The Collegian
Sunday, May 31, 2020

Spiders Against Sexual Assault meets with Crutcher to present proposals

<p>President Crutcher sits down with members of SASAV, including Harrison, who is pictured addressing Crutcher.</p>

President Crutcher sits down with members of SASAV, including Harrison, who is pictured addressing Crutcher.

Seven students involved in Spiders Against Sexual Assault handed President Ronald Crutcher their proposals for how the university should handle sexual assault Friday afternoon. 

Although SASA hasn't requested official recognition as a club by the university, it has a strong following of students and alumni at meetings and on social media. Its full list of proposals can be found here.

The students met at Maryland Hall just before 2:30 p.m., not knowing what to expect. Some seemed surprised when a woman working in the president's office suggested the students sit in a conference room while she notified Crutcher of their presence.

Within a minute, Crutcher entered and shook each student's hand, and let Rennie Harrison, a junior, have the first word. Harrison introduced the group and handed him the four-page document. Crutcher briefly looked through each page and asked for clarification on a few points regarding SASA's proposal for coed housing.

"I'm not going to make any promises," Crutcher said. "But what I will say to you is that we will give full consideration."

SASA's proposals fall under three categories: Response and Reform, Destructuring Gendered Spaces and Improving Education and Prevention Efforts. The proposals include a full transition to coed housing by fall 2017, a mandatory wellness class for freshman covering consent and healthy relationships and the hiring of Title IX coordinators independent of the university.

"I think what's in there is what most students want," Max Thornton, a senior, said. "There's nothing crazy in there."

Harrison requested that Crutcher provide students with a timeline of how he plans to address their proposals by Oct. 7. Harrison emphasized that she did not expect Crutcher to have a completed plan by then, but wanted "an idea of how things are getting moving."

The timing of the students' proposals is good, Crutcher said. Earlier today, he met with the Board of Trustees to discuss his ideas for addressing issues related to sexual assault on campus.

The students were pleased with how the brief meeting went. Some worried they would be told Crutcher was not in the office, but he surprised them by sitting with them and promising to consider each of their ideas.

Contact news editor Kayla Solsbak at kayla.solsbak@richmond.edu

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