Good intentions, bad methods for SGA resolution

UK is the biggest university in the state, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we have a variety of different opinions and beliefs. This has probably never been more apparent than with the recent debacle over a column published in the Kentucky Kernel that led to a Student Government Association resolution. On Sept. 12, Will Wright, editor-in-chief of the Kernel published a column citing information from a 2013 Pew Research Survey studying widespread beliefs in Muslim-majority countries. The column received backlash from students on campus, specifically the Muslim Student Association. The outcry led to SGA taking notice of the situation and one of their senators proposing a resolution distancing SGA from the stances taken in the column and promoting acceptance for Muslim students at UK. The resolution was no doubt well intended. A group of students on campus felt insulted and belittled, and SGA tried to accommodate them by assuring

furosemide side effectsfurosemide 20 mglisinopril side effects rash picturessildenafil 20 mg hctzsildenafil 100mg tablets they have a place here on campus, and indeed they do. Tolerance and diversity on campus should be encouraged, and every student at UK deserves to be treated with respect. But there are better ways to demonstrate this than condemning a column from a student newspaper. If SGA wants to promote diversity and inclusion on campus, what better way to do so than hosting a panel discussion on the issue? Have professors or experts on Islam and free speech convene and discuss the importance of both promoting an inclusive campus as well as protecting the First Amendment. Certainly this would be a better option than a legislative body overstepping their boundaries and taking a stance that could dissuade students from voicing their opinions. Yes, it was only a resolution, an opinion statement taken by SGA with no rules or regulations behind it. But who’s to say this resolution won’t influence speech on campus? Will others with viewpoints that some might deem controversial fear expressing their beliefs because SGA now has a documented history of distancing themselves from speech with which they disagree?

If SGA is going to promote diversity, which they should, they should actually take the steps to promote diversity by having an actual discussion on campus.