Student Senate to vote on BLM flag resolution

Analicia Haynes, Editor-in-Chief

The Student Senate will approve one of four resolutions pertaining to the Black Lives Matter flag initiative 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Arcola/Tuscola Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Senate members will also elect a new speaker of the senate for the spring semester.

The four different resolutions, introduced to the Student Senate at its Nov. 28 meeting, were to either endorse the initiative, not endorse it, elect to remain neutral on the matter or offer alternatives to that are more inclusive of Eastern’s diverse community and student body.

Morgan Colvin, a junior political science major, and Keshyra Bluminberg, a junior English secondary education major, started the initiative by creating a petition online that called for the raising of the Black Lives Matter flag on campus.

If approved by Eastern’s administration, the flag would be raised underneath the American flag in the South Quad during African American Heritage Month in February.

Colvin and Bluminberg presented this proposal to the student government on Oct. 31, and the primary purpose of the initiative, according to the resolutions, is to “demonstrate support to African-American students within the Eastern community who face everyday struggles and to give students a sense of inclusion on Eastern’s campus.”

Alicia Matusiak, the vice president of student affairs, drafted the resolutions based on feedback she received from key groups on campus such as the Black Student Union, the Latin American Student Organization and members of Greek Life and from other students on campus.

During the Nov. 28 meeting, Matusiak said the resolution is only a recommendation made on behalf of the student body, and the student government has no control over what the administration ultimately decides.

At an Oct. 31 Student Senate meeting, Colvin and Bluminberg said they do understand that the final decision is up to the administration but asked senators to be the voice for their constituents and show their support.

“A lot of people on this campus want this,” Colvin said at the Oct. 31 meeting. “You have to be able to speak and give that voice (to the students).”

As for speaker elections, the two candidates running are senators Tarvea Durant and Seth Yeakel.

Both Durant and Yeakel agreed that the first thing they will do if elected as speaker is to encourage more people to join student government and boost enrollment in Student Senate.

Student deans, something Carson Gordon, the vice president of academic affairs organized, will be sworn in during the meeting.

The deans will represent the four colleges on campus.

Shay Martin, a graphic design major, will be the student dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Kali Harris, a business administration major, will be the student dean for the Lumpkin College of Business and Technology; Claire Litzenburg and Jordan Thoele, elementary education majors, will be the student deans for the College of Education; and Sara Ferris, a family consumer sciences major with a focus in dietetics, will be the student dean for the College of Health and Human Services.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]