Committee SPEACs out against violence


Chilling weather relocated the Student Association’s Student Political Education and Action Committee members from the King Memorial Commons to the basement of the Holmes Student Center Friday afternoon.

Cellular phone in tow, SPEAC members went to work in support of two bills, Senate Bill number 11 and House Resolution number 1133.

Together the two bills constitute the Violence Against Women Act, an act which supports and protects the rights of women.

According to the United States Student Association (USSA), the act provides funding for better law enforcement, prosecution and data collection regarding violence against women.

The act triples funding for battered women’s shelters and creates a new civil rights remedy for victims of gender-biased crime.

The Senate bill supports a national domestic violence hotline and increased prison sentencing for repeat sex offenders.

The House Resolution includes a campus safety section requiring the Attorney General to analyze problems of campus sexual assaults and evaluate effectiveness of existing support and safety programs.

As women on a college campus, the SPEAC members who volunteered Friday have a vested interest in educating students on the Violence Against Women Act.

“Students in general did not know about the act, but once they saw what it was about, they expressed strong support for it,” said Maura Jandris, senior political science major.

As part of the efforts to promote the bill, United States Cellular donated a cellular phone and air time to provide the opportunity for all interested individuals to call the office of DeKalb area Congressman Dennis Hastert and voice their support of the act.

The Senate could vote on its bill as early as late spring. The House of Representatives has divided its resolution and sent it to four subcommittees of the House Judiciary Committee.

Those interested can contact SPEAC or write the United States Student Association at 815 15th Street, NW, Suite 838, Washington, DC 20005.