SGA Encourages Ethical Policy Change

Students on Eastern’s campus pride themselves on being aware of the outside world and the ever-present ethical issues that arise. For the Student Government Association, it is their job to be involved in constructing new ideas and policies that will help voice the concerns of the entire student body to the faculty and staff. Each year, the Student Government Association, commonly referred to as SGA, researches and writes proposals regarding issues that students within the community feel the administration needs to hear about. Depending on the level of difficulty of such a proposal, there must be at least one submitted per semester, two per full year. If all SGA members vote and agree on a proposal, it will be forwarded to Bettie Ann Brigham, who will take it to the appropriate department for further discussion.

Sophomore class representatives (pictured above) are hopeful that this proposal will start a conversation about being ethically aware of our everyday choices among the community at Eastern.
Sophomore class representatives (pictured above) are hopeful that this proposal will start a conversation about being ethically aware of our everyday choices among the community at Eastern. Blake Plimpton | The Waltonian
Sophomore class president, Blake Plimpton, stated that this year she has been emphasizing to her senate members that SGA is here to serve the student body’s and faculty’s needs, and therefore was very excited to submit a new proposal this past March.

Currently, the Jammin’ Java and the Breezeway both sell Sabra hummus, which is owned by the Strauss Group. This parent company currently provides material and financial aid to the Israeli military, which is allegedly brutal and in violation of human rights, especially in regards to Palestinian detainees. If Eastern were to withdraw its financial support from Sabra’s parent company through the purchase of its hummus, it would consequently stop aiding the Israeli military in this way. Additionally, Eastern would be setting an example to the community about its social action and awareness, and perhaps push the entire campus to begin carefully investigating other aspects of everyday life.

The proposal set forth by the sophomore class senate asks that Eastern University be more socially and ethically conscious in selecting what products they promote and sell on campus. The proposal states, “Enacting one socially-conscious movement with a fairly easy alternative could kick start many more to come.” In place of selling Sabra hummus, the senate offers alternate solutions such as replacing it with a Sodexo-made hummus, or researching other companies to purchase a comparable product from. Plimpton stated, “As college students, our purchasing power matters and by putting our money in this specific company, Eastern is making a political statement. While purchasing this specific product cannot highhandedly prevent or support the Israeli military, at least it takes Eastern’s support out of the mix.”

Other universities such as DePaul University and Princeton University have also begun petitioning against the sale and distribution of Sabra hummus on their home campuses, and the proposal suggests that Eastern could join in the collegiate and worldwide conversation. Seeing as Eastern already produces its own forms of hummus available in the Dining Commons, it appears to students that an easy solution can come to fruition in good time. Sophomore class secretary Patience Ackerman stated, “This proposal may seem like just one small, seemingly insignificant motion, considering how many unethical companies there are, especially in the food industry. But change has to start somewhere, and this is simply a first step to get the conversation showing and minds churning.” As Eastern begins to move towards a decision regarding the situation, it has produced a time for the community to dialogue and consider the everyday implications that “Waking ^ the World” can truly call for.

SGA is constantly looking for feedback and new ideas, and we would love to hear your ideas and make your voice heard. If you have any other ideas or thoughts on this proposal, other proposals that have been made or any future ideas please contact your SGA senate member or your Executive Board. Our Office is always open (towards the back of the Commuter lounge).

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