Kip Lynch ’22
On Wednesday, Apr. 10 and Thursday, Apr. 11, the SGA held two town hall meetings to discuss the Churchill Institute and potential SGA approval. SGA Vice President Lexi Zaner ’19 opened the event on Wednesday by going over the guidelines for participating in the discussion. SGA sent out an email to the Trinity community on Apr. 9 with guidelines for participating in the town hall, which requested that speakers not direct comments towards any person unless to a moderator, that speakers adhere to the time limit of 90 seconds, and that those who wish to speak could sign up when they arrived.
Students raised various issues concerning SGA approval of Churchill Club including Churchill’s alleged use of dangerous rhetoric used to describe cultural organizations, that claiming Western civilization is superior is irresponsible, and the issue of fliers circulated around Trinity’s campus with photographs of individuals affiliated with the Churchill Institute.
Daniel Nesbitt ’22 stated that the club’s opposition to participating in the forum is on the grounds that it is not necessary for club approval. Nesbitt added that the club has fulfilled every requirement for approval and that the club’s interest is an intellectual pursuit of Western civilization. Emilio Karakey ’22 stated that he does not think the Churchill Institute should receive SGA approval but added that the posters hung around campus need to be addressed. Meg Smith ’21 stated that she is not comfortable with her tuition being used to fund groups that make her uncomfortable and her peers uncomfortable.
Students also brought up what can be done to change the SGA constitution. Zanger ’19 responded that edits will be voted on over the summer and then voted on by the student body, adding that any additions to protect marginalized groups would fall under the Student Integrity Contract.
Vice President Zanger ’19 adds that an SGA vote does not give or take away an organization’s right to be on campus; a vote of approval only gives an organization the right to request funding or space. Alison Adamski, SGA VP of Finance, addressed requirements for clubs seeking funding. Zanger ’19 notes that members of SGA have voiced concerns over retaliation from votes. Lucemy Perez ’21 added she has concerns for marginalized groups.