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Anastasia Ruttkay, Potential ASUCD Senator

Name: Anastasia Ruttkay

Hometown: San Diego

Year in school: Senior

Major: International Relations with a minor in Spanish

How are you involved around school?

I’m in a sorority, a member of Alpha Phi.

I’m also a part of Cal Aggie Camp, which is a free summer camp for underprivileged and foster youth in the Sacramento area organized by the students of UC Davis. My first year was this past summer and I’m hoping to do it this upcoming summer too…I’ve [also] been involved with and organized past ASUCD events.

What inspired you to go into Student Government?

Under ASUCD Senator Georgia Savage’s “Let’s Talk About Sex” month-long sexual assault awareness campaign, I lead an individual project called “Let’s Talk About ‘The Hunting Ground’”. In this, I went to 15 sororities and fraternities and spoke on the topic of consent, your rights as a student once consent is revoked, and how to advocate for a friend who has gone through this type of experience. This ultimately lead up to my on-campus screening of “The Hunting Ground”, a documentary told in the eyes of sexual assault survivors. This has inspired my goal as an ASUCD Senator to mandate sexual assault prevention resources in chapter houses as well as to promote consent overall. Greek life is already required to attend programming events that pertain to sexual assault prevention, alcohol education, hazing prevention, and many more. However, this is a mandatory event that takes place outside of the actual chapter houses. Consent education and sexual assault prevention is something that must be oriented within each chapter house.

Can you talk more about sexual assault awareness? Why do you think you’re a good person to talk about it and what are your plans on this?

Well, I’m the only sorority woman running for a spot and if I get elected, the only one in senate. It’s important to have a person from Greek life sitting on the senate table to discuss certain issues pertaining to this. Spring quarter I went to a student-lead symposium where all UC students working towards sexual assault prevention were invited. There, I met a student from Berkeley who sits on the board of Greeks Against Sexual Assault. In communicating with her,s I learned that Berkley requires every fraternity to give a consent talk before every party or say anything regarding consent in order to be let in. They have a sign which provides information about consent, what it is and how prevent sexual assault. All of this is inexpensive. Berkeley also has the idea to give medical funds or help to those who have already been a victim of assault. I’m trying to get the information for how they get the money to do this.

In your candidate statement, you said that you, “plan on establishing a program that will give students the opportunity to have a relationship with their Dean and other UC Davis Administration,” how are you hoping to accomplish that?

I got the idea for this when I decided to run. Right now, the UC Davis board has to focus on who’s going to fill the shoes of being Davis’ Chancellor…Right now, there’s only one student voice in the hiring committee, so there’s barely any student representation. When the protesting regarding chancellor Katehi was going on, they threatened SJA letters to all activists if they continued to protest which is a huge issue because it [puts students in jeopardy] for voicing their opinion. It’s problematic because students were skipping classes to do this, and this plus the pressure of admin could negatively effect their mental health. They also cut off all the WiFi on the fifth floor where they were protesting, as further means to silence their voices. They haven’t apologized or confronted the students on a public level since this incident. We want answers, we want them to confront us. I’m hoping that in the future, the UC Davis staff will be able to have a relationship with the students and address the problems we have. What I will be working on is holding town halls in public spaces on-campus for Admin, such as Chancellor Hexter, where students can get their questions answered and voice their concerns. The chancellor can have the opportunity to come to the CoHo or MU and students will have the opportunity to voice their opinion and have their questions answered.

You’re also going to create an international program which will let students partner up with an international student prior to visiting their country, why do you feel this is important?

I am an administrative assistant at the student abroad office. My boss is the Program Services Coordinator for all faculty lead study abroad programs. We were bouncing back the idea of implementing the program for future study abroad students to communicate with an international student from the same country they are interested in going to. This will help UC Davis students not be in a culture shock, prepare them for how to pack, and what to expect, as well as well the international student immerse in the UC Davis culture. The intentions for this program is not to create a one-way relationship, but a mutual one that will help student emersion on both ends.

My boss has contacts that will help me to take the steps in doing this and they’re backing me up on this. It might evolve from this; this is just the foundation for the idea. I know that it won’t get done in one term, if it were to happen it will take long-term commitment.

Anything else you want the readers to know?

Elections are this week for senate, vote for me for ASUCD senate at https://elections.ucdavis.edu/vote/. Voting ends this Thursday at midnight. Sexual assault awareness has been a message that has been talked about but never aimed specifically at Greek life; having a woman in the senate who is involved with Greek life and passionate about sexual assault awareness could help to implement this message.

No photos belong to Her Campus at UC Davis

Annette is a freshman at UC Davis. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, painting, drawing, and keeping up with politics. 
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