ASUU Passes Revised Resolution Criticizing the U’s Response to the Lauren McCluskey Lawsuit

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Nate Leisman

ASUU’s Executive Cabinet

By Brock Bernstein , News Writer

 

The Associated Students of the University of Utah’s Assembly released a resolution on Wednesday, Sept. 25, stating their disappointment in the University of Utah’s motion to dismiss in the lawsuit filed by Lauren McCluskey’s parents. On Oct. 4, the ASUU Senate passed a revised version of the resolution, which aimed to address the same issues while using more direct and actionable language. 

In an emergency meeting on Sept. 26, the Senate met to address the original resolution. Ben Lehnardt and Sara Scholes shared concerns about the wording of the initial resolution, but still wanted to show their frustration with the language in the U’s motion to dismiss.

“From the College of Law we have a particular understanding of the motion to dismiss. My own personal opinion is that the Salt Lake Tribune article is pretty misleading,” Lehnardt said, who represents the S.J. Quinney College of Law. “[But] I agree with [Sen. Devon Cantwell], legal doesn’t mean right.” 

The Senate’s revision, while only half the length of the previously released resolution, still expressed the frustration from the Senators and their constituents with the lack of morality within the U’s motion to dismiss. “I would say the heart of the resolution and the spirit of the resolution is still the same,” said Damon Ngo, a fourth year studying marketing and political science, who serves as the Senate Chair. 

“I have honestly heard so much about it from the students, and I’m going to say it’s positive in that so many people have said ‘thank you for putting this out there, we want ASUU to speak out for us and take that stance, even if it means opposing administration,’” said Rebecca Hardenbrook, a mathematics PhD candidate who serves as a College of Science Senator.

While the Senate’s revised resolution has not been addressed by the U, there has been a clear impact within the community of not only Utah, but the United States itself. The Associated Students of Washington State University passed a resolution on Wednesday, Oct. 2, calling for accountability from the University of Utah due to their failure to protect Lauren McCluskey. This resolution has been sent to other Pac-12 student governments in hopes that they too will announce their support for the McCluskeys.

While the other student governments have not yet released their own resolutions, Hardenbrook remains optimistic that ASUU’s continued efforts will rally even more students behind the McCluskey family’s cause. “I don’t think it was the most appropriate [response] in the sense that our students and our university deserve something that is stronger and more direct. People are working on that right now,” she said. “But there’s plenty of space for us to do more.”

 

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This article has been updated to correct the timeline of the JR2, including when the Senate passed their revision to this resolution. In an earlier version of this article, the original resolution was incorrectly attributed to the Senate, instead of the Assembly. This article has also been updated to clarify the purpose and position of the revision. We regret these errors.