FLORENCE, Ala. — Some college students at the University of North Alabama are contacting for a pupil leader to resign subsequent a controversial social media put up. Although the publish was within his To start with Amendment legal rights, numerous sense the post is not agent of the entire student physique.

As of Thursday afternoon, additional than 800 persons have signed a Modify.org petition calling for UNA Student Govt Association President Jake Statom to resign from his position.

The petition defined that Statom shared a put up on his Instagram story that was not representative of the total scholar overall body. In the submit is a T-shirt with a rainbow and a information that reads, “Born this way? You will have to be born once more.”

The petition adds that while Statom is entitled to his particular beliefs, as SGA president, he should lead in a potential that protects the passions of all pupils.

College students and members of the LGBTQIA+ community stated they sense Statom acted irresponsibly.

“I just try to remember some buddies of mine who are in SGA that he signed an oath indicating that he would signify the full campus and all the learners associated in this campus so I truly feel like as a president, he was sort of letting us down when he posted that,” UNA senior Matt Anderson claimed.

On Tuesday, Statom posted a video to his Instagram tale apologizing for sharing the write-up, adding that he will commit to educating himself on social inclusion applying campus sources. The video clip was accompanied with the following statement:

“I am deeply sorry that my Instagram story offended customers of our neighborhood. I now see the story from a various viewpoint and apologize. My position as SGA President is to honorably stand for all UNA learners, and I fell shorter of this perfect. I thank all of the students who have achieved out to provide me opinions. You have demonstrated me I have significantly get the job done to do, and I talk to for your forgiveness and grace as I try to be a much better leader and servant to college students. I commit to educating myself employing campus methods, such as the Mitchell-West Center for Social Inclusion. I will actively generate intentional opportunities to get suggestions from other pupils and proceed to find instruction for myself. Once again, I am sorry and glimpse forward to performing with all of our UNA students.”

On Wednesday, SGA members despatched the adhering to statement to UNA students:

As Senators and Executive Associates of the Scholar Authorities Association, we condemn the homophobic and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment expressed by our 2021-2022 SGA President, Jake Statom. In an energy to promote a welcoming, inclusive and politically lively campus natural environment, we publicly request President Statom’s resignation by 5pm on June 30th. If President Statom refuses to resign by this date, the formal impeachment process will begin at our very first conference of the drop semester. The meeting will be on Thursday, August 26 at 3:30pm in the SGA Chambers and will be open for public attendance, COVID-19 protocols allowing.

Information 19 arrived at out to the university regarding the incident and it produced the next assertion:

“A photograph significant of the LGBTQ+ local community not too long ago posted to Instagram by SGA President Jake Statom is not agent of the College of North Alabama’s motivation to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the UNA campus. Whilst we know how upsetting this social media put up is to our LGBTQ+ community and some others on the UNA campus, we also want to understand that Mr. Statom and others have a suitable to freedom of speech, even when it is offensive to other folks. A new U.S. Supreme Courtroom viewpoint on To start with Modification legal rights noticed that general public colleges have “an desire in guarding a student’s unpopular expression, specially when the expression requires position off-campus, since America’s public schools are the nurseries of democracy.” We encourage learners and other users of our campus local community to keep on to locate ways to teach a person yet another on diversity, fairness, and inclusion concerns nevertheless, the College is not the acceptable venue or authority to take care of variations of religious or political impression amid personal people. Finally, we only have regulate about our individual reactions, thoughts, emotions, and responses. You, as an person, have the proper to react or overlook opposing sights, which include those introduced on social media by a university student.”