Last Friday, the university’s Allocations Committee held its second ad hoc meeting to discuss the proposed removal of three permanent seats on the committee.
The Allocations Committee currently has the three controversial seats filled by members of All Campus Programming Board, Inter-Greek Programming Board and Black United Students. The seats were reserved permanently for the three student organizations to avoid discrimination, promote diversity and keep the committee fair. The issue of removing the seats has been voted on in previous semesters, but the proposals have yet to pass.
Undergraduate Student Senate’s Sean Groves, senator for business and finance, is proposing that those chairs no longer be held by a member from those student organizations and instead have the committee consist of eight at-large members and a senator appointed by the Undergraduate Student Senate. He added that only one executive board member from any student organization should be seated on the eight member committee.
Groves is arguing that the permanent chairs do the exact opposite of what they are intended to do.
“I don’t see how it is fair these groups have permanent seats and others do not,” he said, as reported by the Daily Kent Stater.
And we agree.
The Allocations Committee is a group that provides funding for student groups’ on-campus events and educational conferences.
There are 218 student organizations, and the current system is discriminating against these 215 others when these three are deemed more important. What about SALSA, PRIDE!Kent, Hillel and Muslim Student Associaton? There are more minority groups and minority perspectives on campus that should be represented than simply BUS. It’s hypocritical to say that giving BUS a permanent seat is preventing discrimination. The committee should not be allowed to pick one message over the other.
We think the Allocations Committee would be surprised at how many more students (including minority students) would turn out to run for the seats if the permanent status of those three were removed. Students would see and appreciate the equal opportunity being afforded to them by the Allocations Committee. It would make the board that much more inclusive.
The ACPB and Inter-Greek Programming seats should also be removed for the same reasons, but we’re still a little cautious and confused about USS’s plans for the change in funding to these two groups, primarily ACPB.
The committee decided to postpone the discussion last Friday so it could get more information on the history of the seats in question. USS Executive Director Ross Miltner said the ad hoc process is expected to last through March. Our advice is to keep in mind ALL the students the Allocations Committee should represent.
If it does decide to remove the seats, the committee should also investigate the way it hires the eight-member board. It can make bylaws or policies when hiring the new members that follow the same thinking behind the argument for keeping the permanent seats. It would also reach its goal of diversity and fairness in a better way.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board. Kali Price did not submit to this editorial.