Pride Alliance members and other members of the LGBTQIA+ community attended the Student Government meeting Wednesday to sit in on the voting and debate of a resolution supporting Senate File 274 and House File 316, which purports to promote free speech on college campuses, but also allows student organizations to place restrictions on who can hold a leadership position.
Over 10 students, faculty, staff and community members attended the Student Government meeting to support the Pride Alliance.
Roslyn Gray, president of Pride Alliance, spoke and presented a written letter during the open forum to senators.
“Through passing this bill, the representatives of Student Government have shown, at best, disregard for the experiences of minoritized people on this campus and an unwillingness to fully consider the impacts of their actions,” Gray said when reading the letter. “Suggesting that freedom of speech doesn’t exist on this campus, except for in certain areas, is disingenuous and provides organizations the ability to openly exclude queer students and people with other minoritized identities from gaining valuable social connections and leadership skills.”
Gray requested the entire bill be rescinded.
Sen. Sandeep Stanley responded by asking why the bill should be rescinded.
Gray said that they believe the bill should be rethought because the writers of the resolution included section 3.3 and the entirety of the bill should be called into question because of that inclusion.
Sen. Stanley said that because the wording of the rest of the bill is more clear than section 3.3, which Gray called vague and easily interpreted in different ways, the rest of the bill should not be rescinded.
Sen. Kaitlyn Sanchez asked why there was a problem with the bill if LGBTQIA+ individuals are a protected class federally.
Gray and Kathryn Kananen, president of Asexual Aromantic Alliance, responded by saying even if it is illegal at the federal level, it could still be legal to discriminate at the state level.
Trinity Dearborn, vice president of Pride Alliance and Asexual Aromantic Alliance, rescinded their former support for the rest of the bill as they said it could be potentially used to allow hate crimes to happen without repercussion.
After the open forum, the two bills, one amending the resolution and one to completely rescind the resolution, came to the Senate floor.
The result of the bill amending the resolution proposed by Sen. Stanley passed with a vote of 27-0-0.
The result of the bill rescinding the resolution proposed by Sen. Ihssan Ait-Boucherbil passed with a vote of 15-11-0 meaning that Sen. Stanley’s amendment is overruled and will not be sent onward.
Gray said they were pleased with the result of the voting and Iowa State needs to make their free speech policy more clear and easily searchable.
“I am so glad that they rescinded their support [of the resolution],” Dearborn said.