Monday, October 18, 2021
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SGA discusses plan for handling controversial speakers on campus

The Student Government Association (SGA) discussed a potential plan for preventing violence at events held by controversial speakers in a meeting Monday night. The plan comes in light of protests at an on-campus event hosted by conservative speaker Michael Knowles last week.

The plan consists of a blueprint that will potentially evaluate speakers before coming to the university to see if they are a possible risk factor for the safety of students.

A majority of SGA members hope that all speakers, in addition to those who speak on controversial or non-academic subjects, are evaluated beforehand to prevent bias and legal concern.

The plan would focus on looking at the past history of the speaker to see if violence has been sparked at prior speaking events.

The SGA ultimately doesn’t have power over the possibilities desired in the plan. However, the suggestions will be taken to the administration to ensure they are on the same page with the actions the chancellor decides to take.

The chancellor is currently working on a task force separate from the SGA’s plans.

The SGA is aware the university promotes free speech, but also understands that certain words and phrases can incite violence.

The SGA also discussed Sandra Miles’ departure from the university.
Members agreed her sudden resignation is concerning and that she was very devoted to the students of UMKC.

SGA President Abdulmajeed Baba Ahmed said he doesn’t want to divulge any assumptions regarding her departure as to avoid spreading disinformation.

Lecturer Rhiannon Dickerson also discussed Lean in Together (LIT).
LIT is an anonymous forum which is being refined by the Anti-Racism White Allies & Advocates Affinity (ARWAA) group.

The forum’s purpose is to have library workers share their experiences and inform the University Libraries’ Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee whether any training or other alterations are necessary.

Another point of discussion was Educate-Organize-Advocate (EOA), a social justice and activism conference in the Kansas City community.

The purpose of this conference is to help engage people of the Kansas City area in meaningful topics pertaining to identity, socioeconomic class, spirituality and more.

EOA is holding a conference on Oct. 30 with guest speaker Robin Diangelo to discuss social and racial issues.

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  1. A plan to prevent violence at campus? Maybe it’s just Occam’s Razor talking, but wouldn’t the greatest deterrent to violence on campus be actually punishing those who commit violence on campus? The weak-kneed response from campus and ‘blaming the victim’ only promotes such disconcerting behavior.


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