The IUSG Congress met February 22, 2021 and passed three proclamations urging the university to take action on multiple topics. Proclamations issued by the Congress and later signed by the President are used to push for University policies, actions, changes, or acknowledgement that are outside of IUSG’s immediate control and purview.
The first proclamation, No. 101, concerns accessibility, accountability, and transparency to marginalized communities and passed with 37 yeas and 0 nays. Proclamation 101 calls on IU to do more to support the Black Lives Matter movement, to not tolerate white supremacy or uphold systems of oppression that exist on campus, to update recruitment practices to increase student diversity, to mandate antiracism and bias awareness training for students, faculty, administration, and staff, to amend the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct to include specific language outlining acts of racism being grounds for student conduct repercussions, and to increase publicity for scholarship programs available to BIPOC students. The proclamation also called upon the Congressional Committees on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Title IX, and Student Life to author an “IUSG Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Bias Contract” that will be signed by members at the beginning of each term. It was authored by Representative Wiggins and co-authored by Representatives Alexander, Al-Ubaidi, Chube, Das, Kaseff, and Lombardo.
Proclamation No. 102 calls for the resignation or removal of Professor Eric Rasmusen, a professor at the Kelley School of Business who has a history of making students feel uncomfortable in his classes due to his racist, sexist, and homophobic comments made online. Rasmusen is currently under investigation by the University for misconduct, and the proclamation strives to demonstrate that his online presence contributes to “obscene” speech, not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution and fervently condemned by IUSG Congress. At the minimum, the Congress is calling for Rasmusen’s tenure to be revoked by IU. The proclamation passed with 35 yeas and 0 nays, and it was authored by Representative Rigg with Representatives Alexander, Chube, Goodwin, Richard, and Ryder as co-authors.
The third proclamation of the night, No. 103, called for minimal-risk in-person commencement ceremonies for Spring 2021 graduates. While the University announced earlier on Monday that it is planning in-person graduation ceremonies for the end of this semester, the Congress still felt this proclamation was appropriate in order to voice support for the decision and provide some recommendations for how to go about commencement ceremony options with low risk of widespread COVID-19 transmission. The author and co-author of this proclamation, Representative Ryder and Wampler respectively, emphasized the economic benefits of graduation ceremonies to the Bloomington community. The proclamation presents three options for IU to consider. Option 1 is to keep the same dates and location of commencement in Memorial Stadium but have multiple time options for small groups of graduates. Option 2 also maintains the identical dates but recommends having multiple locations on campus for varying colleges to hold their own ceremonies. Option 3, the most-preferred option of the proclamation and the IUSG Congress, is to host Commencement Week, where graduation ceremonies are spread out over multiple dates to ensure maximum safety. The proclamation passed Congress with 32 yeas and 0 nays.
All three proclamations will have to be signed by Student Body President Rachel Aranyi before they are presented to University Administration. The next IUSG Congress General Assembly Meeting will be held Monday, March 1st, at 7:30 PM EST. The Zoom Meeting ID for General Assembly Meetings is 829 4800 1036.