SGA confirms new senator of education, approves BLM bills

Ellie Myers 

[email protected]

     At the Nov. 18 SGA senate meeting, Flora Jathanna was unanimously approved as the new senator of education.  

     Jathanna, currently the graduate assistant of student life and programming, is pursuing a master’s in education and hopes to focus on supporting student development. 

     Student Body President Emily Gregory gave her recommendation of Jathanna at the meeting, saying that Jathanna “really impressed [SGA] with her knowledge” during her interview.  

     In the senate meeting on Nov. 4, Jathanna had weighed in during public comment in support of SGA’s jackets as promotional material, citing her experience in student life. 

     “There are ways to find things cheaper where money is being considered very heavily, but as representatives to the student body, it’s important to identify yourself,” she said, offering methods of finding cheaper merchandise that she has learned over time.  

     All senators who witnessed Jathanna’s speech at the Nov. 4 meeting expressed how impressed they were by her articulation and experience, with one calling her “more than qualified for this position.” 

     Senator at Large Lisa Ward commented on how valuable Jathanna’s “outgoing spirit and compassion” would be for SGA, and Senator at Large Aidan Meadows said, “I don’t know how we’ve made it this long without her.” 

     Also at the Nov. 18 meeting, several bills were proposed with the intention of demonstrating support of Black Lives Matter on campus. “All of these bills were written, and then the BLM community voted for them,” said Speaker of the Senate Nicholas St. John. 

     The first bill was proposed by Senator at Large AJ Bailey on behalf of BLM for an upcoming lecture event with the goal to “help support stopping racism throughout the UCCS campus.” If approved, a date and time would be decided based on which students could attend. The bill was approved with one senator abstaining.  

     Another bill was a request for $1,000 to go toward a BLM mural on campus. According to St. John, the bill has two purposes: to secure the money for a muralist and to show SGA’s support of BLM.  

     One concern raised was whether any student artists had been considered to create the mural. St. John said he had not previously thought of it but said it was a good idea.  

     For the location of the mural, St. John said the goal would be to have the mural somewhere a lot of people could see it, potentially on one of the buildings closer to Austin Bluffs. The bill was unanimously approved.  

     St. John also proposed a bill that would put SGA’s official approval on an upcoming BLM speaker event in the works. He said he has four potential speakers lined up from the organization or similar organizations: one from Denver and the rest from Colorado Springs.  

     Jathanna asked when the event would take place and suggested February because it is Black History Month. She added that — while St. John said the speakers declined payment — their organizations are still in need of donations.  

     “We don’t pay them, but we do donate to them,” she said, in reference to past speakers she has hosted. “Broadly, if we’re going to put our hands on something like [BLM], it has to be very deeply and thoroughly planned.”  

     After discussion, the bill was unanimously approved.