SGA offer support in changing controversial namesakes, building community garden

Image from iOS (14).jpg

The Student Government Association passed legislation Tuesday regarding WKU’s Naming and Symbols Task Force, a new on-campus community garden, and giving funds to campus organizations in their seventh meeting of the semester. 

The meeting kicked off with a guest speech from Title IX coordinator Deborah Wilkins. Wilkins went over previous legislation that potentially violated Title IX, and explained to senators what Title IX covers. 

Another speaker, Kaleb Ridgeway from the Campus Activities Board, presented an idea for a spring Great Gatsby-themed event to be held in April.

Ridgeway asked senators for support and potential funding for the event. He is still waiting for approval from WKU’s COVID-19 Board. 

The first piece of legislation, authored by Brenna Matthews and Tess Welch, was to offer SGA’s support to WKU’s Naming and Symbols Task Force in changing the names of any WKU buildings that have ties to racism or injustice.

“Ties to slave-owning and the confederate army are not something that a public university that has become dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion would want on their campus,” Matthews said.

After questions and debate, the bill was passed.

The next bill presented, authored by senators Matthew Waninger and Matthew Thomas, asked for funding from SGA for a community garden to be put outside of the WKU Office of Sustainability.

The garden would be available for all WKU students and staff to help with. The bill passed unanimously after questions and debate. 

The last bill of the meeting, authored by Administrative Vice President Isaac Keller, asked for funding from SGA for Western Kentucky University’s United Way of Southern Kentucky, Inc., Midnight on the Hill, Jump Rope Club, and Habitat for Humanity. The bill passed unanimously, and a total of $3,500 will be allocated to these organizations. 

SGA will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, March 9. 

Jacob Latimer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jacoblatimer_.