SGA passes resolution recognizing 40 years of campus LGBTQ organizations

Andrew Linnabary

Wichita State Student Government Association unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday recognizing the 40-year history of LGBTQ groups on campus.

The resolution, authored by SGA Legislative Director Marilyn Morton and Chief of Staff Katie Deutsch, cited various WSU LGBTQ organizations and statistics, emphasizing the breadth of LGBTQ organizations on campus and previous SGA sessions’ lack of inclusiveness towards such organizations.  

The resolution resolved that the 59th Session of the Student Government Association “formally apologizes for previous sessions’ homophobic attitudes” and “honors and acknowledges the important role that LGBTQ groups have played on campus.”

After the resolution’s unanimous pass, Student Body President Joseph Shepard himself apologized for SGA’s past handling of LGBTQ organizations. 

“I would like to publicly apologize to those groups and those students who felt that their student representatives did not support them in the way that they needed them to stand up for them,” Shepard said. “That is not who we are as an institution. We do not tolerate xenophobia; we do not tolerate homophobia. We are working to continue to educate our campus.”

After the SGA meeting adjourned, members of SGA reflected their thoughts on the resolution.

Vice President Taben Azad said the resolution was a great chance to correct SGA’s past mistakes.

“It’s a great stand against any kind of discrimination or prejudice toward a group of people,” Azad said.

Chief of Staff Katie Deutsch said she was happy that the 59th session stands in solidarity with LGBTQ students and community members.

“I expected some contention, but the resolution was all fact based, so I’m very happy the resolution passed unanimously,” Deutsch said. 

Student Body President Joseph Shepard said he believes SGA has come a long way from its discriminatory past.

“I wanted to make sure the individuals in the room who openly identified with these communities knew that their student body representation stands with them and support them regardless of how we feel personally about their stance on sexual orientation or religion,” Shepard said.