SGA passes resolution condemning racist attitudes on campus


Jackson Fuentes

The SGA senate meeting on Thursday discussed three pieces of legislation after SGA President Jared Hunter delivered a speech condemning the racist remarks made by recently expelled student, Harley Barber.  

In his speech to the SGA Senate, Hunter said that the video was both appalling and difficult to watch before adding that she does not embody what the university stands for. 

“As student leaders on campus… it’s up to all of us not only in this room [but also] our friends and peers to stand up against this,” Hunter said.  “All of this free speech and freedom of expression comes with consequences.”

Hunter went further by highlighting the fact that Barber most likely had felt this way for an extended period of time, and that he was not surprised at this behavior.  

“We all can agree that sentiments like hers still exist at our university, in our community, in our state, and obviously in our country,” Hunter said.  “While I am saddened and disappointed… I would be naive to say that I’m surprised at that behavior.”

As Hunter finished his speech he said the student response to this video delighted him before reiterating words of caution.  

“All free speech and freedom of expression does come with consequences,” said Hunter.  “The events of a couple days ago show that we have a lot to do as a university.”

After Hunter delivered his speech, the Senate broke into committees before reconvening and discussing Resolution R-11.

The resolution, authored by Senator Michael Smith, condemns racism and intolerance at The University of Alabama and was passed after brief discussion.

Smith said that the resolution is intended to punish the Greek system at the University via harsher sanctions for its lack of representation and enforcing more action towards preventing racism within its ranks.  

“By having harsher sanctions, we move from a territory of condemning the person to condemning the culture that allowed the person to be as racist as they are,” said Smith.  “[We need to ensure] that our Greek system, but also the broader UA community has representation that is adequate, so we can have a diverse background of perspectives and ideologies.”

Smith also stressed the importance of making the Greek system accessible for all students on campus.  

“When we lose that accessibility to an entire third of our campus where the other two thirds doesn’t feel like they have a space in it, you get this disconnect,” said Smith.  “Until we can break down or at least address some of those barriers, we’re never going to get to the root of the problem.”

Following the passage of Resolution 11, Smith addressed the senate once more to formally congratulate the UA football team for their national championship via Resolution 12.  After brief discussion and a technical question involving rat poison, the bill was passed.

Finally, the senate discussed Bill 07 involving the renaming Office of Multicultural Affairs.  After brief discussion and a short speech from Director of Multicultural Affairs Amber Scales, the senate sent the bill to the rules committee.   

Order of Events:

Announcements made regarding next week’s kickoff of the Sophomore LAUNCH

SGA President Jared Hunter delivered an address condemning the remarks made by Harley Barber before addressing the role of student leaders in preventing such behavior from occurring again

The Senate broke into committees 

Resolution R-11 condemning racism and intolerance at The University of Alabama was passed

Resolution R-12 congratulating the Crimson Tide football team on their consensus national championship was passed

Bill B-07 renaming the Office of Multicultural Affairs was sent to the Rules Committee