The Ball State Student Government Association (SGA) hopes to make a change in Indiana legislation in terms of hate crimes. 

SGA proposed a resolution to send a letter to Indiana representatives asking to create a hate crime law in Indiana at its senate meeting Wednesday in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center.

The letter states, “It is the responsibility of all of us to combat these egregious ideas to ensure our communities are inclusive and accepting of all. Without hate crime laws of any sort, Indiana remains idle in this responsibility.”

“We haven’t exactly figured out exactly where we are going to send it to,” said Matt Hinkleman, vice president of SGA and author of the resolution. “We know we are going to send it to representatives from the Indiana state government.”

Hinkleman said he hopes the new law allows for “extra punishment” if the crime was motivated by a bias.

Indiana is one out of only five states that do not have a hate crime law in place, according to the resolution. Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Wyoming also do not have a hate crime law in place.

The FBI defines hate crimes as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

According to the annual campus security report, there were five hate crimes on Ball State’s campus between 2016-2017, three of which were related to gender. The other two hate crimes were related to race. 

More than half of Indiana law enforcement, according to the proposed letter, did not report hate crimes between 2009 to 2015. 

For students who aren’t involved in SGA, Hinkleman said that he wants to “advertise” the letter to students, and if students want, they can put their name on the letter.

The resolution will be voted on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the senate meeting.

Contact Charles Melton with comments at cwmelton@bsu.edu or on Twitter @Cmelton144.