Annie Deitz, Campus Carrier Managing Editor
Last week, students participated in three different demonstrations in response to the announcement made in an email from the President’s Office on Oct. 5 that the staff member who had been investigated for social media usage had been moved to a position in Student Enterprises.
In addition to the first demonstration held outside of Krannert during the lunch hour last Tuesday, students demonstrated at the Birthday Bash Tuesday night and the Grand March on Wednesday afternoon. The latter two of the events were hosted, at least in part, by SGA. According to SGA President David Lindsey, senior, the organization has been in contact with student leaders involved in the response to the Berry administration’s decision to move the staff member to the new position.
“On Tuesday morning, I reached out to Rebekah Rowe [President of the Black Student Association (BSA), senior] to say ‘SGA would love to speak with you and BSA about how we can hear you, and just have a conversation about what’s going on and what your plans are,” Lindsey said. “We were able to speak with her and her entire executive team on Wednesday, and were able to talk about how SGA could address it.”
In order for SGA to act on the wishes of those students protesting, Lindsey explains that the Executive Board needs any issues to be formally expressed during SGA.
“What we need to really solidify it, and for us to be able to see things and decide to work on it, is a complaint,” Lindsey said. “We need information to be brought up during new business. Then it can be officially brought up for discussion with SGA. Then we can start moving it through the system.”
During SGA meetings, Executive Board officers open the floor for discussion from student attendees in a section called “new business.” The president, Lindsey this year, will ask if anyone present has new business to bring up on behalf of the student body. A student could then choose to discuss anything, and it would be formally brought up to SGA, who would then be able to work on the issue and continually update the student body at SGA meetings in the future as progress is made.
As Lindsey explains, aside from participating in the “new business” section in-person, they can also email SGA.
“I would love for a student to email us as well, and I can just open up discussion around this topic at the meeting and say ‘hey, a student brought this to my attention and I would like it to open it up for a discussion with the student body.’” Lindsey ssaid. “If a student doesn’t feel comfortable coming because of COVID, or for another reason, that’s fine that isn’t the only option for introducing new business.”
This semester, students have the option to attend SGA meetings over Zoom or in-person. The next SGA meeting will occur on Tuesday, at 7 p.m. More information about accessing the Zoom link will be available on the Berry Events app. The in-person meetings are held in the Krannert Ballroom, and students hoping to attend the in-person meeting should reserve a spot on the Berry Events app as well.
Last Friday, SGA posted an official statement regarding student demonstrations on their Instagram. The statement can be read below.
“A message from SGA:
We want to begin by thanking every student who has attended the Mountain Day Week events thus far. Martha’s Birthday Bash, the Grand March, and the Laser Show were planned for the campus to participate and the student body showed up! We are looking forward to the talent show tomorrow evening hosted by KCAB in the Ford Auditorium and all of the Marthapalooza events on Saturday and Sunday.
At the Birthday Bash and at the Grand March there were students who held demonstrations. As the Student Government Association, we want the student body to know that we are your voice. We were listening and we hear you. Furthermore, we support all students at Berry and we diligently work hard to make sure that Berry feels like it is YOUR home.
We want to hear what students have to say, so we urge you to come to our weekly meetings on Tuesday evenings at 7pm so that your voice can be heard. We also offer a Zoom link for students who want to participate virtually. Additionally, our office hours are 10am-2pm Monday – Friday. However, if these times do not work for you, then we would be happy to try and accommodate a different time to meet with you. As always, you can email us at email@example.com or through our Instagram @berrysga.
The SGA Executive Board”