Student Government Association passed legislation this evening that opposes what they say is sexual harassment committed by religious protestors on campus.
Through the legislation, SGA hopes to update the university’s student guidebook in order to protect students from vulgar or obscene spoken word. SGA would also like to see activity from SHSU’s Faculty Senate in order to take a stand against the harassment.
SGA saw a need for the bill after witnessing alleged repeated sexually harassing comments made by the religious protestors in Bearkat Plaza. In addition, because students feel as if they are being sexually harassed, the protestors are in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendment through the 14th Amendment, according to the bill.
Student Body President Spencer Copeland, who also authored the bill, said SGA supports free speech until it becomes threatening or damaging to students.
Senator Drew Carson agrees.
“We are supporters of free speech, but the moment one student… gets sexually harassed, it becomes an issue on the table,” Carson said. “It’s a matter of safety and protection. I have to side with the student, because that’s what we’re here for.”
Chief of Staff Robert Ferguson has seen the repercussions of the protestors’ harassing words, and thus sides with the legislation.
“I don’t know how many of my female friends have come up to me crying because somebody, who has no idea who they are yelled to the entire yard that they have a sexually transmitted disease,” Ferguson said. “I’m prior military, I fought for all of our rights, but there is a point where they crossed the line. That right needs to be taken away, because they’re abusing it.”
Read more in Thursday’s issue of The Houstonian.