Support and Uplift Student Workers
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.
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.
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”.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
Greek Community Training
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.