USG repasses bystander training resolution

Undergraduate Student Government senators discussed the budget for the next academic year and proposed paying participants in the bystander training. (Daniel Hahm/Daily Trojan)

The Undergraduate Student Government proposed a bystander training resolution Tuesday that was passed in February under the previous Senate.

Former  USG speaker pro tempore Matthew Crane presented the resolution to the Senate during the meeting.

The senators passed the bill to renew their support of the resolution.

“Bringing this resolution back and passing it again is a signal to the administration that the student body … wants to take these steps to improve student safety on campus,” Crane said. “So much of what we do is symbolic.”

The new resolution has garnered the support of Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services in addition to 53 other student organizations.

The resolution calls for all recognized student organizations to send one representative to a mandatory annual bystander training session. The training sessions will focus on sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. It also aims for the training to be “evidence-based” to teach the participants how to act in certain situations.

The new resolution now includes graphs showing survey results for two pilot training sessions. According to the graphs, participants showed an increase in understanding of how to intervene certain situations, including sexual assault and questionable behavior, compared to before the training.

“Right now, it’s less about trying to say the student body wants this, it’s more of a chance to say it’s working,” Crane said. “We have existing momentum and we are trying to stay involved in this conversation.”

Currently, USG is working with RSVP to further plan and fund the initiative. The legislative body has allocated $5,000  and RSVP has allocated $15,000 for the initiative.

While evaluating USG’s budget for the next academic year, senators discussed the possibility of giving stipends to bystander training participants.

It was later revealed in the meeting that the bylaws prevent USG from giving stipends to non-USG members.

In a unanimous decision, the senators approved the budget for the training and decided to further review the possibility of paying participants in future senate meetings.

“There was a little bit of a mix up in the communication of essentially how we wanted money that given from the Senate to affect this program,” Sen. Emily Johnson said. “We came at a halt because we realized there was a contingency in the budget presentation that said [the money] cannot be used for student stipends.”

Since the money provided by USG will be used by RSVP at its own discretion, some senators are now looking for ways to ensure stipends can be paid toward the participants.

“We all are really in favor of this project,” Johnson said. “Regardless of how that money ends up being used, I’m just really excited about the fact that [the initiative] is moving forward.”