Campus, News

StuGov calls for more safety on campus after Michael Knowles forum

stugov meeting
Two Boston University Student Government members during a meeting April 25. BU StuGov called for more safety on campus for LGBTQ+ members following an event held by BU YAF featuring conservative commentator Michael Knowles. SYDNEY ROTH/DFP STAFF

In its last meeting of the academic year, the Boston University Student Government called for the University to improve the safety of its LGBTQ+ community on campus.

The resolution comes as a response to a forum hosted Thursday night by BU Young Americans for Freedom featuring conservative commentator Michael Knowles at the School of Law auditorium.

Senators Savannah Majarwitz and Alex Brumfield introduced the resolution which denounced Knowles and described him as “a speaker who is openly transphobic and actively seeks to erode and endanger the LGBTQ+ community.”

In its resolution, StuGov wrote that it was open to working with the University to develop a policy that protects “marginalized communities on campus against hate speech in the interest of both student freedom and student safety.”

“The safety of a lot of trans students were actually at risk because of this event,” Majarwitz said. “There were students who were actually targeted and called out on Twitter and administration was aware of this and is not reaching out to the students.”

StuGov’s resolution also supported demands from the Queer Activist Collective to institute accessible and inclusive housing for transgender, gender nonconforming and intersex students, allow students to change their name and gender marker in a streamlined process and to provide LGBTQ+ inclusivity training for faculty, among other demands. 

In passing the resolution, StuGov also called for the University to act upon student concerns regarding safety while acknowledging that it was complicit in allowing Knowles to speak on campus. 

“It is our responsibility to convey concerns students have to the administration and to then ensure that the administration is acting on these concerns. We have failed in this responsibility and must strive to do better,” the resolution said. “Our inaction is complacency and that must change. We stand with Trans students and the greater LGBTQ+ community and will strive to do better.”

The resolution passed with 26 votes.

Senators spent the rest of the meeting establishing cabinet positions for next year.

Only one student, Gabriela Ramirez, sought to be re-confirmed as cabinet director of City Affairs.

“We built relationships with the Boston Public School system and so I’m hoping that we can continue that partnership doing ‘College Convos’ in the fall,” Ramirez said. 

Esther Yang and Arin Siriamonthep, newly confirmed communications directors, said they wanted to continue the work they began on their Instagram reels and TikTok. Newly elected Academic Affairs director Jacob Aznavoorian said he wanted to continue work he and previous director Sydney Steger had begun on a Free Application for Federal Student Aid workshop.

StuGov confirmed nine cabinet chairs, three judicial positions and two representatives for the Boston Intercollegiate Government throughout the night. 

 

2 Comments

  1. BU was” complicit in allowing Knowles to speak on campus”. That’s called “free speech” for those students who don’t understand. Sorry the world is composed of different opinions. Too bad that mote than one opinion exists. Grow up.

    • Do yourself a favor and look up BU’s free speech policy, since apparently you can’t even be bothered to do that. Furthermore, free speech doesn’t make you immune to criticism.

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