SGA denounces anti-trans movement, updates election policies


Evan Mellon

Deputy Speaker Debbie Allan (left) and Clerk Chris English discuss the appointment of Montez Saliz to the role of director of governmental affairs. The Student Government Association also discussed transgender right and upcoming SGA elections. (Evan Mellon | Northern Star)

DeKALB – The Student Government Association has passed a bill rebuking the growing amounts of legislation targeting the transgender community across the country.

The bill cites 19 anti-transgender legislations passed in multiple states throughout 2023, stating they are contributing to the marginalization of transgender and gender-nonconforming people by restricting their access to healthcare and labeling them as an “other.”

“There’s already been a lot of anti-trans legislation that has been presented and passed,” said Historian Atlas Babcock, who co-authored the bill alongside the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center and Prism. “They’re preventing trans people like myself from seeking treatment as well as painting us as villains and predators.”

During the meeting, Babcock argued that America has reached step eight of the 10 stages of genocide established by Gregory Stanton, researcher and founding president of the anti-genocide organization Genocide Watch.

“As much as this might just be our stance, I think it’s important to show that we’re paying attention to these issues,” Babcock said.

The SGA also passed a piece of legislation updating the election process, including digitizing the election process and not requiring physical voting stations.

“Voting stations shall consist of a link to online voting so voters may use their own devices, and information about the election and candidates,” the changed bylaws read. “The SGA shall also share this link on its website, social media, and/or any other applicable communication avenues.”

SGA’s elections will be held from midnight Tuesday to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Additionally, the SGA confirmed Montez Soliz, a senior majoring in political science and minoring in NGO studies, to the position of director of governmental affairs. Soliz was an intern for Lauren Underwood during her 2022 electoral campaign.

According to the bylaws, the role of the director of governmental affairs is to assist the president in their duties and to establish communication between the SGA and U.S. representatives across local, state and federal levels.

“As director of governmental affairs, I am eager to work with our elected officials at the local, state and federal levels to advocate for policies that benefit students here at NIU,” Soliz said. “I believe that through collaboration and dedication, we can make a meaningful impact on our fellow students and teachers here on campus.”

SGA meetings are open to the public and held at 2 p.m. Fridays, with locations posted in the senate’s agendas. SGA minutes and intent to speak forms are available on Huskie Hub.