SGA committees discuss post-election concerns

Jamie Williams

The Student Government Association’s MyCampusToo and SAVES committees met with students on Wednesday to discuss initiatives and concerns in the wake of the election.

MyCampusToo, aimed at increasing diversity on campus, and SAVES, aimed at reducing sexual assault and mental health problems on campus, discussed how they can best serve students following the election.

“I can’t predict what’s going to happen on campus, I just know that the work of MyCampusToo — ensuring that all students feel welcome and safe on campus — is more important now than I’ve ever seen it before,” SGA President Jay Todd Richey said.

Richey said the changes in state and federal government following the election could impact many issues that college students care about, including funding for higher education and diversity on campuses.

“I’m really concerned about one specific group that is our biggest group on campus, that is the Muslim students,” Flavio Chavarri, president of the International Student Diplomats, said. “They’re extremely afraid, and they were watching the whole night [of the election].”

Chavarri expressed that many international students don’t understand American political parties and should be more well-informed. He also suggested more integration between American and international students.

Students at the meeting also expressed concern regarding sexual assault and safety on campus.

“I think we should try to address to the university that sexual assault is still not okay regardless of what our president is saying,” Louisville junior Sadie Saylor said.

“I’ve been shaking and upset all day,” Yuma, Arizona senior Ana Grant said. “Being a victim of sexual assault on campus, and just hearing [about the alleged incident], I’m terrified. I live by myself, and I didn’t want to leave my house today.”

Bowling Green senior Sarah Alford expressed concern over the counseling resources on campus. Alford feared that Donald Trump’s presidency would result in the Affordable Care Act being repealed.

“I think that we should focus on expanding resources that we have on campus and making them more affordable, especially if that does happen,” she said.

The committees also talked about diversity within their own organizations and hope to encourage others to join their causes.

“We really do need conservatives in this group too, and when I say that I mean we have to transcend political boundaries and political ideology in MyCampusToo,” Richey said. “Yes, MyCampusToo, if you want to boil it down, is a “progressive” cause — that we want people to feel welcome and included on campus — but that should not be a political conservative split.”

Crestwood junior Elizabeth Trader wanted to ensure that everyone felt like they could be a part of events held by the committees.

“We do have a 50/50 split pretty much at this campus,” Trader said. “I do believe that whatever movement or demonstration that we may organize, we would try our best to make it nonpartisan and to make it a celebration of love and of everyone on campus.”

The two SGA committees will be working with students to create an event that aims to bring all students together. This event will likely take place in the near future, in direct response to the end of the election.

Francisco Serrano, the SAVES committee chair, said that the election results are not something that should divide students on campus, but something that should inspire students to work together.

“This isn’t going to break us, but it will definitely make us,” Serrano said.

Reporter Jamie Williams can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].