Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Jimmie Bragdon's name was misspelled. The Iowa State Daily regrets this error.
Student Government heard the concerns of several students at open forum as well as made an amendment to a bill that would increase funding for professional development Wednesday.
During open forum, several students came to speak about a resolution passed at the previous meeting that endorsed a bill allowing groups to deny leadership positions to students for reasons such as sexuality or race that is currently making its way through the state legislature.
Taylor Blair, a junior in industrial design, spoke about the senators lack of understanding of their previous passing of the bill, as well as mentioning Sen. Madison Mueller’s quote, which appeared to compare a person’s sexuality to their GPA and amount of community service. Blair referred to the comment as “not only incorrect, but dangerous.”
Blair also encouraged the senators to not only rescind their endorsement of the bills, but to completely condemn the legislation.
“Why is there a single group whose mission would be altered because a queer person is on their board? A black person is on their board? Why? I don’t understand that,” Blair said.
Trinity Dearborn, a junior in women's and gender studies, talked about the language of the bill and how the particular section of the bill seemed out of place. They also addressed Sen. Mueller’s comment and argued that if a restriction on race or sexuality could be placed on the leadership of a club, any kind of restriction would also have to be allowed.
Sen. Mueller responded saying she did not intend for her quote to correlate sexuality and GPA as equal factors but wanted to defend a religious club’s right to have a belief system or a multicultural club’s right to want a multicultural student in leadership.
Jimmie Bragdon, a senior in industrial engineering, also clarified some points about the bill and spoke in opposition of Student Government’s resolution.
Bragdon noted the difference between hate speech and free speech, and to point out that free speech is also covered on the Facilities Planning and Management website and is protected by the Constitution. Bragdon said that he didn’t think the endorsement of the bill was entirely necessary.
“I don’t really like it when people come out and explicitly support ‘Hey, let’s expand free speech everywhere,’ because that suggests it wasn’t free to being with, which I think is the wrong assumption to make,” Bragdon said.
While the Senate made no adjustments to the resolution at the meeting Wednesday night, there are plans among senators to either amend the resolution or possibly rescind it.
An order, titled “Rescinding Executive Order 2018-01-22," called for the removal of Director of Residency Dozmen Lee. During the adoption of the agenda, the order was officially struck from the agenda.
The Senate will also see an act, titled “P&C Amendment for Professional Development," to accommodate for the growing need for increased professional development, specifically for Student Legal Services.
An amendment was added to adjust a misstatement made regarding the financial situation of Student Legal Services. A representative of SLC, Michael Levine, attended the meeting to speak and correct the statement. The following quote was specifically referred to clarify the language that was not entirely correct.
“Student Legal Services is funded entirely by Student Government and is specifically for students, yet employees there are forced to pay out-of-pocket expenses for professional development,” according to the document.
Levine said the language made it seem as if all expenses for professionals were paid out of pocket, which was untrue. The increase in funding would allow Student Legal Services to attend important conferences, as the cost of professional development has increased substantially, and the funding has not increased.
The phrasing was altered to read as follows:
“Student Legal Services is funded entirely by Student Government and is specifically for students, and whereas the cost of attendance for professional development has increased significantly without a corresponding increase in allocations,” according to the updated amendment.
The amendment was accepted by unanimous consent.
The act amends the total allotment given to the “Professional Development” section of the Priorities and Criteria form $1,500 per professional employee per year to $3,000.
The act was approved with a vote of 25-0-0.
The Ames Student Association for Malaysians requested $4000 to assist them in hosting an event to celebrate the Malaysian Cultural Night. The event will be held April 27 for an estimated 500 people and the funding would allow the club to decrease the cost of traditional food. The organizations exists to enhance communication and promote Malaysian Culture among its constituents and Iowa State’s students, faculty and staff.
The funding request was tabled by unanimous consent.
For more information or to contact your senator, visit stugov.iastate.edu. The senate meetings are open to the public 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.