The Student Government Association (SGA) met May 4 at 9:30 p.m. in the GM Savage Memorial Chapel for a Star Wars-themed senate, with Union University President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver, to consider three bills and nine resolutions.
Oliver opened the discussion by referring to the verse of the year, 1 Corinthians 13:7, and reminding members of the purpose of the community to love each other well.
“I hope, even more than that, that we will be a community that lives our love for each other. Not just in words, but also in deeds,” Oliver said.
Senate Resolution 201-21, which supports the installation of security cameras at the entrances to all college buildings and on campus, sparked the most debate of all the other resolutions overnight. Resolution sponsors Merry Ashlyn Gatewood and Jess Bogle cited the small number of outdated existing cameras that put a strain on safety and security (S&S), other local universities with extensive security camera networks, catching up with college with time and personal relationships. of students who felt unsafe on campus as reasons for passing the resolution.
“The lack of security cameras really prevents [S&S] to be able to react quickly to events and later if there is, for example, a police report filed, they have no video evidence,” Gatewood said.
The sponsors spoke to an S&S officer who cited various incidents he had heard about that he believed could have been avoided or dealt with more quickly with the presence of effective security cameras.
The debate centered on students’ right to privacy, which some say would be violated if there were security cameras on campus, versus student safety. A student in favor of the resolution felt that the freedoms that would be lost were outweighed by the security that would be gained. The resolution was adopted with 93 votes in favor and 30 against.
The Senate also considered Resolution 201-14 which called for larger toilet seats in men’s quads. Zachary Bitterling was the sole sponsor and said the toilet seats in the men’s quads were down 2 and 1/2 inches from regular toilet seats.
“One of my friends even complained about it. He’s come all the way from [his dorm] to the Bowld to go to the bathroom,” Bitterling said.
The resolution was postponed sine die by two votes. For the resolution to be reconsidered, a member who initially supported the postponement must propose to reconsider it at the next Senate meeting in the fall.
In addition to resolutions on security cameras and toilet seats, the Senate passed 10 other pieces of legislation:
Senate Bill 201-11 requesting $200 from the club’s volleyball team to fund a ball cart and new volleyballs.
Senate Bill 201-12 requesting $200 from Life139 to fund blessing bags, trips to Memphis and Nashville, and a year-end pizza party.
Senate Bill 201-13 requesting $130 from Sigma Tau Delta to fund a Torch launch party.
Senate Resolution 201-15 “Requesting that bulletin boards be added to White Hall and the Blasingame Academic Complex (BAC) and designated for student use.”
Senate Resolution 201-16 “Requesting the placement of wooden poles for the suspension of portable hammocks.”
Senate Resolution 201-17 “Support the Construction of a Gaga Ball Pit.”
Senate Resolution 201-18 “Requesting the restoration of power outlets at the fountain by the PAC”, on the patio des Pieds-nus and on the patio of the library.
Senate Resolution 201-19 “To recommend that Union University expand the parking spaces located along the road between Bulldog Dr. and Lanese Dockery Dr. between Hammonds Hall, the Heritage parking lot, and BAC.”
Senate Resolution 201-20 “Support the creation of a prayer network where professors and professors can access prayer requests from students and other faculty members.”
Senate Resolution 201-22 “Requesting Union University to change the moving deadline from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in an effort to allow more time for students on moving day in the second semester.”
Photo by Lauren Steed