In one of the final sessions for the UNC 100th Senate on March 6, the Undergraduate Senate Student Government, along with a representative from the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, proposed and voted on three University resolutions.
Senators from both the Undergraduate Senate Government and the Graduate and Professional Student Federation offered proposals for resolutions on campus.
Resolution for annual sexual assault awareness week passes unanimously
Senator Reeves Moseley of the School of Social Sciences District began the proposals with a resolution for instituting an annual sexual assault awareness week on UNC’s campus.
“We’re looking to create a lot of different groups and a strong foundation to incorporate a lot of different facets of the student body,” Moseley said. “... We’re working with Carolina Advocates for Gender Equity to create a bunch of different events for each of the five days.”
In addition to partnering with campus groups, Moseley and a team have contacted community organizations for support in this event, in an effort to raise awareness not only at UNC, but in the greater local community, as well.
“We want to create a lot of different groups with that, and bring a lot of awareness throughout the week, so leading into the summer, into finals and everything, so that students are aware of that, and the community is aware of it,” Moseley said.
By designating a week of sexual assault awareness, Moseley hopes to illustrate that “as the flagship University of the state of North Carolina, we do not condone any kind of behavior such as this.”
Following Moseley’s proposal, Stephen Wright, speaker of the Senate, called the group to order and initiated a roll-call vote. The proposal passed unanimously.
Resolution to support same-sex marriage passes
Michelle Hoffner O’Connor, vice president of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, presented a bill proposed by students of the Graduate Senate.
“So essentially what this bill is, is it’s responding to HB 65 and obviously directly opposing it,” Hoffner O’Connor said.
Titled the “Marriage Amendment Reaffirmation Act,” House Bill 65 proposes to invalidate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. By invalidating this ruling, North Carolina would reinstate the state's same-sex marriage ban approved in 2012.
“This legislation is largely illegal from a constitutional perspective, especially since marriage equality is a nationally recognized thing,” Hoffner O’Connor said.
While it remains unclear if the bill will make it to a vote in the North Carolina legislation, Hoffner O'Connor said this resolution will support UNC students regardless.
“We feel it’s important to stand in solidarity with our fellow students on this campus, and make sure that their rights and protected and that we support them,” Hoffner O’Connor said.
The resolution passed through the Undergraduate Senate Government.
Senator voices opposition to a potential Pearson-UNC partnership
The final proposal of the meeting was presented by Senator Wil Wiener, of the School of Biological and Health Sciences District.
Wiener proposed an opposition to a potential partnership between Pearson, the textbook company, and UNC. The partnership would require students to subscribe to Pearson’s platform for all classes requiring online textbooks rather than purchasing individual access codes. Wiener sees the partnership as detrimental for low-income students.
“Students who are low income and might have trouble affording their resources, this just perpetuates the fact that you need to spend $100 on top of your tuition in order to be able to do your homework for a class,” Wiener said.
In addition to financial concerns for students, the partnership would limit personalized input from professors, forcing students to learn the materials Pearson wants, rather than the materials the professor wants, according to Wiener.
After a lengthy discussion, the proposal was tabled for a vote at the next meeting.
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