(OPINION): MSU’s Racial and Progressive Groups Control ASMSU, Not Students
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Author: Sergei Kelley
The grip of MSU cultural and racial groups on MSU’s undergraduate student government is undeniable. Their untouchable ideology is an expressway over fairness.
I have witnessed their influence over the last two sessions as an ASMSU representative.
The CORES (Council of Racial and Ethnic Students) groups include groups such as Black Student Alliance and the North American Indigenous Student Organization. The COPS (Council of Progressive Students) groups include groups such as the Women’s Council and the LGBT group.
These groups have governance seat domination, preference over regular student groups to funding, and this trend makes me think the future discussion and policy of ASMSU will only show more favoritism towards CORES and COPS.
I want to distinguish that not all CORES/COPS groups have sought that grip. The MSU Student Veterans of America is a fantastic group that is very active. They ask little of ASMSU comparative to other groups.
Pressures from the CORES and COPS groups have increased immensely in the last few weeks. The plans these groups have in progress will only squeeze ASMSU of any assemblance of representative democracy. Three proposals give me reason to believe this.
First, the hiring of the newly created Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Stated in a packet given out at an ASMSU Steering Committee meeting, the officer will bring forth, “viewpoints, perspectives, and issues of minority and progressive students.” Sounds inclusive right? But only if your ideology falls left on the spectrum.
Second, the establishment of a General Assembly Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. This will be chaired by the sanctified diversity officer. The mission of the officer is explicitly catering to those from “minority and progressive” groups. How then will the GA inclusion committee be inclusive? It will be if your ideology falls left on the spectrum.
Third, to make CORES and COPS groups more dependent on government, an ad-hoc committee of the CORES and COPS group was announced by Student Allocations Board (SAB) President, Makenzie Bosworth, at ASMSU’s Finance committee meeting on March 14. They will be tasked to review funding applications before being sent to the proper allocations board, which would be the SAB. So, you have a better chance of getting student government allocations if your ideology falls left on the spectrum.
To summarize up to this point, ASMSU has been pressured to entertain three large propositions to cater to CORES and COPS groups. This is only possible through their guaranteed General Assembly spots.
They have access to over 12 representative seats.
However, only 36 seats are elected popularly per college through the MSU undergraduate population. Each of these candidates can be chosen by hundreds and thousands of students. This division is unfair.
For example, the Women’s Council has a slot affixed to the General Assembly. From this spot they can vote on all legislation, even ones that financially benefit them.
Compare this to the MSU Running Club. A large group on campus that does not have an affixed seat, and has a separate process in the Student Allocations Board. This is not fair and violates representative democracy on our campus.
The increased grip of MSU CORES and COPS groups in ASMSU is completely undeniable. Wouldn’t you agree that their untouchable ideology has become an expressway over fairness?
Contributor: Sergei Kelley