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SGA Senate hears comments on inclusive language at Oct. 23 meeting

SGA Senate hears comments on inclusive language at Oct. 23 meeting

SGA Senate hears comments on inclusive language at Oct. 23 meeting
October 24
11:06 2019

At their meeting Wednesday evening, the SGA Senate discussed a resolution promoting gender-inclusive language and tabled an initiative to study student opinions about UNT’s use of eminent domain on Avenue C properties.

If the discussed resolution is passed in the coming weeks, SGA would formally recommend the removal of gendered pronouns and language from all syllabi. Keaton Hare, senator from the College of Health and Public Services, formed the resolution in response to a constituent complaint about instances of gendered language in syllabi.

“We would rather just have the syllabi refer to the student rather than their gender,” Hare said. “We feel it’s unnecessary to have that in syllabi. And if you go further, there are students that don’t go by binary pronouns.”

The resolution includes statistics from the 2018 Campus Inclusion Climate Survey, where 19.2 percent of students did not give an answer for their gender identity, and .05 percent of those surveyed identified as non-binary, gender-nonconforming or genderqueer.

Biology and kinesiology senior Anthony, who did not wish to share a last name, appeared at the meeting to question the resolution, asking how it would be enforced by UNT if passed.

“I’m just curious because you want to restrict regular words in the English language,” Anthony said. “I’m wondering why instead, you wouldn’t just suggest they use the other pronouns rather than restrict the language we use every day.”

Resolution co-sponsor Deana Ayers responded to clarify.

“We’re not forcing anyone to do anything, we’re making a recommendation that they make the language they’re using more inclusive,” Ayers said.

“Well, not yet,” Anthony said.

Senators postponed discussion for a resolution to establish an SGA survey of student opinion of eminent domain on Avenue C, submitted by Honors College Senator Angie Whistler. Whistler could not attend the meeting, along with Vice President Hillary Shah, President Yolian Ogbu and multiple other SGA representatives, including some who planned to attend a campus lecture by hip-hop artist Common.

CLASS Senator Devon Skinner, acting as speaker of the senate due to the absence of Shah and Whistler, adjourned the meeting more than an hour early in light of the Common lecture and absences.

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

Featured Image: SGA senators listen to Keaton Hare’s syllabus resolution at their meeting on Oct. 23, 2019. Image by Carter Mize

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Carter Mize

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