SGA passes legislation menstrual product dispensers on campus, funding for survey


Arthur H. Trickett-@

Members of WKU’s Student Government Association listen to Executive Director and Title IX Coordinato Ena Demir on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 during a weekly meeting in the SGA chambers on campus in Bowling Green, Ky.

Matthew Fulkerson, SGA reporter

Amid the closing of restaurants in Downing Student Union and the quiet mingling of students, the Western Kentucky University’s Student Government Association held their weekly meeting. 

During the meeting SGA passed various pieces of legislation including funding for a community relations survey, menstrual product dispenser and funding for the Counseling Center’s Sexual Assault Prevention Month t-shirts. Additionally, members of the Queer Student Union spoke regarding the president’s recent actions.

The Student Government Association opened with guest speaker Ena Demir, WKU Title IX Coordinator, and passed legislation regarding menstrual products on campus, and t-shirts for the Counseling Center Sexual Assault Prevention Month at their latest meeting on Feb. 21.

Demir spoke about her experience as a student, graduating the university in 2009, as well as Title IX itself, which bans sex discrimination in federally funded institutions. 

“Most people think that Title IX [just] applies to gender equity and athletics,” Demir said.

She stated that was one of the main reasons it was started in 1972, continuing as well as providing equal opportunities to men and women.

Alistar Flowers, president of the QSU, made a speech regarding the relationship of SGA and QSU regarding the incident of Cole Bornefeld, student body president, liking an anti-LGBTQ post on his Instagram.

WKU junior Alastair Flowers, 21, a member of Queer Student Union, speaks during an SGA meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 in the senate chambers on campus in Bowling Green, Ky. Less than a week before, SGA voted unanimously against censuring President Bornefeld after he was accused of liking anti-LGBTQ content on his instagram. As a result, QSU removed SGA meetings from their list of safe spaces on campus. (Arthur H. Trickett-Wile)

 “We [QSU] would no longer like to associate SGA on our safe space website due to the fact of the association with transphobia,” Flowers said. “Until a public apology is released, we don’t feel comfortable associating with SGA as we have many queer students within the organization that no longer feel safe within SGA or feel as though they can go to SGA with any issues they face on campus.”

Julie Mishchuk, speaker of the senate, requested a Judicial Council hearing to potentially censure Bornefeld for his actions calling it “reprehensible” and “not what SGA stands for.”  The Judicial Council voted unanimously against the censure saying they found no cause for censure according to the Constitution.The meeting was attended by members of QSU who claimed SGA did not represent the student body.

“As president, President Bornefeld has a responsibility to every single student within this campus, including queer students and trans students, those trans students having [the] right to feel safe and having [the] right to feel represented, which they don’t feel with President Bornefeld in office currently,” Flowers said.

Flowers said QSU refuses to associate with SGA until a formal public apology has been released.

Flowers also brought into question the ethics and integrity of those who plan to take part in judiciary trials and brought up the council as “unfair due to the fact that most people are nominated by the president himself.”

Bornefeld is the first with office reports, stating that he “always commits to loving thy neighbor, but I cannot commit to always agreeing with my neighbor.” 

He continues how it aligns with his Christian values and where he puts his “money where his mouth is.”

He shared that he is open for coffee or breakfast for discussion on disagreements with anything related to SGA.

WKU SGA Student Body President and Student Regent Cole Bornefeld speaks Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 in the SGA chambers on campus in Bowling Green, Ky. Less than a week before, SGA voted unanimously against censuring President Bornefeld after he was accused of liking anti-LGBTQ content on his instagram. (Arthur H. Trickett-Wile)

“It’s okay to disagree with people, it’s something that’s going [to] happen in everyday life,” Cade Holcombe, senator at large, said.“[…] you’re not going to go through life catering to your beliefs, that’s just how it is.” 

Mishchuk announced that SGA would be tabling on Trans Visibility Day on March 31.

Multiple bills were also presented at the meeting. One of these bills was a $500 allocation to Bike4Alz team 11, which is a nonprofit that raises money for Alzheimer’s research. These funds would come from the Legislative Discretionary Budget. This bill was tabled to be revisited at the next meeting.

A bill asking for $100 in funding for a community relations survey was also presented. The bill states “The Community Relations Committee values the input and suggestions from the student body” and the allocated funds will go towards awarding two random participants a $50 gift card. The bill was debated and passed. 

Two items concerning menstrual products on campus were also passed. One bill asked for an allocation of $200 for the purchase of 35 menstrual cups to distribute at tabling events. The bill hopes to provide students with a reusable product students may not purchase for themselves due to the cost.

The second resolution asked for the support of the addition of menstrual product dispensers on the first floor of every academic building on campus. According to the resolution, multiple academic buildings do not have menstrual product dispensers. The resolution was passed and will provide access to these dispensers in women’s restrooms in academic buildings.

Reporter Matthew Fulkerson can be contacted at [email protected].