North Texas Daily

SGA passes anti-hate speech resolution

SGA passes anti-hate speech resolution

SGA passes anti-hate speech resolution
April 14
20:33 2022

The Student Government Association unanimously voted on Wednesday to pass a resolution that will ask the university to suspend any student organization that engages in hate speech. 

The resolution, S2022-R6 “Trans Existence is Not a Debate,” was introduced by College of Music Senator Beige Cowell at the previous week’s meeting, and was since amended to address any concerns the senate had.

“We spoke with a lot of faculty members,” Cowell said. “It was recommended that we focus on the UNT policy side of the issue and what UNT actually has the power to address, which is breaches of UNT student conduct and in some ways Title IX.” 

The authors of the resolution addressed their approach to focus on university policy, which included striking the proposed legislation sections that pertained to the First Amendment issues since those are not controlled by university policy. 

“We’re just going from the First Amendment, which we can’t do in the Student Government Association, to actually what we can implement with student policy,” College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Senator Grant Johnson said. 

A new clause was also added to the bill to include what the university code of conduct defines as harassment, and how some university students are not satisfied with the university’s response to recent actions by an organization on campus. This dissatisfaction was expressed through several protests before spring break.   

Additional changes to the legislation included striking out unnecessary details from the on-campus events on March 2, where students protested the Young Conservatives of Texas’ “Criminalize Child Transitions” event, which featured Texas House candidate Jeff Younger as a guest speaker. Younger is running on a platform that condemns gender-affirming health care for transgender children

After a period of questioning and discussion, a five minute recess was taken to make sure the document was properly formatted before being voted on. 

The resolution passed by an unanimous vote. The senators broke into applause and several stood to congratulate Cowell before continuing the meeting. 

SGA Vice President David Muñoz-Sarabia then introduced the summer senate members. To be eligible for the summer session, senators must have been elected by the study body to serve a regular senate term for either spring 2022 or fall 2022.

Confirmed summer senate members include College of Business Senator Zain Bhaiwala, and CLASS senators Kaylen Ruiz, Ethan Gillis and Peyton McFarlain. Elects for the summer session include CLASS Senator Cameron Collins, College of Visual Arts and Design Senator Nissy Botembe, College of Information Senator Tingkai Guan, Mayborn Schoolf of Journalism Senator Ebony Kennedy, and Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science Senators Annesh Mazumder and Zachary Li. The elects have not yet confirmed or denied if they will participate. 

“Membership in the summer session requires great consideration for the merits of each of the candidates,” Muñoz-Sarabia said. 

The list of summer senators was approved with no objections. 

Featured Image: Senators listen during the Student Government Association meeting on March 23, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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