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"Call Gov Kemp": SGA Encourages Students to be Instruments of the Abortion Cause

Edit 7/3/22: This article has been followed-up here: UPDATE: SGA Removes Abortion Resource Guide from Website and Facebook

Although diversity is promoted widely at Georgia Tech, sometimes it seems diversity of thought is not. The Student Government Association (SGA) recently published a slide deck called Resources for Reproductive Health and Advocacy on its Instagram and Facebook and a Reproductive Justice Resource Guide on its LinkTree in response to Friday’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Supreme Court decision. The controversial 6-3 decision overturned the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade and 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey rulings that protected the practice of abortion nationally. Although this guide seems to be popular among some students, it does not represent the sentiment of the entire student body.

 

BYLAWS of the UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Revised Tuesday, February 22, 2022


ARTICLE II, Section 3, I(a):

Government Relations shall be charged with promoting civic engagement on campus and promoting awareness of government issues and processes;

Ramblin Reps subcommittee shall be a student advocacy group that will involve the students of the Georgia Institute of Technology in the political process of the State of Georgia. Members will advocate for student initiatives identified by the Student Government Association (SGA) as well as institute initiatives. Ramblin’ Reps will follow its Governing Policy and coordinate with the Government Relations chair(s) for all programming and activities.


ARTICLE VII: EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

No person shall be denied the rights and privileges of membership in the Undergraduate Student Government Association, including, but not limited to, access, representation, participation, and membership within any committee, board, council, student or campus organization, department, or any other organization established by and affiliated with the Undergraduate Student Government, on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, age, religion, disability, political affiliation, and veteran status, except when prohibited by law. It shall be the accepted practice of the House of Representatives to represent the majority opinion of the Undergraduate Student Body while providing fair consideration of the views of all undergraduate students. This includes, but is not limited to, applications for any appointed position in the Undergraduate Student Government Association.

 

Despite the “Reproductive Justice Resource Guide” following SGA Bylaws Article II, Section 3 I(a), it neglects to include all students in political advocacy. The guide, posted to the SGA website, Facebook and Instagram, tells students to “contact Democratic Majority Leadership” and to “emphasize the importance of making protection of abortion rights a party priority.” SGA even shared tips to safely protest including “don’t have anything you would not want to be arrested with on you.” Georgia Tech is supposed to foster critical thinking, not enable elected representatives in SGA to direct students to join them in fighting for their personal political goals.


SGA goes further by failing to represent pro-life students by not providing fair consideration of the views of all undergraduate students, violating Article VII of the bylaws. The resources provided do not provide abortion alternatives or suggest how pro-life students can advocate for their cause through donations or political activism.

Students from Georgia Tech participate in the 2022 Washington D.C. March for Life

Regardless of political beliefs, this official statement by SGA develops political bias and is in direct opposition to the Board of Regents policy 6.4 Political Interference which states “The Board of Regents is unalterably opposed to political interference or domination of any kind or character in the affairs of any University System of Georgia (USG) institution.” As a government body funded by students and the State to represent all students, SGA is outside of its rights by influencing the political climate at Georgia Tech in this manner. The contents of “Resources for Reproductive Health and Advocacy” are inappropriate for an organization that has authority over students and represents the entire student body. This morning, The Jacket notified SGA leadership of these violations via email and Instagram Direct Message asking for their response, but the paper has not received a reply.


While the Georgia Tech Students for Life organization declined to make an official statement, several pro-life students at Tech submitted comments to The Jacket. Chloe Satterfield serves on leadership for several political organizations at Georgia Tech:

As a member of the pro-life community on Georgia Tech's campus, I am incredibly disappointed in the Undergraduate Student Government Association's decision to post a "resource guide" full of biased, unhelpful, and dangerous resources during this time when women need to be uplifted, empowered, and walked beside. Now that Roe and Casey have been overturned, we need to be connecting women with REAL resources like free ultrasound providers, pregnancy resource centers, individuals willing to personally contribute, and things of that nature. I hope that SGA will reconsider its unwillingness to share these kinds of resources and start fairly and impartially representing the student body rather than pushing a highly political agenda. The student body has resources other than abortion and the pro-life community is here to pour compassion and love into their lives.

Satterfield offered the following resources with free services for pregnant women in need.

In addition, standingwithyou.org provides a registry of contact information for pregnancy aid organizations near your location.

Georgia Tech alumna and former Students for Life Chapter President Dani Madda wrote:

Upon reading the “Resources for Reproductive Health and Advocacy” statement from SGA, it is saddening that once again SGA, in conjunction with the Institute, is pushing a one-sided political agenda. I am embarrassed to call myself an alumna of a university that deliberately promotes a message that is not indicative nor representative of the entire student body’s views. It is not SGA’s place to make a statement that diminishes alternative resources and groups such as the pro-life organizations on campus. Furthermore, the permissibility of SGA making a partisan, political argument, as cited by their own slide deck, is questionable. It is outrageous that the Institute approves a post that directs students on how to riot and incites nefarious activities with suggestions on how to not get caught. How is this even possible for an institute of higher education to provide riot tactics about wearing heat-resistant gloves and giving advice to students that may be arrested? When did Georgia Tech and SGA deem it their mission to promote abortion and rioting? This “resource” statement carries the university's endorsement with its use of GT resources in broadcasting this message. It is disheartening that Georgia Tech has not formally responded to SGA’s unethical and misguided actions.

Georgia Tech’s website for Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion includes the following statement from Archie W. Ervin, Ph.D., Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Tech aspires to be an Institute that pursues excellence and embraces and leverages diversity in all of its forms. We will recruit, develop, retain, and engage a heterogeneous cadre of students, faculty, and staff with a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives, interests, and talents, creating a campus community that exemplifies the best in all of us—in our intellectual pursuits, our diversity of thought, our personal integrity, and, our inclusive excellence.

Many departments promote the inclusion of different perspectives, religions, and political affiliations. Non-discrimination is a code every entity at Georgia Tech is expected to adhere to. This includes the diversity of thought as said by Dr. Ervin. Politically charged statements by the Student Government Organization marginalize students who disagree with the stance.

A Georgia Tech flag flies in front of the Supreme Court

The Georgia Tech Chapter of Turning Point USA released to The Jacket the following statement:

Georgia Tech SGA has once again made a political, pro-abortion statement. The last time SGA made a pro-abortion stance against a student group, it ended in a lawsuit (which they lost). They say they support diversity, but not when it comes to diversity of thought. Conservative students need to speak up and hold SGA accountable.


The issue here isn’t whether abortion is right or wrong. The issue is the Georgia Tech Student Government has taken a firm political stance encouraging students to be instruments of the choice movement.

A student who submitted a complaint to the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents wrote to The Liberty Jacket editor:

The Georgia Tech Student Government Association is using what should be a neutral platform to push a politically charged agenda, specifically a pro-abortion and pro-Democrat one explicitly telling us to contact the Democratic Party to make abortion a priority for the Party, as well as giving instructions on how to protest for abortion. For a supposedly neutral organization, this is unacceptable. This is a use of SGA to marginalize other student groups, such as College Republicans through an SGA endorsement of the Democratic Party and Students for Life through an SGA endorsement of abortion.

As of writing, the Instagram and Facebook posts have been up for over 24 hours despite the scores of comments expressing dissent.


The SGA Instagram post has been archived here in the event it is deleted.


The Liberty Jacket reached out to the Student Government Association this morning but did not receive a response in time for publication. This article will be updated as more students submit their comments. Please send TLJ your messages through our Contact page. //


Angela Hill


Edit 7/3/22: This article has been followed-up here: UPDATE: SGA Removes Abortion Resource Guide from Website and Facebook

 

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