Editorial: The room where it happens

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On Monday, April 22, the Student Government Association (SGA) held its final senate meeting for the 2024-2025 year. The Whit Staff expressed genuine concerns about their budget being cut by over a third and were met with a senate that seemed to want to silence them. 

The Whit’s Editor-in-Chief, Victoria McGivern, prepared a speech expressing her concerns about SGA’s decision to cut the newspaper’s budget. She expressed these concerns during “new business,” where the 2025 fiscal year budget was litigated as the last line item of the night. 

Midway through her speech, her time had run out.

At that point, SGA President Brianna Reagan declared that her time for speaking had run out. A motion was made to either extend her time or end it there.

Senators voted to end her speech there, along with ending any further conversation about the matter. The other senators and members who were in line and ready to speak did not have the opportunity to do so.  

The Whit Staff understands that these are simply the rules, but the message was clear: SGA and the senate at large did not want to hear the rest of what was prepared.

There were a few senators who voted to extend the discussion time, but not enough to sway the decision. 

Reflecting on this, The Whit Staff is extremely disappointed in SGA and the senate’s decision because what The Whit had prepared were genuine, logical concerns. 

Being that The Whit’s budget was about to be cut by 35%, a drastic slash unprecedented in contemporary Whit history, The Whit Staff thought SGA and the senate at large would want to fully hear what was prepared—no matter how they personally felt, or the decision to which they were already committed.

Later, during the “student concerns” portion of the meeting which occurred around 9:30 p.m. and after a vote had already been taken to confirm the budget, a few senators expressed that they felt some senators voted against continued comments only because they wanted to end the discussion because they were ready to leave. 

The Whit Staff believes this to be partly the reason why SGA and the senate at large voted to end the discussion about the budget. During the senate meeting, one anonymous senator loudly shouted, “Defund The Whit and equally distribute the money to every other club!”

That comment was met with brief chaos, ending in President Brianna Reagan calling for order.

That comment alone spoke volumes about the tone of the night on the whole.

The Whit Staff is extremely disappointed at the environment that broke out at Monday’s meeting and hopes this behavior will not be tolerated in the future. 

SGA and all attending members of senate meetings should always remain professional in their approach when it comes to controversial issues. The Whit’s concerns were met with extreme unprofessionalism, and even at times, laughter. The Whit Staff believes no club or institution should be treated this way.

For comments/questions about this story DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email thewhit.opinion@gmail.com

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