The Fairfield University Student Association Senate successfully passed Bill 6374, The Every Voice Bill, which advocates for the consistent and supportive sexual assault prevention policies across all Connecticut Colleges on March 3. The bill’s resolution was first drafted by senators Ryan Assarian’23, Noelle Guerrera’21 and Alexia O’Brien’21, and then was presented to the FUSA senate committee on Community Safety and Relations before being passed to the Senate floor. The resolution was unanimously passed with acknowledgment from the Senate that the Fairfield Student Body would support Bill 6374’s plans to increase more support for sexual assault victims and more action on preventing sexual violence across Connecticut’s college campuses. 

The resolution for the bill explicitly details how The Every Voice Bill plans on creating a statewide campus culture survey and amnesty policy consistent across all Conn. colleges. 

The bill will include a Campus Climate Survey as well as an amnesty policy that will help further the mission of awareness of sexual violence on campus. The survey would allow survivors to anonymously report any act of sexual violence that happened while on campus, and the amnesty policy would protect a survivor of sexual violence from legal consequences if found under the influence at the time of the incident. 

Fairfield’s chapter of Every Voice CT will be joining forces with other Conn. universities such as University of Connecticut, Yale and Connecticut College in passing this bill to prevent sexual assault and promise safety for all victims. The resolution also states that FUSA will work closely with Every Voice Fairfield and provide the necessary resources in order for the organization to properly advocate for the student body. 

Every Voice Fairfield’s Campus Lead Kaitlyn Drake ‘23 was first introduced to Every Voice when talking with her resident assistant who wanted to start a branch at Fairfield. She attributes her interest for Every Voice to her passion for social justice and desire to make a meaningful impact. 

To present the plans for the chapter and clarify the types of support the chapter was looking to receive from FUSA, Drake reached out to Assarian. 

One of the main goals of Every Voice Fairfield is to create a relationship between Every Voice and Fairfield’s Counseling and Psychological Services. 

“[Every Voice Fairfield’s] Vice Campus Lead Christina Carucci ‘23 has been getting in touch with counseling and psychological services in order to set up meetings where students on campus can share their stories and talk about what can be done to help them,” Drake said. 

The group plans on hosting a virtual “coffeehouse” session where students can have an outlet to share their stories and discuss what Fairfield can do to better improve their response regarding sexual violence on campus. 

Drake believes that as a student-run organization they can work closely with students and gain a larger response in promoting awareness of sexual violence. Along with raising awareness, the group strives to improve and change the practices that have become normalized not only at Fairfield but across college campuses of how they respond to sexual violence. 

The FUSA Senate echoed a similar sentiment stating “we hope this resolution will emphasize, both at Fairfield University and in the state of [Conn.], the importance of being people for others and assessing policies to better support victims of sexual assault.” 

Editor’s Note: Kaitlyn Drake is a staff writer for The Mirror within our Opinion Section.

 

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