The critical date is edging closer, and the buzz surrounding the controversy is growing louder every day.
Elon University’s Student Government Association partnered with Lauren Clapp, advocacy and eduation chair of Spectrum, last week to draft a resolution expressing SGA’s opposition to Amendment One, an issue in the upcoming North Carolina primary election May 8. If passed, the proposed amendment to the state constitution would define marriage as an exclusively heterosexual union and prohibit the legal rights and recognition of all unmarried couples.
The SGA resolution recognizes the portion of the Elon student body that Amendment One would effectively alienate, and its clauses clearly align with the values Elon students are expected to uphold, according to Darien Flowers, SGA executive president.
“(Amendment One) is not compliant with the (Elon University) policy on discrimination, which specifically references sex, orientation and gender identity,” he said. “If it does pass, Amendment One would disenfranchise a portion of our constituents and part of the greater Elon community.”
With the goal of fostering a more inclusive campus environment, Flowers helped Clapp format Spectrum’s standpoint on the amendment, according to the SGA legislative template.
“We are very happy that an organization approached us about an issue that was important to them so they could make a statement,” he said. “This (resolution) really shines a light on the fact that organizations can generate legislation themselves and know that their elected representatives are going to discuss it.”
Clapp said the resolution has been in the works since the start of the semester, but the SGA election process and the mid-semester turnover of the Senate and Executive Board delayed its progress.
“It’s probably a good thing that this (resolution) didn’t get (drafted) earlier in the semester because it’s really relevant now,” she said. “Early voting just started, and now students can see that the SGA is taking a stance against (Amendment One).”
The SGA Senate will vote on the resolution April 26, but until that time, the document will reside on SGA Executive Vice President Connor O’Donnell’s desk. Students and faculty are invited to inspect it and discuss it with SGA.
“This (resolution) will generate thoughtful discussion, as it should,” Flowers said. “We want to engineer a climate where healthy discourse can happen.”
So far, the feedback on the resolution has been overwhelmingly positive, Clapp said.
“I’m pretty positive that it will pass,” she said. “Everyone in Spectrum is really excited.”
Editor's note: The headline was changed to reflect the fact that Spectrum was the primary author of the legislation, and it was not co-written with SGA