SGA introduces resolutions or university name change, tobacco, flying birds

SGA senator Tim Williams stands before the rest of student congress to propose his name change bill. Photo by E.R. West.

By E.R. West

The SGA proposed a resolution in tonight’s last caucus meeting of the semester to host a town hall meeting with university and community members to discuss the university’s name change.

This would be the third time in five years that a resolution has been brought up in the SGA senate to change the name from Middle Tennessee State University to the University of Middle Tennessee.

According to SGA Senator Tim Williams, the bill emerged out of his observations that MT athletics and the rest of the university’s branding are not the same. The athletic department only uses “MT” and drops the rest of the name of the university.

“The image of our athletics and the rest of our university are just not synonymous,” Williams said.

Williams’ resolution stated that a name change would have “MT” as the main face of the university and that the name change would help continue the success of the school. The last time the SGA presented any type of resolution about the university’s name change was in the 72nd Congress.

“The intent of this bill is to bring it back into the conversation, and from my research, there is a need for this change,” Williams said.

However, not all of the senators agreed with the resolution. While some said that the name change would help the university “not sound like a community college,” Senator Benton Beasley said he does not have a problem with graduating from Middle Tennessee State University.

“When I leave here, I will forever be a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University,” Beasley said. “The university is already on its way, and it has achieved so much. I don’t think we need the change.”

Williams did not have a full cost estimate if the name were changed. If the resolution is passed, it would call for a public forum meeting with university and community members by the end of 2014.

Flying birds and uneven sidewalks

In addition to the name change, Williams and Senator Chris Hardman brought other resolutions to the floor. Williams brought up a resolution to grind all of the sidewalks to make them the same level. The resolution came from him accidentally tripping on one of the uneven sidewalks outside of the Keathley University Center.

Hardman introduced the bulk of tonight’s legislation with several other resolutions for consideration on the floor. One of his resolutions included helping birds from flying into the giant windows of the Student Services Center.

“I show you the grease stain and outline of where this bird flew straight into the window and died,” Hardman said.

His resolution, if passed, would ask for some type of fake owl that would scare the birds from flying into the windows. It would also potentially include installing bird feeders, so the birds would stop instead of flying at full speed into the window.

Two of his other bills included the issue of tobacco while the other one included an adaptation of the “True Blue” pledge.

His tobacco-free resolutions would include a stronger word language in the already tobacco-free campus policy. It include no e-cigs and no longer “vaping.”

His other tobacco-related resolution would include no longer selling lighters in the Provision on Demands throughout campus

“I don’t want any type of tobacco-related products on our campus anymore,” Hardman said. “The FDA hasn’t figured out what is in e-cigs, so I don’t want it around me inside or out. And if there are no cigarettes on campus, there is no longer a need for anyone to sell lighters. No one is supposed to have candles in their dorms anyways.” From this, students will more than likely have to look into other forms of tobacco products that they can use, such as Odens Extreme Portion of snus that contains 22 mg/g of nicotine. However, the university states they’re going to be clamping down on these sorts of things around campus so it may be a little difficult for the students to obtain any tobacco products.

Hardman’s last resolution would amend the words of the “True Blue” pledge to “We” instead of “I,” and he would want to change the promotional materials when the university will have to buy more. The purpose of the resolution is not to cause the university any extra money.

“I would like to see it be the singular phrase ‘We are the True Blue,'” Hardman said. “The purpose of changing the words would unite campus to better promote us as a whole.”

The next SGA meeting is at 4:30 in the Student Union Parliamentary Room in the Student Union Room. Any students are welcome to attend.

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