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Women and Gender Advocacy Center opposes ASCSU resolution

At the Wednesday evening senate meeting for the Associated Students of Colorado State University, concerned students and representatives for the Women and Gender Advocacy Center spoke out against an upcoming resolution about reproductive health information.

The resolution, authored by Senator Lauren Flores, would ask for equal representation of adoption agencies and crisis pregnancy centers from the WGAC. 

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Two students, Maggie Sayers and Veronica Morin, also helped write the resolution and were present at the meeting.

This meeting has forced many survivors and victims to disclose very personal information to a bunch of strangers in suits.”

-Peter Constas, student employee at WGAC

According to the resolution, this would be done by asking the WGAC to put out an equal amount of information on adoption and crisis pregnancy organizations as abortion organizations and resources.

Senator Alex Benitez motioned to have the resolution taken off the floor due to signature endorsements from students and senators occurring under false pretenses. 

This vote was in line with an ASCSU Supreme Court ruling from February that states such false pretenses should deem a piece of legislation nullified, as noted by Chief Justice-Emeritus Maddie Taylor.

“We had already heard that someone has signed this under false pretenses,” Taylor said. “If even one person signed this under false pretenses, it’s garbage. It’s out.”

Co-author of resolution 4906 Veronica Morin listens to Associated Students of Colorado State University Senators speak about her resolution that would require equal representation of adoption agencies and crisis pregnancy centers to students that are pregnant by the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. The resolution was motioned to be taken off the floor for including the names of endorsers that were not properly informed on the meaning and purpose of the resolution. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

These false pretenses were described by students such as Jayda Hammermeister, who was approached on The Plaza and asked if she supported adoption, to which she answered yes. During this discussion, she put her name on a piece of paper and received no further information.

She then learned her name was on the endorsements for the resolution.

Hammermeister said she was angry and upset that her name was on the resolution and that she felt there should have been more information given.

“How humiliating to have a student come in here and have their name on a resolution they didn’t even know about,” ASCSU President Ben Amundson said. “At the end of the day, it’s really disheartening to see that.”

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Supporters of the resolution said the WGAC doesn’t fully represent all beliefs and morals on the University.

“The WGAC has failed to represent the diverse ethics, morals and values of the University,” said Chase Riley, a student who supported the resolution.

Laura Rencher, another supporter of the resolution, said there is nothing malicious about the resolution and that equal representation of resources for adoption and pregnancy are not always provided.

Another supporter, Derek Flores, said he used to be in favor of abortion but had his heart changed by witnessing the beating of a baby’s heart during his wife’s pregnancy.

Multiple survivors of sexual assault and interpersonal violence came forward to defend the WGAC, sharing stories and examples of how the office has helped them. 

Concerned students and representatives also expressed fears that this could lead to the defunding of the Center.

“Defunding a resource that keeps people alive is reprehensible, and the idea that some students or senators or whatever thinks it’s okay to say that … is horrifying,” said Jaye Cooney, a student who spoke about receiving life-saving aid from the WGAC. 

Joshua Segura said this resolution is another invasion into a space for people that aren’t in the regular norms set by dominating beliefs.

Associated Students of Colorado State University Senate votes on amendment 4906 that would require equal representation of adoption agencies and crisis pregnancy centers to students that are pregnant by the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. The resolution was motioned to be taken off the floor for including the names of endorsers that were not properly informed on the meaning and purpose of the resolution. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

This is just another example of the takeover of marginalized people’s resources,” Segura said.

Peter Constas, part of the student staff at the WGAC, said that none of the diversity workers have time to come in and defend their existence as employees at their places of work.

“This resolution completely disregards the job that we do, and it makes it seem like we are not doing our jobs effectively,” Constas said. “Love is feedback, but this is not feedback.”

Constas said this resolution is riddled with lies and vague language that may lead to more damage, such as racism, transphobia and sexism.

Constas also spoke about the effects of this meeting.

“This meeting has forced many survivors and victims to disclose very personal information to a bunch of strangers in suits,” Constas said. “Voting no to this shows respect to those stories. If you vote yes, you are actively suppressing the voices of victims and survivors here at CSU.” 

The motion to have the resolution taken off the floor entirely passed in a 31-5-0 vote.

Charlotte Lang can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @chartrickwrites.

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