Murray State SGA responds to violence in Charlottesville

Story by Sabra Jackson, Staff writer

 

Student Government Association President Tori Wood formed and presented a resolution to support the University of Virginia after the Unite the Right rally along with over 150 other student body presidents across the nation. The vote was 27-0 in favor of signing the resolution.

The Unite the Right rally was a gathering of supporters of various racist hate groups in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Wood, senior from Symsonia, Kentucky, said after everything that happened at the University of Virginia, university student body presidents wanted to make a statement. They put together a document on behalf of the students across the United States.

“Our statement is about being an inclusive university,” Wood said. “As an individual on Murray State’s campus, it is not a stance about the different sizes of controversy, but it is about being someone who practices those principles of diversity.”

Wood and the student government decided to sign the document to let the University of Virginia and other campuses across the nation know that our student body will stand with them and assist them if needed.

“The purpose of the resolution is for the student senate of the Student Government Association at Murray State University to support the document signed by student body presidents across the united states,” Wood said.

The original statement states students should be able to call campus spaces home and feel safe. It attests that campuses are not a place of violence, hate and racism.

Wood serves many different roles across campus and supports the preparation that the university has taken if a situation, such as the University of Virginia rally, should arise.

“I am hopeful that the student body will unite as a front and support the actions taken by the university and peacefully stand up against what they believe is wrong,” Wood said. “I believe that having your own voice and representing the student voice is a very, very powerful thing.”

Connor Moore, fifth year student from Dix, Illinois said he fully supports the resolution and was part of the writing process along with Wood.

“For me, it was just what would I want to read and what would I want to see coming out of my student government,” Moore said.

Moore said SGA used the guidelines of the four principles of diversity, which includes accepting one another, learning from one another, creating an atmosphere of positive engagement and challenging bigotry.

“Here at Murray State’s campus, it doesn’t really matter about anything,” Austin Zinobile, junior from Bowling Green, Kentucky, said. “We are all blessed that anybody can come here and have their freedom of speech and not get judged.”

“It is unfortunate of what happened out in Charlotte, and so just to think how lucky we are here, to me that is what really stood out because there are all sorts of walks of life here,” Zinobile said.

The SGA’s “Resolution to Support the ‘Student Body Presidents for UVA’” can be found online at the SGA website and students are encouraged by the SGA to sign it.