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UC Passes New Sexual Assault Prevention Measure

By Brian P. Yu, Crimson Staff Writer

Student groups receiving funding from the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations’ Student Advisory Committee will be eligible for more funding if their board members undergo sexual assault prevention training as a result of an agreement between the Harvard Foundation and the Undergraduate Council.

Under the new policy—jointly sponsored by the UC, the Harvard Foundation, and the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response—student organizations whose entire boards undergo OSAPR-run sexual assault prevention training are eligible to receive 20 percent in additional funding from the Harvard Foundation beginning next semester.

If half of a student organization’s board attends training, the group will be eligible for a 10 percent funding increase.

“Our role... will be to help create some of this institutional change to combat sexual assault on campus,” Harvard Foundation Student Advisory Committee co-chair Dylan de Waart ’19 said. “You can’t have an ‘Open Harvard’ without a safe Harvard.”

De Waart co-authored the policy along with UC Finance Committee Chair William A. Greenlaw ’17, Pforzheimer House UC representative Neel Mehta ’18, and Student Advisory Committee co-chair Yousra Neberai ’18.

The policy supplements an initiative from the Council’s Finance Committee passed last semester that mandates sexual assault training for officers of the 20 percent of student groups that receive the most UC grants each semester. More than 70 students have received training through the policy.

Greenlaw said the new partnership with the Harvard Foundation would help expand training to groups that the UC may not ordinarily reach.

“While the UC very much does its best to cater to all students on campus, there are some places where we don't have the most influence,” Greenlaw said. “I think this is a step one to an even wider goal.”

The UC also passed a statement at their Sunday meeting affirming support for students of all identities in light of Donald Trump’s victory in last Tuesday’s presidential election. Though most representatives voiced support for the statement, seven UC members voted against the statement, including Council Vice President Daniel V. Banks ’17 and Mather House representative Nicholas D. Boucher ’19.

“Even though the intention isn't to make political assumptions, I think that it does,” Boucher said.

In a Crimson survey of undergraduates conducted last month, 87 percent of respondents said they would vote for Hillary Clinton as President of the United States. Only six percent, meanwhile, said they would vote for Trump.

During the meeting, UC members also unanimously endorsed an open letter calling on Harvard University Health Services to eliminate student fees for accessing health records, give students the ability to view and download health records online, and allow students to use third-party applications to access health information.

Representatives from SwellBox—an online healthcare record service that students could be able to use under this measure—presented at the meeting on the issue. Former SwellBox intern Jefferson E. Seidl ’16 said the proposals would improve access to healthcare resources for student athletes especially.

“Harvard students, because of the archaic structure that UHS uses, are not given full ownership of their health records,” Siedl said.

—Staff writer Brian P. Yu can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @brianyu28.

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