The Athletics and Contract Finance Committee, a sub-committee of the student senate, will not be renewing its contract with the Sexual Assault Support Services of Lane County for the 2020-21 school year, according to a press release issued by the committee Tuesday afternoon.
The SASS contract, which is funded through student incidental fees, ended up costing nearly $52,000 for the year and has helped three University of Oregon students throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the press release. SASS services will no longer be endorsed by ASUO starting July 1 of 2020.
SASS is a nonprofit that specializes in helping sexual assault survivors in Lane County navigate support systems, advocacy and information. ACFC reports that the removal of this contract is due to the equivalent systems that UO offers. “One of the primary reasons this contract was created was to provide a confidential resource to students in crisis, something that the University didn’t have,” the press release states. “The University currently has four Title IX Confidential Advocates based out of the Dean of Students’ office.”
“This was not an easy decision and it is one that we did not take lightly,” Cynthia Aguilar, finance chair for ASUO, said in the release. Aguliar continued that ASUO is paying SASS for resources that are already offered by the UO. “The committee could not justify using student dollars for a repeated service and we felt that it was the most fiscally responsible thing to do.”
Aguilar said that this agreement has been in place since 2000, and that many resources directly on campus have been implemented since then.
“The work that they do is incredible and, in fact, the Sexual Violence Prevention Team (SVPE) housed at the Dean of Students' office has modeled many of their protocols after SASS,” she wrote in an email. “We are grateful for the relationship that campus has built with SASS and the hardworking people behind the organization.”
Representatives with SASS said that they do not have a statement at this time.