SGA hears updates from Violence Prevention and Response, grants appeals to campus orgs

The Student Government Association met on Tuesday with staff members from Violence Prevention and Response to discuss progress they said they made over the last semester and address student concerns.

VPR Director Melanie Matson said the college increased training about dealing with power-based violence for various departments, resident assistants, and orientation leaders. Matson also discussed some of the awareness events that VPR took part in, such as a screening of the film The Mask We Live In and a Walk For Change, an event organized by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

SGA Vice President Kassandra King, a resident assistant, said one of her residents complained about her experience with reporting an assault to a college administrator.

Matson said students can always have a staff member from Violence Prevention and Response come with them to report their assaults. Survivor Advocate Greta Spoering also mentioned that students can come to VPR to get a sense of the confidential reporting process and decide from there whether or not they want to formally report an incident.

SGA also heard appeals from em Magazine, campus radio station WERS, and the Communications, Politics and Law Association.

Austin Wilder, the president of em Magazine, requested $3,594 for the cost of his organization’s print edition, website, and transportation for photo shoots. The motion to allocate the funds to em Magazine passed.

Though WERS is not an SGA-recognized organization, they it can still receive money from SGA because the funds go toward student activities, Treasurer Paul Almeida said during the meeting. Almeida said that organizations not recognized by SGA—like fraternities and sororities, the EVVY Awards, and Alternative Spring Break—have appealed in the past.

Nicholas de la Canal, then the WERS news director, appealed for $4,829.46 in order to purchase new field reporting equipment, as he said many students have had to check out equipment from the Equipment Distribution Center at Emerson. He said he also hoped to purchase two processors for the station’s in-studio microphones to improve the sound quality.

The motion to allocate the funds passed.

The Communication, Politics, and Law Association appealed for $6,000 for a trip to Iceland with communication studies professor Gregory Payne. CPLA President Stephanie Bailey said the organization has been invited to the Icelandic consulate to work on a nationwide rebranding project.

Visual and Media Arts Senator Alicia Carroll spoke in favor of the trip.

“[There are a] lot of members of CPLA interested in international relations, and this is a really good opportunity.” Carroll said. “Emerson already has a connection, and if you take that a step further it will be a really valuable experience before [students] graduate.”

The motion to allocate the funds passed.

SGA has $62,849.43 remaining in its appeals budget.

News Editor Dina Kleiner, who is also a reporter at WERS, did not contribute to this report.