredibly important and valuable, but it has been made clear that the law can be doing more to ensure the safety of students. Read more policies here

Sustainability Policies

Defy understands that there are a wide range of sustainability and environmental policies that need to be changed or improved upon. Additionally, these policy areas are complex and impact many stakeholders. Sustainability is an urgent and pressing issue for this campaign and the campus as a whole. We understand that sustainable change will not be made in just a day, and that actions and advocacy work taken now will have positive impacts long into the future.

Defy believes that though many actions that have been proposed, very few of these have actually been implemented. We believe that an effective way to provoke action is to educate the student body about previous failures to implement policy, as well as opportunities for improvement. It is important to recognize successes where they have been made and catalyze further change where necessary.

Read our full policy here

Progressing Student Organizations' Initiatives

Student organizations on campus are a critical reason many students choose IU and why they enjoy their overall experience on campus. Student organizations not only focus on specific topics or issues, but create a sense of community and allow students to further their identity beyond the classroom setting. The freedom to host events and demand change within the realms of the Student Code of Conduct are key purposes of student organizations. These student organizations are essential to student life here at Indiana University and any ways in which the university can improve them should be progressed.

Implementing a plan to use IUSG to progress the initiatives of student organizations that already have developed plans, creates stronger platforms to advocate for missions and change for all student voices involved.

Read our full policy here

LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Defy believes that there are many areas in which transgender, non-binary, gender queer, or gender fluid students are invisible in current university procedures and operations, whether it be an on-campus housing form that does not consider non-binary students, or a survey that does not consider any option besides male or female. Defy stands to support the rights and equal opportunity for students of all gender and sexual identities. Including and recognizing transgender, non-binary, gender queer, and gender fluid students is a critical part of our agenda. We also will stand by mandatory ally training for IU faculty and staff to respect and be an ally to all students in the LGBTQ+ community, and ensure that our members of IU Student Government are held to the same standard. We will also support revisions to our current policies on research asking gender questions and the on-campus housing form. We will partner with and open communication with the LGBTQ+ Cultural Center, to open opportunities for biweekly meetings with our Executive branch on how we can advocate for these issues. Read our full policy here.

Greek Life Collaboration

Defy recognizes and values the important role that Greek life plays on campus in its efforts tocreate friendships among students and philanthropic contributions to various non-profit andsocial causes. However, lack of enforcement of some policies has led to some dire consequencesfor students engaging with this area of campus. These issues can only be solved through collaboration and engagement with Greek life chapters on campus. Greek life absolutely holds a place on this campus.

According to the Indiana Daily Student in 2019, about 20% of, or 1 in 5, students participate in Greek life at Indiana University. By providing members social and professional connections, an alternative housing option, and social engagements, there are benefits to some students who partake in Greek life at Indiana University. However, these benefits should exist for all students who choose to participate, and Defy believes that it is through collaboration and reform that Greek life can ultimately serve participating students positively and reduce existing issues.

View our policy here.

Addressing Food Insecurity

Monroe County has the second highest poverty rate in the state of Indiana, sitting at above 21% according to 2018 data. With extraordinarily high housing and living costs in Bloomington, and Monroe County accounting for 10% of the state’s homeless population outside Indianapolis, it is clear that this is an issue that several students could be facing and falling through the cracks in resource accessibility. In a 2019 nationwide survey reported on by WTHR, nearly half of college students are food insecure. The widespread nature of this issue ends with us.

Defy commits to advertise the services of Crimson Cupboard to freshmen and off-campus students who may not know what resources exist, connect resources with a wider volunteer base to broaden operating hours for these facilities, partner with student organizations to hold inexpensive meal preparation workshops, and protect or expand funding for already established food resources. View our full policy here.

Long Term Technology Accessibility

Defy recognizes that there are many students who rely on IU technology to use a computer for coursework or access the internet. We believe that a two pronged rental system of computers and internet hotspot devices tied to student accounts could greatly alleviate the stress for students that cannot access technology due to financial barriers or live off campus in a place with no wifi connection.

This policy stretches far beyond the era of COVID-19. With almost all IU classes reliant on Canvas or another web-based technology for some coursework, students may always run into the need for a laptop or other technology especially in an emergency or time of crisis. This addresses inequities that students may have in their access to technology or the resources they have to repair or replace broken devices.

View our full policy here.

Confronting Ableism on Campus

Ableism is a serious form of discrimination that can slip the radar of many. Ableism goes beyond discrimination based on physical limitations, and it can also affect those with neurodivergent conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety. Ableism affects a student’s entire college experience. Whether it be lack of knowledge about resources for on-campus transit between classes, or a professor that does not honor a student’s request for accommodations, ableism must be combatted to ensure the success of all students.

View our policy here.


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