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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

SGA passes resolutions to prevent plastic waste, promote Hallowed Grounds Tour

CW / Elijah McWhorter
College of Arts and Sciences Senator Eyram Gbeddy speaks during Monday’s SGA meeting.

The SGA Senate passed four pieces of legislation and sent three to committee in a meeting Monday. Here are some of the highlights. 

Resolution to reduce single-use plastics in the dining halls — passed 

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution to encourage The University of Alabama to stop using single-use plastics in the Lakeside and Fresh Food Company dining halls with a deadline of the first summer 2024 Bama Bound session.  

According to the resolution, the University’s total landfill waste in 2022 was at its highest level since 2008, weighing more than 5,000 short tons. The resolution urges the University to return to the system it had in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Not only will it save so much landfill waste from existing, it will also save the University quite a bit of money,” said Sen. Eyram Gbeddy, the resolution’s author and a senator for the College of Arts and Sciences. “I think it’s the right thing to do both from a community point of view and a fiscal point of view.”  

Gbeddy said he worked with the UA Environmental Council, which endorsed him during his Senate campaign, to gather the information and see what needed to be done about landfill waste.  

“Our university, as a flagship of Alabama, has a responsibility to take care of its people and the environment,” UA Environmental Council President Megan Neville said in a speech to the Senate. “I believe that reducing plastic waste is one of the best ways to complete this.”  

Act to allocate DEI Passport points to the Hallowed Grounds Tour — passed  

The Senate unanimously passed an act that would allocate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Passport points to the Hallowed Grounds Tour, a tour that highlights the history of slavery and civil rights on campus.  

Gbeddy, the act’s author, said the tour used to be a closed event, but now weekly public tours are available from The Source, where students can directly RSVP.  

“I think it’s very important to make sure that mainstream university knows all these things, because I think it provides more context for where we are today,” Gbeddy said.  

Bella Loia, the vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, said she believes the tour will fall under the educational engagement category.  

“I think history is such a key and important part of understanding why DEI matters and why we need to work to be better in the future,” Loia said. 

Resolution to increase drinking straw availability — sent to Student Affairs Committee 

The Senate sent a resolution to the Student Affairs Committee that encourages the University to increase the availability of drinking straws at the University-sponsored sporting events to assist people with physical disorders. 

The SGA will work with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to do so. 

According to the resolution, drinking straws make consuming beverages easier for people with disabilities that affect muscle coordination or dexterity issues.  

Sen. Kendall Stanton, who co-authored the resolution, said President Collier Dobbs approached her about this legislation and said that she wants to increase straws’ availability near concession stands.  

Stanton said it’s important that students don’t abuse the straws, however.  

“We definitely don’t want to increase the number of trash significantly,” Stanton said. “We would also look into doing a paper straw option to be more environmentally friendly.” 

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