The Culture of Care initiative has been a high-profile platform for the current IU Student Association administration. Candidates for next year’s administration have taken the Culture of Care into consideration as they plan their platforms.
Casey Shelburne, Hoosiers 4 Solutions’ presidential candidate, said he and his running mates plan to keep the Culture of Care program if they are elected.
“It’s still going to be Culture of Care,” he said. “We’re not looking to rebrand it into anything different.”
However, he said Hoosiers 4 Solutions wants to expand Culture of Care beyond campus and make changes at the state level. For example, they have called for an expansion of the Lifeline Law so victims of sexual assaults would not be charged with underage drinking when they report the assaults to the police.
Shelburne said he feels education for incoming freshmen on Culture of Care issues — alcohol and drug abuse, sexual assault, mental health — is important to causing a shift in campus culture.
“When you come to Indiana University as a freshman ... you should have this expectation that this is IU, and this is not acceptable,” he said.
Shelburne said he would like to see reduced alcohol abuse at IU sporting events, as well. Hoosiers 4 Solutions proposed selling limited beer and wine at games to reduce binge drinking pre-games.
SPARC for IU representatives said they want to change the Culture of Care program from an awareness campaign to an “action campaign.”
“We think that by increasing workshops around campus and offering optional classes for students to take, Culture of Care could be a much more effective campaign,” said Tom Dauer, SPARC’s candidate for vice president of congress.
SPARC presidential candidate Sidney Fletcher said he would lead SPARC to build on existing workshops run by the Office of Student Life and Learning to incorporate more of the Culture of Care topics. He said bystander intervention workshops have been proven to dramatically reduce rates of assault.
Fletcher said he and his running mates would look at data from student surveys to see if the Culture of Care is catching on in tangible and intangible ways. However, SPARC Chief of Staff Ty Nocita said the data may not be a consistent predictor of change, as numbers may initially go up as more people report things like assaults, before they go down.
The YOUniversity ticket has adopted several platforms based on the Culture of Care, and co-Chiefs of Staff Katy Flanigan and Dia Sharma serve on the current administration’s Culture of Care steering committee. Flanigan said she is passionate about expanding these programs.
YOUniversity representatives have called for a revival of tailgating at sporting events. They hope to accomplish this by introducing food vendors and water stations at the fields to decrease dangerous drinking habits. They also want to re-introduce handles so people will not binge drink before arriving at the fields.
“The drinking that is dangerous is what’s happening before the games,” Flanigan said.
Flanigan said she and her running mates want to expand the Night Owl bus routes to include North Jordan and Kirkwood, as well as extending the hours. She said this would increase campus safety by decreasing the number of students walking at night. Flanigan said YOUniversity also wants to modify Culture of Care’s structure to encourage more student participation in steering committees.
Although all three tickets have platforms that incorporate programs, the candidates agreed Culture of Care would likely take more than a year to take hold.
“Throughout this whole year, our mission has been to lay the foundation for Culture of Care so it can be a sustainable project,” Flanigan said. “It’s not going to