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Student Senate votes against establishing LGBTQ betterment committee

Katie Bradham, Photo Editor

Clemson’s Undergraduate Student Senate failed to pass a resolution that would have condemned statement released by Clemson College Republicans earlier this month. 

The Clemson Undergraduate Student Government Senate held their final meeting before summer break on Monday. During the meeting, a resolution to condemn the Clemson College Republicans’ recent statements about the LGBTQ community failed to pass in a 32 to 20 vote.
The resolution would have established a special committee “focused on bettering the lives of LGBTQ+ students on campus.” Debate on the Senate floor was centered around whether the bill would have an effect on freedom of speech.
“The establishment of this committee would limit freedom of speech severely,” said Senator Paul Roy in opposition to the resolution. “The committee created by this bill would have too much power to marginalize groups on campus.” Roy cited the committee’s intention to revise the student Code of Conduct as the reason for his opposition.
Senator Scotty Moore, co-author of the resolution and Vice Chair for the Student Senate’s Inclusion and Equity Committee, clarified that the proposed committee would have no power over Code of Conduct changes beyond discussion and advocacy.
“Freedom of speech is a freedom from consequence, not criticism,” said Senator Moore. The resolution’s disapproval of the Clemson College Republicans’ statement represents disagreement, not an attempt to prevent such speech from occurring, according to Moore.
Although 32 of the 52 senators present voted against the passage of the bill, Senator Roy’s speech remained the sole statement made in opposition to the bill. No questions were raised during the question-and-answer period after authors Senator Caroline Avinger and Senator Moore originally summarized the bill on April 18.
There was a nearly even split between senators voting in favor of or against voting on the resolution via secret ballot. Both authors of the bill, Avinger and Moore, voted against holding the vote through secret ballot.
Because of the anonymity of the vote, The Tiger was unable to obtain statements in opposition of the resolution beyond Senator Roy’s speech.
Senators Avinger and Moore declined to comment.
An earlier version of this article used the word transgenderism, despite the term being outdated and connotatively offensive. The Tiger regrets this error and has since corrected it.

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