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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUSG Senate fails to commission diversity committee
Marquette Student Government President Kyle Whelton (center) and Executive Vice President Natalie Pinkney Photo by Madeline Pieschel / [email protected].

In the midst of a university-wide campaign to improve diversity on campus, Marquette Student Government senators failed to pass an amendment that would appoint a coordinator of diversity, inclusion and social justice.

MUSG President Kyle Whelton, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and the author of the legislation, said he was disappointed to see the amendment fail.

“I respect the views of the senate; there is a reason why we brought this to the senate first,” he said.

The senate was two votes short of passing the legislation with 13 voting in the affirmative and five senators voting in opposition to the amendment.

“Why do we need a committee that is only focused on diversity, inclusion and social justice?” said Alexander Lech, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences representing Schroeder Hall. “Things like that should be the duty of every senator here to advocate for every student.”

Whelton expressed the need for a continuous plan to address diversity issues, stating that ad-hoc committees would only be in operation during the term of the president who appointed them.

“We have never had any type of formal structure for students,” he said. “We need a consistent body where students would be able to talk about their issues in a public forum.”

Last year, Whelton explained, MUSG did not hold any ad-hoc committees to address campus diversity. He also said he did not intend the legislation to suggest that senators were not representing students.

“We need to be proactive in our efforts, in the past we have waited for students to come to us,” Whelton said. “Personally my belief is it is our job to go out to them. The reason for this committee is to bring together those minds that normally are pigeonholed.”

John O’Rourke, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences representing McCormick Hall, suggested that students who do not feel represented by MUSG should find other outlets of representation or run for a position.

“If someone got elected that you don’t feel comfortable with, then next time, maybe you should run,” O’Rourke said. “If you feel your race or sexual preference is not represented on our student government, then perhaps you need to explore different avenues of running or getting involved.”

Several senators spoke in favor of the committee, saying it would provide a stepping-stone to make Marquette a “more inclusive place.”

Senator Courtney Guc, a sophomore representing the College of Business Administration, supported the legislation and said it would provide a more welcoming outlet for students to address their concerns.

With the bill failing to pass, Whelton said he plans to move forward with addressing the campus wide diversity issue in different venues.

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    CalvinSep 16, 2014 at 11:30 am

    You need to use the Oxford comma to synthesize the piece.