The executive branch of UC Irvine’s student government will meet Saturday to consider vetoing a ban on national flags in the student government offices.
Six undergraduate students on the Associated Students Legislative Council last night voted to ban every country’s flag from its offices, including the U.S. flag. Four of the 17 students on the legislative body voted against the ban and two abstained.
The Executive Cabinet of the UCI student government will meet on Saturday to discuss a proposed veto of the bill.
That body is led by Student Body President Reza Zomorrodian — who issued a statement against the ban — and includes four vice presidents.
“This legislation is not endorsed or supported in any way by the campus leadership,” Zomorrodian said in his statement.
According to Zomorrodian, the veto needs one more vote in favor.
“I stand firmly against this piece of legislation, though I understand the author’s intent and supporters’ intent, I disagree with the solution the council has come to,” Zomorrodian said. “I speak for myself about my feelings on this piece of legislation.”
The author of the legislation, Matthew Guevara, and the student who seconded it, Khaalidah Sidney, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The bill lists multiple reasons for banning the flags, including they promote “nationalistic sentiments,” and characterize them as “cultural artifacts.”
The bill goes on to read, “Whereas flags construct paradigms of conformity and sets homogenized standards for others to obtain, which in this country typically are idolized as freedom, equality, and democracy.”
The students also cited “American exceptionalism and superiority,” and said that the country’s flag “has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism.”
The aim of the legislation appears to be to foster a “culturally inclusive space” in the student government offices.
The university’s administration has not taken any stance on the issue, according to UCI spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon.
— City News Service