The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Why there is no weekly SGA senate brief for Feb. 21, 2024

Bruno Echt Fusaro / Hilltop Views
This sign was posted at the entrance of the St. Andre Multipurpose Room.

Hilltop Views was barred by university President Montserrat Fuentes and Vice President for Student Affairs & Administration Lisa Kirkpatrick from covering discussion of student concerns about the administration’s decision to take the Pride flag down from the coffee shop. 

Since October 2022, Hilltop Views has covered the meetings and published weekly SGA senate briefs as part of an ongoing partnership with the organization to maximize coverage of the group’s initiatives. 

This week’s senate meeting agenda included an added item regarding the decision by administration to take the pride flag down and a student petition that followed that action. Students were to be given the opportunity to voice concerns directly to Fuentes, Kirkpatrick and Director of the Office of Student Belonging and Inclusive Excellence Erica Zamora.

An hour before the meeting, Hilltop Views editors received an email from SGA President Mikayla Pastrano asking Hilltop Views not to cover the meeting. A subsequent phone call with Pastrano initiated by Editor-in-Chief Claire Lawrence resulted in an agreement to avoid wearing press badges and not record any audio or video of the audience. Hilltop Views suggested these provisions in exchange for continuing coverage as normal. 

However, when Lawrence and Managing Editor Chloe Almendarez, the reporter assigned to weekly coverage, arrived for the meeting, Pastrano asked Almendarez to step outside. At that point, Almendarez had begun initial coverage of the meeting. Fuentes and Kirkpatrick were waiting and they told Almendarez that Hilltop Views would not be permitted to cover the meeting.

Almendarez and Lawrence then offered a second compromise to be permitted to cover all but the discussion of the Pride flag issue. Fuentes told Almendarez that she believed a story would be “out of context.” Almendarez asked Fuentes if she had ever read Hilltop Views senate briefs before, and Fuentes said no.

Almendarez returned to the meeting and covered all but the community discussion about the Pride flag issue.

Hilltop Views will continue weekly coverage on SGA senate meetings next week. 


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  • R

    Raymond h RaboldFeb 27, 2024 at 8:09 pm

    Lived close to st Edwards and used the running track weekly wanted to finish my degree there but could not afford it put the flag back where it belongs make Austin proud

  • L

    Lynn JafarzadehFeb 22, 2024 at 3:51 pm

    I think it’s a shame that such an important discussion that affects the entire student body was not allowed to be covered by the newspaper. Those who were unable to attend the meeting themselves won’t have the privilege of viewing reliable coverage of the meeting. Unfortunately we’ll only have word of mouth. I’m worried what details may be forgotten and what truths will be warped over time as a result.