SGA 10-10 | Photo by Bethany Althauser | The Wright State Guardian
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, Wright State’s Student Government Association held their weekly meeting. The main point of discussion was centered around the Dayton campus rock.
The campus rock
As many are aware, politically-based messages have been appearing on the Dayton campus rock in the past few weeks. This was brought to SGA by students wondering if anything could be done. SGA held a discussion regarding what steps, if any, can or should be taken regarding these messages.
The campus rock has traditionally been used by student organizations, but individual students can use it as well. There have been occasional instances of hate speech and political messaging painted onto the rock, but this was not common.
The established etiquette states that all parties are to wait 24 hours after the rock has been painted before they can repaint it to allow people to view the message, but this etiquette is not always respected.
The SGA discussion centered around what can and cannot be done by SGA to ensure that the messages on the rock will not be considered offensive or improper by the majority of Wright State students. The issue lies in the fact that SGA is considered an agent of the government and therefore cannot restrict any content on the rock without infringing on First Amendment rights, according to Daniel Palmer, government affairs specialist.
“Because it’s not a rule, it can’t be ‘broken,’” Aliesha Knauer, vice president of SGA, added.
Many questions arose, including whether or not the guidelines for the rock should be changed from etiquette to rules, who would enforce any rules set and what the rock is for. There were additional questions about whether or not there should be a sign-up sheet for those who wish to paint the rock, who would set up the sign-up sheet, how long each group would be able to have their message on the rock before it is painted over, whether or not the rock should be restricted to only student organizations, if the rock should be under the same restrictions as the painted tunnel and how to deter people from misusing the rock.
As Brad Kerry, the event coordinator for the Indigenous American Cultural Student Association and president of Astronomical Collaboration, discussed in the Sept. 12 meeting, there is a large population of students that would like to see native plants brought back to the land to increase beautification and biodiversity on campus. SGA voted on that resolution at the Oct. 10 meeting and approved it unanimously.
Rowdy bobblehead award
As is the tradition, the Rowdy bobblehead award was passed from one member to another. Deyavion Washington, director of student health and wellness, passed the award to Ariana Ellis, the chief of staff.
“I’m just very thankful that I’ve been blessed with having a cabinet that cares about what we are doing and wants to make things better for the university,” Ellis said.
SGA will hold their next meeting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the Student Union Atlantis A/B room.