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SGA voices support for climate action, victims of sexual misconduct

SGA+voices+support+for+climate+action%2C+victims+of+sexual+misconduct
Courtesy of App State SGA

During their last meeting of the semester, the SGA approved two bills containing statements about their support of university climate action as well as victims of sex-based misconduct. 

The assembly met Tuesday in the multicultural center and via Zoom and voted to approve both bills. The statement of support for climate action was approved unanimously and the support statement for victims of sexual misconduct was approved by 34 votes with one abstention. 

According to Assembly Bill 057–013, titled, “SGA Climate Action Statement,” the goal of the statement is to represent the student’s voices by encouraging App State to “continue leading the charge in sustainable practices within the UNC system.” 

The SGA conducted a climate action survey of App State students, according to the bill, and 51% of respondents said they did not feel App State was “fulfilling its climate obligations.” 

The survey also reported many respondents did not know where to find the university’s climate action plan and 86% of respondents were in favor of climate literacy courses, according to the bill. 

“Recognizing the current state of climate uncertainty and our commitment to creating a more environmentally-just campus, the Student Government Association will continue to actively work towards increasing climate awareness, engagement, and education on campus,” the bill reads. 

The bill stated SGA’s support of App State’s recent Quality Enhancement Plan, which has selected the proposed topic of “Climate Literacy and Response-Ability: Cultivating Resilient and Just Communities,” according to the QEP website

The QEP is part of the reaccreditation process App State undergoes every 10 years through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and will take place in 2024. 

According to the QEP proposal, “With a climate literacy QEP, App State can develop and implement transformational, justice-centered climate curricula that prepare every graduate to contribute to climate solutions in their professions and communities.”

According to the SGA’s Tuesday meeting minutes, this bill was created by the Sustainable Development Committee within the SGA. 

The second bill was created by the SGA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. 

Assembly Bill 057-14, titled, “Statement on Supporting Victims of Sex-Based Misconduct,” recognizes the impact of sex-based misconduct and provides students with resources if they need to report misconduct. 

“Sex-based misconduct is a deeply distressing issue that affects individuals from diverse backgrounds, and we recognize the urgency of addressing these concerns,” the bill states. “We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to maintaining a zero-tolerance policy towards sex-based misconduct.”

According to the bill, the SGA works closely with members of the University to address campus policies and “promote a campus culture that prioritizes safety and well-being.” 

Within the bill are references to the U.S. Department of Education’s statement on the two forms of sex-based misconduct and App State’s statement on the classification of misconduct. 

The bill also includes national statistics regarding rates of sexual assault and violence on college campuses and statistics about App State students. 

“In 2022, there was one report of domestic violence, six reports of dating violence, and 15 reports of stalking on our campus,” the bill says. “We empathize with all survivors of sex-based misconduct, regardless of their choice to report or refrain from reporting the violence they have endured on or off our campus.” 

A third bill was proposed and rejected for further revision during the meeting. The “Bill Punctuality Act” was introduced by Alex Wojnicki and was created to increase the amount of time assembly members would be allowed to read a bill before it is proposed for voting, according to the meeting minutes. 

Several assembly members spoke against the bill and said it needed further revisions to make the wording more clear and apply to all given situations.

 

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About the Contributor
Siri Patterson, News Editor
Siri Patterson (she/her/hers) is a junior journalism major with a minor in political science. This is her second year writing for The Appalachian.
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