SGA introduces hate crime, other legislation
In the most recent Campus Security Reports, Ball State did not report any hate crimes. However, that doesn't mean it isn't a concern for Ball State students. In September, a note containing racial slurs surfaced near campus, and it quickly spread on social media.
The Student Government Association presented hate crime legislation Nov. 16 that calls for a meeting of Indiana colleges and universities to talk about the hate crime laws — or lack thereof — in Indiana.
According to the legislation and the Movement Advancement Project, Indiana is one of five states that has no hate crime legislation.
Just two weeks ago, SGA passed a resolution to create a summit for dealing with sexual assault at Indiana colleges and universities. As proposed in the resolution, the summit would expand to include discussion on hate crimes.
Matt Hinkleman, the author of the resolution, said Ball State isn't necessarily the problem.
“Ball State is a very inclusive campus,” Hinkleman said. “We accept everybody no matter what, so we feel the lack of these laws is kind of troubling to us, and we want to look out for all of Indiana, especially not just Ball State.”
The legislation will likely be voted on at the next senate meeting in two weeks.
SGA has only passed one resolution this semester. At this week's meeting, however, their agenda was full with five resolutions.
Here's a breakdown of the other resolutions SGA is working on or passed Nov. 16:
- Revision of Grant acceptance procedure and Stance on Outside Political Influence Impeding on Ball State Education: sent back to committee
Both pieces of legislation were inspired by the “Papa John” Schnatter and the Charles Koch Foundation grant. And both were sent back to committee Nov. 16 after what was supposed to be the resolutions' final readings before being voted on.
SGA senators decided to create the legislation after the Progressive Student Alliance voiced their concerns about the legislation.
“We are citing [the specific grant] as an example," said Zoe Taylor, one of the resolution's authors. "We’re not saying we’re taking a stance against it, we’re citing it as a concern."
Some senators worried the resolution would look like SGA was taking a stance against the specific grant. Some were concerned about the legislation being the result of only one group's opinions or mob rule.
Others just wondered if it was possible to be completely separated from political influence because the Indiana governor chooses the Board of Trustees.
“As a state institution we’re constantly being impacted by political influence," said Trevor Holland, chair of the Community and Environmental Affairs committee. "I don’t know how we can avoid that.”
- "Ashtray" update: likely to be voted on next senate meeting
This resolution acknowledges that the university plans to fix up the "Ashtray," the area between the Architecture Building and Whitinger Business Building.
- ROTC Priority Scheduling: likely to be voted on next senate meeting
For ROTC students, graduating on time can be challenging, according to the SGA legislation. This resolution would give ROTC students, active service members, veterans, Reservists and members of the national guard the ability to register for classes before the majority of the student population.
Alexus Torrence, chair of academic affairs committee, said this could help ROTC students graduate on time more easily.
"I think it's important because I feel like they make a large difference, not only on our campus but in life," Torrence said. "I feel like they're wanting to do something big with their lives so as a university we should support them on not only their dreams, but also helping out our country in the future."
There are currently 91 students in the program.
SGA will next meet Nov. 30, and only has two meetings remaining in the semester.