North Texas Daily

SGA passes resolution supporting removal of Confederate monument

SGA passes resolution supporting removal of Confederate monument

September 27
21:07 2017

The UNT Student Government Association (SGA) Senate voted 19-2 Wednesday night to pass a resolution supporting the removal of the Confederate monument on the Denton Square.

Wednesday’s meeting included a two-hour discussion followed by the vote. The Senate heard the first reading of the resolution in their meeting on Sept. 20 and had a period of questioning about its contents.

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Senator Jordan Villarreal was one of six senators who signed and submitted the resolution. He was also its principal author. Villarreal said though the resolution had some opposition, it was not enough to sway the vote.

“I feel ecstatic that we, as an organization, are speaking out against revisionism, hatred and injustice,” Villarreal said. “We can’t sit aside and do nothing. Doing nothing is a tacit endorsement of the status quo.”

Now that the Senate has allowed Speaker Lisa Hume to sign the resolution, it must be signed by SGA President Barrett Cole within the next two weeks to pass. Cole has the option to veto the bill if she chooses. If Cole approves, Vice President of Student Affairs Elizabeth With will add the final signature needed to officially pass the resolution.

Although the resolution passed by a wide margin, it faced some opposition during Wednesday’s meeting. Some senators were against the resolution because they did not consider the issue within the SGA’s jurisdiction, or thought the topic was too partisan. Others emphasized UNT’s proximity to the Square and its connection to UNT and its students.

“I think the issue is quite definitely political, and I believe we should be making political statements,” College of Science Senator Ram Prasanna said. “I believe they should be really well-researched, and I believe this bill was.”

Although the resolution is simply a recommendation for state, city and county officials, senators hope it will create pressure and lead to action.

“I feel proud of the students and people who supported sending a message calling for the removal of this racist statue,” CLASS senator Luis Avila said. “I do however want people to know that this is just a starting point. We will work hard to make sure there is action.”

Villarreal said next steps will include trying to convince members of the Graduate Student Council, UNT Faculty Senate and Texas Woman’s University SGA to approve similar resolutions of their own.

“It’s time for us to make our voice heard, to the historical commissions, to the city council, and especially to the Commissioners’ Court,” Villarreal said. “We hope our efforts push the commissioners towards the right side of history.”

Featured image: The Student Government Association voted yes to sending a resolution to remove the Confederate statue by a 19-2 vote. Kelsey Shoemaker. 

About Author

Sarah Sarder

Sarah Sarder

Sarah Sarder is the Senior News Writer for the North Texas Daily.

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