Student government seeks repercussions against Alpha Xi Delta

Symone Whalin, one of the authors of Resolution 1-19-S, expresses to SGA during a meeting on Feb. 26, 2019 why the historical marker located in front of the Kentucky Museum on Western Kentucky University’s Campus should be relocated.

Brody Rexing

Decisions were made on Tuesday correlating with the Student Government Association’s stance on the use of racial slurs on WKU’s campus.

SGA voted 24 in favor 7 opposed in passing a resolution to punish the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta. This follows conflict created by a video of AXiD members using a racial slur in a song posted on Twitter in August.

Resolution 4-19-F, “Resolution to Support Disciplinary Action Up to Suspension from Greek Affairs on Campus Against the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta,” was a resolution authored by senators Symone Whalin and Anthony Survance. The authors have been campaigning for AXiD punishment, and the bill’s passing could bring punishment within reach.

Whalin and Survance brought this resolution to debate Tuesday wanting to at least get recognition from WKU.

“We feel as if the silence from the administration signals that they do not care about minorities,” Whalin said, as she and Survance prepared to defend their bill.

The two said they wanted more than “an article from the Herald or an email from Bob Skipper” in response to the AXiD offence.

The bill they presented, however, was not the same bill passed by one minor difference: its name.

The bill had formerly replaced the “Suspension from Greek Affairs on Campus” portion of its name with outright “Removal from Campus.” This was an addition that, Survance explained, was important to “keep it a little scary.” Whalin and Survance didn’t support removal necessarily, but instead wanted to let organizations know they are serious.

“If it’s just like ‘we support punishment,’ then how is that deterring really anyone from doing it again,” Survance said.

Some senators struggled to grasp this concept.

“I agree that a lack of action implies complacency with racism on the University’s part,” said Senator Mary Mayo, noting the video itself having “over 43 thousand notes on social media.”

“However, I do not believe it is the job of this organization to act as a disciplinary committee to determine the punishment of AXiD,” Mayo said.

“If we woke up tomorrow and AXiD no longer existed, I don’t think that would solve the racial problems on campus,” said Senator Brigid Stakelum.

A motion was passed to remove the phrase “Removal from Campus” from the bill’s title. This was followed by a friendly amendment from LRC Chair Josh Zaczek to add “Suspension from Greek Affairs,” subsequently allowing the resolution itself to pass 24-7. The resolution will be submitted to WKU’s Faculty Senate who will decide if AXiD’s offense warrants attention from the university.

News reporter Brody Rexing can be reached at [email protected].