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SGA passes their first resolution of the semester at Oct. 30 meeting

SGA passes their first resolution of the semester at Oct. 30 meeting

SGA passes their first resolution of the semester at Oct. 30 meeting
November 05
21:31 2019

Update on Nov. 6 at 10:23 a.m.: SGA President Yolian Ogbu has signed the resolution recommending the use of gender-inclusive language in UNT syllabi, SGA announced on Twitter. 

“We look forward to expanding #UNT’s mission of inclusivity to every classroom,” SGA said in their tweet.

Original story: 

SGA senators passed a resolution recommending the use of gender-inclusive language in UNT syllabi at their Oct. 30 meeting – their first passed resolution in eight weeks.

The “Gender Inclusive Language Syllabi Resolution” submitted by Keaton Hare, senator for the College of Health and Public Services, invites UNT administrators and faculty to remove instances of gendered language, like “she” or “he” from syllabi and replace the words with non-=binary substitutes.

Last week, Hare said the resolution came in response to a constituent concern about syllabi. The resolution includes statistics from UNT’s 2018 Campus Inclusion Climate Survey, where 19.2 percent of people skipped a question about gender identity in their responses, and .05 percent of responders identified as nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer or agender.

“The first week of school, I got the syllabi for my classes and I noticed that most of them had “he/she” in them in reference to students,” resolution co-sponsor Lauren Wintermute said. “At first it bothered me since I know how much UNT does to try and be inclusive to all students, but I didn’t know what to do about it. As a cis person, I also didn’t want to talk over any students who doesn’t use he or she pronouns which are directly affected by the language as is.”

The resolution faced little discussion or questioning during its two meetings before the senate, save for a student concern that enacting the change would “restrict regular words in the English language.”

Senators also tabled a resolution to study student opinion on UNT’s use of eminent domain against several businesses along Avenue C at the request of the resolution’s author, Honors College Senator Angie Whistler, who could not attend the senate meeting due to personal business.

The resolution may appear before the Senate next week when Whistler said she intends to return.

Senators have two more weeks to submit any new legislation before the end of the semester, but the Senate can make pass legislation later on if they label resolutions as “emergency status,” which would prompt a vote on the same day the legislation is introduced, SGA Vice President Hillary Shah said.

“Y’all need to get on it if you want to do something this semester,” Shah said. “In all regular circumstances, the thirteenth is the last reading day, and that’s in two weeks.”

Attendance issues prompted Shah to postpone regular Senate activities for 30 minutes. The Senate lacked enough senators present to establish a quorum by 5:30 p.m. when meetings typically convene.

During officer reports, Shah gave senators an update on recruitment efforts to fill empty senate seats. The vice president said she is reviewing eight completed applications for appointments and knows of two students working on completing their applications.

To apply for senate positions, students must maintain a good standing with the university, at least a 2.4 GPA and gain 25 signatures from members of their college. Shah then reviews applications for eligibility, and the Senate must approve applicants by a vote.

The SGA Senate meets every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Union, room 332.

Featured Image: SGA Senators listen to college reports at the conclusion of their Oct. 30 meeting, where they passed their first resolution of the semester. Image by Carter Mize

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Carter Mize

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