SGA encourages UA to compensate BFSA ambassadors for Hallowed Grounds Tour

Alex Gravlee, Contributing Writer

The Student Government Association unanimously passed a resolution on Feb. 2 encouraging The University of Alabama to compensate Black Faculty and Staff Association Tour Ambassadors for giving the Hallowed Grounds Tour, which highlights the history of slavery on University grounds.  

According to the resolution, compensating ambassadors conducting the tour will give it the “resources and support necessary” to ensure it remains a “permanent offering” at the University.  

The resolution was authored by Senators Elizabeth Prophet and Karina Collins. It was sponsored and endorsed by seven members of SGA, including President Madeline Martin.  

“The time is now to start … paying attention to the students … on campus that contribute to furthering efforts of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Prophet said. “We wholeheartedly believe that the Black Faculty and Staff Association and … [their] ambassadors are doing that work already.” 

The resolution does not list any specific amount of compensation. Prophet said it was intentionally left vague so that the “University can come up with a policy to fit their budgetary concerns … monetarily beyond course credit.”  

This resolution was originally a part of a resolution proposed by Prophet and Collins during the Senate meeting on Nov. 17. that encouraged the University to pay all student ambassadors. The legislation was sent to the Student Affairs Committee and has not left the committee process.  

Prophet said the rest of the resolution will focus on compensating student ambassadors that give tours around campus and act as liaisons between the University and prospective students. 

The Hallowed Grounds Tour, explores the history of slavery on the University’s campus, including slaves owned by the University’s presidents and trustees. The tour features about 20 different locations on campus and aims to “shed light onto the lives, experiences, and legacy of the many unsung men, women, and children who lived, worked, and even died at the University of Alabama,” according to the interactive browser version of the tour.    

The tour is a result of the Hallowed Grounds Project, a research project by Hilary Green, a former associate professor in the Department of Gender and Race studies. Green currently works at Davidson College, a private college in North Carolina. 

“I hope that they see that this is work that the SGA really appreciates,” Collins said. This is work that the BSFA Ambassadors truly are dedicated to.”   

The Hallowed Grounds Tour is open two weeks out of each month and is open every week during Black History Month. The tour lasts from 60 to 75 minutes. It is held at various times per day with the times depending on the day it is being held.  

Students can sign up for the tour at the Hallowed Grounds Tour page on the Black Faculty and Staff Association website.