After a unanimous vote Monday night, Auburn’s Black Student Union, will receive program extension funding to bring an additional speaker as part of their speaker series coming up in the spring semester.
SGA has approved $8,000 in funds that BSU can use for paying for an additional speaker, which will likely be Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, to speak at the University during Black History Month next February.
“What this will do is promote conversations, it will let people talk,” said BSU Treasurer Jaeshon Baldwin. “A lot of people have misconceptions about [Black Lives Matter], so it will be good for her to come and explain who they are in a peaceful manner.”
Tometi is credited with creating the online platforms and initiating the social media strategy of BlackLivesMatter during its infancy, according to her website.
She is also the executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a national organization founded in 2006 that “educates and advocates to further immigrant rights and racial justice together with African-American, Afro-Latino, African and Caribbean immigrant communities.”
The funding provided to BSU will be used for the speaking event. However, no formal contract has been signed yet with Tometi and plans have no been finalized.
Nevertheless, Baldwin said her advocacy is what’s important.
“What we are trying to do is promote the education of black culture and what we have going on,” Baldwin said. “It’s not T-shirts, it’s not giving away promotional items, [the money] is to get her here.”
Also at Monday’s meeting, Liberal Arts Senator Ken Ward introduced a bill that would limit the number of campaign supporters a candidate will be allowed to have on a concourse or in front of a building.
“This bill has been something that a lot of students have brought up to me,” Ward said. “We have seen it in some student media publications, including the Plainsman about having so many campaign supporters out on the concourse that it prohibits students from wanting to go out there.”
The Plainsman published a column last week where the writer addressed frustration while critiquing the overcrowdedness and intensity of the Concourse.
A similar bill was introduced by COSAM Senator Jack Fruin. This bill would limit those running for student office to pressure members of their separate organizations to vote for them.
“Its really just stating that you cannot force any members of your organization to help a candidate in your campaign,” Fruin said.
These two bills will be voted on in next week’s senate meeting.
Clarification: Additional clarification was added to this article in order to make it clear Opal Tometi has not been formally invited yet nor has she agreed to speak at Auburn in the spring.