Seton Hall University’s Student Government Association has created a Gender Equity Task Force, first announced at their General Body meeting on Dec. 13.
The task force was formed to advocate for an inclusive environment on campus, “with a focus on the needs of female students, non-binary students, gender non-conforming students, and transgender students,” according to a charge they passed.
“The Gender Equality Task Force was created as a space within SGA, for all students, to advocate for issues on campus related to gender equity,” said Julia Nicolls, Student Government Association President and Chair of the task force.
The charge also laid out the task force’s main goals, the first of which is to, “Promote student safety and the ability for all students to utilize Seton Hall facilities free from harassment.”
“The Gender Equity Taskforce was created in response to the needs of students,” said Chase Cohen, Co-Chair of the Task Force. “It is our overall goal to create a safe and equitable community for all students regardless of gender and identity.”
This announcement comes after the Student Government Association’s Student Life Committee announced their plan late last year to introduce an hour at the gym exclusively for female-identifying students after a rise in complaints of harassment at the gym on campus.
The original announcement of the proposal garnered mixed reactions from students on Instagram, with some raising concerns about the policy being unfair to male students, and others stating that it was a bandaid on a bullet wound.
“I think Seton Hall should focus on getting the men who are part of the problem out of the gym rather than avoiding the issue by putting this policy in place.” John Makuch, junior, visual and sound media major.
The task force announced plans to focus on investigating “the state of the University Zero tolerance policy in relation to harassment, sexual assault, and violence and work to ensure its enforcement across campus.”
“I think having a task force dedicated to holding the university accountable for ensuring the safety of everyone on campus is important and way overdue,” said Dylan Hunt, a senior journalism major. “I just hope that the university follows through and listens to the needs of the students.”
The task force will also focus on implementing and improving student organizations like KNOWMORE, a Student Life initiative aimed at sexual violence and alcohol and drug education and prevention, to ensure that sexual harrasment and assault education is improved across campus and improve mental health resources for victims, regardless of gender.
“I think this task force would be good because have you met the men at Seton Hall?” asked Angelique McKenzie, senior visual and sound media and journalism major.
The task force is open to all students and meets in Schwartz Hall, room 107, Wednesdays at 7 p.m.