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SGA discusses handicap accessibility and gender-neutral bathrooms

By Jillian Poland

Senators discussed providing sensitivity training for University professors at the SGA meeting on Jan 31.

Senator Katrina Ferguson said, “I really do believe that professors on this campus need some sort of sensitivity training. Especially because I believe that a lot of the identity phenomenon and problems with new, emerging mental illnesses are things that a lot of professors aren’t used to encountering in their daily life.”

Ferguson suggested providing professors with more exposure to these topics that could help them to understand appropriate ways to handle them in a classroom setting.

“I just feel like there needs to be some standard of how these issues are dealt with so that not every person that I visit to talk about it with has a different standard for how to deal with it,” Ferguson said.

She also encouraged students to speak to professors personally if they felt comfortable enough to do so. “But, that’s exhausting after a while, and it gets super personal,” she added.

Senator Allie Carroll expressed concern about handicap accessibility in the McCarthy Center. “If people aren’t walking around to open the door for someone, there is no way to get in or out of this building,” she said.

Also at the meeting, SGA President Ezequiel De Leon responded to worries about the availability of gender-neutral bathrooms in the McCarthy Center. There is a gender-neutral bathroom “essentially hidden” behind the stage in the forum, he said.

The Budgeting and Planning Committee is “looking into where else we could move that” at this time, De Leon added.

Senator Fallon Soye recalled concerns from a previous meeting about The Red Barn Café’s 8:00 p.m. closing time. Soye said she spoke with Ralph Eddy, director of dining services, and found the change was enacted because The Red Barn Café only received an average of ten customers after 8:00 p.m.

She said, “I was wondering if we could ... have coffee in the library or something, because a lot of students are there until 11:00 p.m. and I think walking to the snack bar when it’s 10 degrees out sort of sucks.”

Carroll also informed SGA members that The Red Barn Café will be open until midnight during finals week.

During the governance committee reports, De Leon said the All University Committee passed a policy change down to the Student Activities Committee regarding the marijuana policy. The change is meant to better articulate that while marijuana is now legal on the state level, it is still illegal at the federal level and not allowed on the University campus.

In other news:

SGA swore in Martin Conley as a senator at large and appointed Ally Chisholm, academic success coordinator for CASA, as their new advisor.

Current Secretary Dayna Marchant resigned from her position due to her busy schedule.

SGA allocated $6,121 to the Community Service Club for service spring break and $4,038.74 to the Fashion Club for its fashion show.

Senator Erin Dempsey presented the U-Rock award to Senator Bridget Green.


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