SGA 9/30 meeting recap: SGA denounces administration’s decision to remove BLM banners


Lauren Wessell

The Student Government Association (SGA) meets every Tuesday from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

During this week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting, the recent removal of the Black Lives Matter movement banners on campus to a future exhibit was a prominent topic. 

Sabrina Balent, SGA’s Vice President, brought this topic up during her weekly report.

“Along with myself a lot of exec members, you know are disappointed, is how I’ll word it in this decision and with this situation,” Balent said. “So, Matt and I brought this up in a meeting with a couple of individuals of higher administration saying that we were disappointed. We feel like this decision, obviously let a lot of students down and rightfully so. We talked through it and we said something needs to happen. So, basically, to sum up the process of what happened several emails were sent and several hour-long phone calls were made and we came into possession of two Black Lives Matter banners.”

One of these banners is hanging up by Wagner Dining Hall and Veterans Hall and the other by the two Fisher buildings. These two banners were acquired by reaching out to all of the departments who originally purchased and hung them up over the summer and asking if SGA could take them into possession to keep them prominently displayed on campus. SGA is currency working to obtain the other three banners, but at the time of this meeting the three other departments had not responded to their request. 

Balent said the reason SGA is allowed to hang these banners up without breaking the new Banners, Posters and Temporary Outdoor Signs policy is by sponsoring them and placing their logo and contact info on the banner.

“So it’s not obvious at all, but the SGA logo is laminated on these banners and they’re stapled on to them,” Balent said. “So it’s not a permanent embroidery which we also didn’t want, and it was, what we had to do in order to work through the logistics of still allowing these banners to be hung up because this is a message we got to get out there to the students andit shouldn’t be silenced.”

The new banner policy states that student organizations can only keep up banners, posters or temporary signs for two weeks. However, SGA is looking towards contacting and working with other UNCW student organizations to start a rotation of sponsorship to keep the banners up as long as possible. 

Following reports from all the other executive and committee chair members, Senator Thomas Wilson moved to bring new business to the floor. 

Robby Fensom, Chief of Staff, then introduced Resolution ‘A Resolution to Denounce the UNCW Administration’s Decision to Remove the #BlackLivesMatter Banners.’

Resolution Formated 9.29 (1) by Veronica Wernicke on Scribd

WHEREAS, the Student Government Association seeks to stand with minority student leaders in advocating for issues impacting the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) campus community; and WHEREAS, the UNCW Seahawk Respect Compact includes the following affirmation, “We promote the right of every person to participate in the free exchange of thoughts and opinions within a climate of civility and mutual respect;” as stated in the resolution. 

The resolution also referred to the administration’s decision as “inappropriate messaging” by choosing to display the banners as art instead of an “ongoing human rights protest” and locking the banners in a warehouse without providing a timeline for their display in the exhibition. 

Through this resolution, SGA is also calling upon the UNCW administration to acknowledge their wrongdoing and provide a clear timeline for the banners display.

This resolution was approved with a vote of 31 yays, two nays and one abstention. 

According to Fensom, the resolution has been sent out to the administrative mandates.