Carolinian – Campus News
Issue: 2/18/02

SGA kills pro-war resolution
By Joe Killian

Student government was divided this week over a formal resolution commending the War on Terrorism. The resolution, authored by parliamentarian John Rouse, was soundly defeated after a long period of bickering and debate between campus liberals and conservatives.

“It was a resolution commending our soldiers for their hard work and sacrifice,” said Rouse. “I think what we did in Afghanistan was noble and necessary.”

SGA delegates disagreed.

“I thought it was inappropriate and it didn’t reflect the ideology of the executive board,” said president LaToya Tate. “I just wanted everyone to know that that is not how we felt when we brought it here. It’s not SGA’s job to get into people’s personal political views and ideology.”

The resolution, which pledged “eternal gratitude” to the U.S. military for its defense of the country and its “swift victory over tyranny” in Afghanistan, inspired hostility in anti-war delegates.

“The SGA has no grounds to say this or to send this kind of thing anywhere,” said junior Greg Gimble, SGA delegate for Amnesty International. “Sending a message supporting the military for 13,000 students is a little ridiculous.”

Rouse withstood a barrage of questions and arguments over the resolution, but stood his ground in the face of questions about civilian deaths in Afghanistan and the treatment of Afghan prisoners.

“I think the U.S. should pursue things in Afghanistan and continue to fight terror,” said Rouse. “Innocent people always die in wars, but I don’t think that should be a mitigating factor.”

As the debate became more and more intense vice president Carisa Stanley had to reign in the delegation several times. At the end of the debate the resolution was defeated almost unanimously – Rouse’s vote being the only one in its favor.

“I think the wording was unnecessarily militaristic,” said senior Sarah Gulley. ” I don’t think this resolution would have represented the view of most students at UNCG and I’m very heartened by the SGA’s response.

Rouse, for his part, said he realized the resolution would probably be defeated.

“I was told that if this resolution passed it would be vetoed anyway,” said Rouse. “I think that if this were ECU or Mt. Olive College this might have passed, but the demographics are simply different there.”

Rouse, who has introduced a number of resolutions in the last few weeks, said he thinks he’s out of the game for now.

“I’m going to be on the election committee,” said Rouse. “I’m going to try to keep a low profile for a little while so you probably won’t hear much more from me.”