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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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USG supports call to lower flags

After six months of petitions and heated debate in room 113 Olscamp Hall, undergraduate students will now be officially supporting a call for Ohio’s flags to be lowered in recognition of fallen soldiers.

Undergraduate Student Government passed a bill last night, which provides for endorsement of a letter, written by the Latino Student Union, asking Gov. Bob Taft to enact legislation to lower flags statewide out of respect for Ohio soldiers who were killed overseas.

The resolution was first presented to USG in October 2004, and at times seemingly pitted members of LSU against members of USG. After only a few minutes of debate last night, the resoltuion was voted on and passed.

Alex Wright, USG president, supported the resolution and attributed the problems of passing the bill to confusion.

“There was some confusion because at first it was an informal vote, almost a straw poll. This time it was a formal resolution,” Wright said.

Maria Khoury, who co-authored the bill with Chelsea Lambdin, spoke briefly about the symbolic honor of the flag before the vote.

By seeing the flag at half-staff, people will realize the sacrifices made for them, said Khoury.

LaTasha Walker, a freshman and a member of LSU, spoke on her organiztion’s behalf. She told USG that she wanted to give respect and gratitude to those who serve in our military. Walker was pleased with the result of the meeting.

“It’s a great feeling tonight,” Walker said. “USG senators made a difference.”

Lambdin was elated to see the bill pass, and agreed with Wright that confusion — not necessarily disagreement — was the reason that the issue stalled in USG.

One USG senator, Matt Clark, was not happy with the lack of the debate before the resolution was voted on.

“There was not much discussion today. There was comments left out that could have been beneficial to the debate,” Clark said.

Clark does not support the bill becuase he has talked with several members of the militarywho are also against it. He also believes that gauging the student body’s opinion on a subject of this matter is difficult.

“It’s difficult to know exactly how the student body feels. We needed more discussion, as much as possible,” Clark said.

The discussion had been ongoing since the issue’s introduction to USG, and that people who hadn’t change their minds probably wouldn’t, according to Wright.

LSU drafted the letter that was to be endorsed by USG and sent to Gov. Taft, with the hope of spurring debate on the issue of lowering flags statewide. With the bill’s passing, all hailed LSU’s efforts.

“I want to thank LSU for their tenacity. They should serve as role models to the student body,” said Michael Ginsburg, associate dean.

The next step is for Wright to sign the bill and send it to Taft, marking the end of the USG process.

Before the close of the meeting, the discussion of on-line voting for the upcoming USG elections raised some questions about security. Wright, Ginsburg and senator Erica Baughman assured the senators that precautions were in place to prevent fraud.

Other discussion focused on the health insurance plan being pushed by the University. At-large Senator Johnathan Byrd arrived with a petition of over a hundred signatures of people upset that they will have to buy a policy.

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