FLORENCE, Ala. — Thursday afternoon, the University of North Alabama Student Government Association met for its first meeting of the Fall 2021 semester.
One topic of discussion was the possible impeachment of SGA President Jake Statom after he shared what many students are calling a homophobic social media post.
The post stated that members of the LGBTQIA+ community must be born again, in relation to the Christian faith.
In an open forum, several students spoke against an impeachment but also in favor, like UNA junior and Christian, Brooke Freundschuh.
“I am also a big supporter of the LGBTQ community because I know members of the LGBTQ community who also identify with being Christian,” Freundschuh said.
Freundschuh said she has gay family and friends and added she initially was afraid to speak up but did it in support of them.
“To have a president in office that says that the people who come in who are part of that community need to change to be accepted by him, is wrong,” Freundschuh added.
Several students said that impeaching Statom infringes on his free speech and is an oppression on Christians across the campus. Others spoke on Statom’s character, adding that they have never seen him be discriminatory to anyone.
Over the summer, Statom publicly apologized and said he would strive to do what’s best for students, SGA, and the university, however, sophomore Kyli Harris spoke out during the forum and said the apology wasn’t sincere.
“It wasn’t that he was sorry, it was more so, I’m sorry that you feel that way,” Harris said. “I understand that people will say that everybody has freedom of speech, which he does and nobody’s stripping him of that by any means, but you cannot post things like that and then be president of an entire body when everybody in that entire body does not feel that way.”
After meeting for executive session, the SGA decided to table the discussion until the next meeting on September 9.