SGA denounces organizations using hate speech against Asians

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

At their recent meeting, the Student Government Association (SGA) passed a resolution denouncing hate speech and microaggressions on UNCW’s campus. Specifically, the SGA denounced the rhetoric used by the student organization, Students for Trump on their Instagram account.

Resolution ‘A Resolution to Denounce ‘Students for Trump’ for Hateful Language Against Asian Students and Other Microaggressions Expressed at UNCW’ was passed with 30 yays, one nay and five abstentions.

Hateful Speech Resolution by Veronica Wernicke on Scribd


Authors of the bill included Brianna Ramirez, director of diversity and inclusion; Tatyana Williams, vice chair of diversity and inclusion and CAS senator; Karen Metcalf, senator for non-traditional students; and Hannah Horowitz, at-large senator. 

The resolution was supported and co-sponsored by Brienna Rafferty, president of Asian Student Association (ASA); Jamie Yang, secretary of ASA; Doan Nguyen, treasurer of ASA; Hai Nguyen, community service chair of ASA; Akiré Rogers, public relations chair of ASA.

The resolution was brought to the floor after student complaints were brought to the SGA, specifically concerning the Instagram account @sft_wilmington, which is run by the student organization, Students for Trump.

Story highlights on their Instagram included phrases like “kung-flu” and “china virus.” As of March 17, the “kung-flu” story highlight has either been removed or had its name changed. The “china virus” story highlights are still active.


Screenshots of the @sft_wilmington Instagram account, featuring a “china virus” story highlight.


“RECOGNIZING, the terms “china virus” and “kung flu” represent the type of microaggressions and derogatory speech that are in direct violation of the Seahawk Respect Compact, and RECOGNIZING, hate crimes against Asian-Americans have risen 150% throughout 2020 due to the harmful rhetoric describing the COVID-19 pandemic (MSN, 2020),” as written in the resolution. 

The resolution also noted the importance that the responsibility of advocating for issues like this should not solely fall on diverse and multicultural students and their organizations, but instead “should be a collaborative effort by all students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and administrators.”

After Ramirez went over the bill, all the authors took time to share why they felt the resolution needed to be written and passed.

“As a member of the student body of UNCW, I feel it’s incumbent upon me to show respect to other people,” said Metcalf. “And even if other people have the right by freedom of expression, freedom of speech, to be disrespectful, that doesn’t mean that those of us who respect all individuals shouldn’t stand up and say hey, it’s not okay to put people down in this way.”

Williams then went on to read a list of microaggressions she has encountered at UNCW.

“As a minority student here at UNCW, a woman of color especially, microaggressions, are real,” said Williams. “But I want to mention this because I want to emphasize this is not based on any political affiliation, but the number of microaggressions I am about to read, are ones that have been from all political affiliation.”

Some of the microaggressions included, “you would make a good slave, you have your papers right, what are you, we are the same color, so I’m practically Hispanic, can I touch your hair and you surprise me, you’re just so articulate.”

“I want to emphasize that microaggressions are not just things that are outwardly racist, but these terms like “kung flu” and “China virus” are microaggressions that are heavily affecting our mental health, especially of our Asian student population,” said Williams. “If they’re saying [these things] online, imagine what’s being said in our residence halls to students. So this resolution can definitely show our support for those students who are suffering through that and there’s a chance that somebody is going through this and hasn’t spoken up about it.”

Lastly, Horowitz expressed her reasoning for supporting the resolution and wanting to be a part of writing it.

“We wrote this because of the larger historical context of blaming certain ethnic, racial or religious groups for such types of world events. This is not the first time that we have seen a race or ethnicity blamed for an event that happened,” said Horowitz. “Reiterating exactly what Tatyana said about microaggressions, this is very real, even if you don’t see it. Even if you maybe feel some type of way about the political aspect of the account, I assure you that is not why we are bringing this to you. We are bringing this to you to highlight the importance of speaking up for our fellow students, especially those in the Asian population, because they’re hurting right now.”

The Seahawk reached out to Students for Trump, but they did not respond for comment by publication.

The SGA will not be meeting the week of March 21, in order to allow their organization to have a break. However, previous meeting minutes, legislation and the meeting Zoom link can be found on their webpage.