SGA President Joshua Eddinger-Lucero announced the resignation of UCA chief of staff, and SGA senate members passed a resolution to change the name of Chemistry building and passed a motion to allocate additional funds to the Minority Mentorship Program.
SGA heard a budget appeal from the codirector of the Minority Mentorship Program, Sidney Hunt, and after nearly an hour and half of debate and discussion, SGA allocated $3,700 — the total requested amount — to give MMP a roller skating surface and skates during its transition week.
The final results were 21 yes votes, 15 no votes and 4 abstentions.
“[The SAFA committee] funded us for all of what we asked for [in] our budget, but the problem with that was we were not able to receive a very, very, very important event that was supposed to be in our budget,” Hunt said in the appeal. “We made a huge mistake without including our event.”
Transition week is an event that occurs in August and is centered around helping incoming freshman acclimate to campus. As a closing event for the week, MMP is using funds previously allocated to them to host a free event in the Farris Center with snacks, music and now, with the new funds, the opportunity and means to roller skate.
One motion was made to allocate a lower amount and the vote failed.
On March 14, an email was sent out to faculty and staff announcing the resignation of UCA chief of staff Kelley Erstine effective August 15. He has accepted a position as chief executive officer for the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas.
In other business, SGA members passed a resolution titled, “Remove Benjamin Laney’s Name from Laney-Manion Hall” that officially determines SGA’s positive stance in the removal of Laney’s name from the Chemistry department’s building.
The week before spring break, there was discussion about changing Laney-Manion Hall to Anderson-Manion Hall. The name would have alluded to Mabel Anderson, UCA’s first African-American educator, and replaced the name of Gov. Benjamin T. Laney, a frequent opponent of legislation regarding civil rights and anti-segregation efforts.
“We thought it would be best to keep Anderson out of this as it would only kind of complicate the process further,” College of Liberal Arts representative, senator Riley Tribble, said. “The more pressing issue at hand is the fact that we have [the name of] a segregationist — not just like a casual segregationist, like an avid one [on the building].”
However, the conversation will continue, as the resolution states that it not only urges the University to remove Laney’s name for the sake of diversity, but also that it “begin the conversation as to whether Laney’s name be replaced in Laney-Manion Hall or be left as simply Manion Hall.”
Lastly, a motion was passed for SGA to allocate no more than $1500 to add a water bottle filler to one of the McAlister Hall third floor water fountains.