Students Against State Violence interrupted a Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday to voice their demands regarding the police, sexual assault, social justice and IU as a sanctuary campus.
The SASV walked in during Provost Lauren Robel’s IU-Bloomington campus report and interrupted her to begin the statement.
“Dissolve the IUPD and the IU Police Academy, and redirect their funding toward educational resources for underrepresented minority students and faculty and students from low-income backgrounds,” junior Keenan Rhodes read from the statement.
Other SASV members voiced different parts of the statement. They said students should be required to undergo an investigation or face immediate suspension if accused of sexual assault.
The general education, the group said, should be restructured to “ensure an ongoing education in social justice for students, staff and faculty.”
Finally, the group said all IU campuses should become sanctuaries for undocumented people.
Following SASV’s statement, the board asked for a copy of its demands. One of the group members unfolded her paper and handed it to one of the trustees. SASV walked out of the room after the statement had been made, and the trustees continued their meeting.
The Board of Trustees met for the first of two days of meetings. Trustees approved new degrees at other IU campuses and listened to various reports from faculty as well as students.
Robel gave a report on the Bloomington campus. She talked about the Class of 2020 and the recent actions in response to the bicentennial. Robel shared developments and highlights in IU-Bloomington’s strategic plan.
She said IU’s residential community is vibrant, and the students are diverse, global and academically prepared.
Robel talked about how the study abroad program has increased. Thirty percent of students now study abroad, Robel said. One hundred twenty-three low-income, first-generation and/or underrepresented minority students were sent to study abroad this year.
“Most of these students haven’t been overseas,” Robel said. “Most haven’t even been on a plane.”
Sara Zaheer, IU Student Association president, and Adam Reneker, Graduate and Professional Student Government president, talked about student mental health issues.
Zaheer talked about how the counseling services are free for the first two sessions, but they are often booked and appointments are set back weeks.
IU Health Center funds have only gone up by 20 cents since 2011. Because the population and need for counseling have both increased, Zaheer and Reneker asked that the project receive more attention.
“The student health fee is an issue. It hasn’t gone up in a while,” Robel said. “We have been putting money into this, although it may not show up.”
In other business, trustees approved of the Merger of Kinsey Institute, an action introduced during the Executive Session of the meeting.
According to the agreement and plan of the merger, the Kinsey Institute and IU will be merged into a single entity.
Trustees will meet again Thursday morning to discuss finance and approve projects. The board will also be discussing topics surrounding IU-Purdue University Fort Wayne.