Campus community members spoke in favor of Senator Gabrielle Sharp during Wednesday’s ASUC Senate meeting before senators scheduled a discussion on a potential ASUC Judicial Council appointment.
The meeting began with public comment, during which students from various campus organizations voiced their support for Sharp and criticized some of the responses to her tweets. Kyra Abrams, chair of the Black Student Union, commented on the backlash Sharp has faced and noted the “hypocrisy” of the ASUC in its lack of support for Sharp.
“I haven’t seen anything in support of Gabbi and her clearly facing racism and discrimination on campus,” Abrams said during the meeting. “There have been multiple instances on this campus where students have stated, ‘I don’t like Black people,’ said the N-word on video and nothing has happened to them.”
Abrams also drew comparisons to comments made by former ASUC Senator Milton Zerman in 2020 against Bears for Palestine and the ASUC’s support for free speech at the time. Other students spoke on the allegedly racist and homophobic comments made against Sharp, as well as campus’s history of bringing speakers such as Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos.
Tessa Stapp, outreach lead at the Basic Needs Center, commended Sharp for her representation of LGBTQ+ students and called for other ASUC officials to be held accountable. Campus junior Alimat Omolola asked other senators to talk with the communities they represent and work to educate students about anti-Blackness.
“I like how freedom of speech applies to everyone but Black people,” said campus senior Neziah Nesbeth during the meeting. “It seems that way, especially when it comes to our candidates … A lot more needs to be done for our community, because when our voices are complaining, we’re told to suck it up.”
Following public comment, Sharp thanked speakers for their support and reaffirmed her desire to remain in the senate and represent her communities. Senator Amanda Hill emphasized the importance of being aware of racial dynamics and the need to “rectify the mistakes of the past.”
In addition, Senator Mehnaz Grewal voiced her support for Sharp and said the meaning of her tweets should not be lost, despite being “cloaked” in sarcasm and humor.
Senator Osirus Polachart added that he would oppose any recall effort against Sharp, and Senator Griselda Vega Martinez encouraged members of the Latinx community offended by the comments to schedule meetings and have discussions with her.
“My communities are the only reason I am in the senate,” Sharp said during the meeting. “I genuinely do not care what other communities think about me because I was not elected to represent them, and as long as both of my communities want me in the senate, I plan to stay.”