A Resolution to Mandate Warnings For Triggering Content in Academic Settings (02262014:61) – February 25, 2014
by Nikki Calderon & Second: Derek Wakefield
Student Sponsor: Bailey Loverin
Result: No Status by a vote of: on
Whereas: UCSB CARE (Campus Advocacy Resources & Education) reports that: 1 in 4 college women will be sexually assaulted during her academic career,; 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence; and 1 in 33 men will experience attempted or completed rape. Therefore this is a pertinent and widespread issue that should be acknowledged on campus. (maybe, but this may be better as a separate whereas at the end)
Whereas: Triggers are not limited to sexual assault and violence.
Whereas: Trigger Warnings should be used for content not covered by the rating system used by the MPAA or TV warnings (such as contains violence, nudity or, language).
Whereas: The current suggested list of Trigger Warnings includes Rape, Sexual Assault, Abuse, Self-Injurious Behavior, Suicide, Graphic Violence, Pornography, Kidnapping, and Graphic Depictions of Gore.
Whereas: Triggers are a symptom of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Whereas: UCSB Disabled Students Program recognizes PTSD as a disability.
Whereas: Having memories or flashbacks triggered can cause the person severe emotional, mental, and even physical distress. These reactions can affect a student’s ability to perform academically.
Whereas: College level courses may contain materials with mature content. These particularly affect students if material is being read in the classroom or a film is being screened, as the student cannot choose to stop being exposed to the material.
Whereas: Including trigger warnings is not a form of criticism or censorship of content. In addition, it does not restrict academic freedom but simply requests the respect and acknowledgement of the affect of triggering content on students with PTSD, both diagnosed and undiagnosed.
Whereas: Being informed well in advance of triggering content allows students to avoid a potentially triggering situation without public attention. Having a trigger warning on a syllabus allows a student the choice to be presentgives a student advance notice of possible triggers and the choice to be present or not instead of having to leave in the middle of a class or lecture.
Therefore let it be resolved by the Associated Students in the Senate Assembled:
That the Associated Students of UC Santa Barbara urge the instructor of any course that includes triggering content to list trigger warnings on the syllabus.
Let it further be resolved that: AS Senate urges the instructor of any course that includes triggering content to not dock points from a student’s overall grade for being absent or leaving class early if the reason for the absence is the triggering content.
Let it further be resolved that: AS Senate directs the Student Advocate General Kristian Whittaker to appoint a staff member to review and update the list of Trigger Warnings as needed in collaboration with RCSGD (Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity) and The Women’s Center.
Let it further be resolved that: AS Senate direct External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Alex Choate to bring this to the attention of the UCSA Board at the next board meeting and to advocate for a policy change to reflect the directions of this resolution on a UC wide level.
Let it further be resolved that: AS Senate directs AS President Jonathon Abboud to bring this to the attention of the Academic Senate and advocate for a policy change to reflect the directions of this resolution.
Let it finally be resolved that: AS Senate recognizes the support and passing of this resolution as a stronger stance taken by UCSB against issues of sexual harassment and violence.
Fiscal Impact: $0 from the account.
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