University of North Alabama Student Government President Jake Statom gained recent support from the Alabama House Republican Caucus following student-led efforts to demand his resignation.
Political pressure unsued following Statom’s repost of an Instagram post on his personal social media account about the “LGBTQ” agenda, adding a statement that sought to promote traditional morals and biblical values. Student activists responded to this by crafting a petition demanding his resignation from the student government presidency by June 30 and threatening impeachment proceedings if he failed to concede to their demands. Following this, Statom released a video apologizing to those who might have been hurt by his online comment and committing to being more thoughtful and considerate of differing perspectives, according to a recent press release from the Alabama House Republican Caucus.
“My Republican colleagues and I recognize the courage it takes for college leaders to promote biblical principles and traditional values on campuses that are increasingly embracing the Cancel Culture and its ‘woke’ demands,” State Rep. Jamie Kiel said. “Because our founding fathers considered the freedoms of speech and religion so important, they made them the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and Jake Statom was simply exercising the liberties that are guaranteed to him.”
Kiel sponsored a resolution in support of the student leader with House Republican Caucus members from across the state voting its approval. Other members of the local legislative delegation including State Reps. Lynn Greer (R – Rogersville), Phillip Pettus (R – Killen), Andrew Sorrell (R – Muscle Shoals) and State Sens. Larry Stutts (R – Tuscumbia) and Tim Melson (R – Florence) have also expressed strong support for Statom, according to Kiel.
“Whether someone agrees with or opposes the stand that Jake Statom has taken, his constitutional right to speak freely and promote his religious beliefs must not be abridged with threats of impeachment and baseless attacks on his character,” Senator Stutts added.
The text of the House Republican Caucus resolution reads:
WHEREAS Jake Statom, an engineering major from Tuscumbia, was elected as president of the University of North Alabama Student Government Association in February; and,
WHEREAS Statom reposted an Instagram post about the “LGBTQ” agenda and added a statement that sought to promote traditional morals and biblical values; and,
WHEREAS some students responded to Statom’s comment, which was made on his personal social media account, with a petition demanding his resignation from the student government presidency by June 30 and threatening impeachment proceedings if he did not concede to their demands; and,
WHEREAS Statom released a video statement apologizing to those who might have been hurt by his online comment and committing to being more thoughtful and considerate of differing perspectives; and,
WHEREAS a student-led counter petition supporting Statom’s right to free speech and expression garnered more signatures than the one that issued threats of political reprisals; and,
WHEREAS the university environment is traditionally one which promotes the free and open exchange of ideas – both conservative and liberal – and protects an individual’s right to their own religious beliefs, values, and moral standards; and,
WHEREAS the dangerous “Cancel Culture” atmosphere that predominates on college campuses both in Alabama and across the country seeks to silence opinions that are deemed to be politically unacceptable to leftist ideologues and punish those who continue to adhere to traditional values, especially those rooted in fundamental religious teachings; and,
WHEREAS, Statom committed no impeachable offense by simply exercising the basic freedoms of opinion, expression, and religion that are guaranteed to all Americans under the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus, support Jake Statom’s right to express and promote his personal beliefs in the public forum and recognize his voluntary willingness to apologize to those he might have offended; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we strongly oppose any effort to impeach, remove, or apply political pressure intended to force Jake Statom from the presidency of the University of North Alabama Student Government Association.
Given under our hand and the seal of the Alabama House Republican Caucus on this 30th day of June, 2021.
House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter
House Majority Caucus Vice-Chair Connie Rowe