The March 31 SGA meeting held a report from the College Night Committee.
The representative said they discussed an adjustment to the leadership positions for the College Night sides primarily removing the gendered tags from the positions though still maintaining two positions per side.
The representative from the Student Publications Committee said that applications for the editor of the Montage were made available.
A new resolution was shared: Resolution 2021 r-004 Establishment of Opening the Group Study Rooms in Carmicheal Library. As the name implies the resolution is targeting an increase in the group study facilities to allow students to gather, and better access to hand sanitizer in these facilities.
Though acknowledging the university’s return to normal classes in the fall, Jonathan Loria, who was presenting the resolution clarified this was intended to benefit students during the current semester. The resolution passed unanimously.
President John W. Stewart III attended the April 7 meeting with the primary focus being the concerns with the spring commencement speaker State Rep. Bill Poole.
The biggest concern brought up was that of multiple bills Rep. Poole has signed in the past which held restrictions on abortion and the ability of trans youth to participate in sports on teams of their gender identity.
Concerns of discriminatory behaviors from Poole and possible estrangement of some who may be graduating were brought up by some in SGA.
Stewart went on to vouch for Rep. Poole from their personal dealings saying “Even though representative Poole and I probably wouldn’t see eye to eye on some things, and he and I don’t share every single opinion, and certainly I might not vote on legislation the way he might every single time, I know him to be a good person, and to probably be Alabama’s most staunch friend of college education and K-12 as well.”
Stewart agreed to possibly hold a talk between students and Rep. Poole on these issues.
Another one of the main points brought up was that a lack of student input led to the selection of the speaker.
Stewart said that one of the main aspects that brought Rep. Poole in mind was the need to have speakers of varying perspectives.
Stewart said that they still planned on having Rep. Poole speak at commencement saying “I also want to make sure that we don’t set a precedent – you know it’s the job of a good liberal arts institution to have various voices, I mean, it would be a pretty boring world if we just heard from people who feel exactly as we do on every single issue.”
He followed this up by saying that in the future they would be looking to work with students while looking for potential speakers.
The meeting continued as usual after Stewart left the Zoom call.
Two pieces of legislation were then presented. The first was bill 2021-B-002 Allocation of Funds to Non-Profit Studies 420 for Community events. This is for an event called the Warrior Challenge planned by the class. The funds totaling in $500 would be allocated for supplies for the run such as water bottles and shirts. The bill was passed unanimously.
The second piece of legislation was Resolution 2021-R-005 Recommending the Formation of a Graduation Keynote Speaker Selection Committee.
This resolution suggested forming a committee comprising of the SGA president, student trustee and other unspecified student leadership roles to help recommend future keynote speakers for selection the bill was tabled for the next week.