BUS, IGPB to remain on Allocations

Breanne George

After a heated debate, USS voted 4-2 to pass amended changes to the Allocations Committee guidelines that keep the permanent seats held by Black United Students and the Inter-Greek Programming Board at yesterday’s meeting.

The controversial change was to remove the two permanent seats held by BUS and IGPB and add two at-large seats in place of the permanent seats.

Members of BUS attended the meeting to debate the removal of their permanent seat.

“A permanent seat is imperative to ensure racial diversity in campus programming,” BUS President Sasha Parker said.

Parker read a prepared statement expressing the views of BUS members, who felt they were not properly notified in writing of the proposed changes, and would have liked to debate the changes in prior meetings.

“Our viewpoints cannot be effectively represented,” Parker said. “No other group can articulate the needs of black students on campus.”

Kevin Folk, outgoing business and finance senator, said if the proposed change passed, BUS would have a seat on the selection committee of the Allocations Committee. He emphasized that the at-large seats are open to the entire student body.

Outgoing USS President Bill Ross said diversity would be ensured by having a diverse selection committee that chooses qualified people to run the board.

“Anyone judged well can uphold the duty of representing the student body,” he said.

During the open debate time, Matt White, outgoing president of the College Republicans, was concerned about the concept of equality.

“When you select someone based on their skin color, you take the risk of saying skin color matters more than strength of a person’s character and his or her prior service to the student body,” he said.

Another issue discussed was the perceived reason BUS was in jeopardy of losing its permanent seat. Last year, BUS members who held permanent seats on the Allocations Committee did not fulfill their duties by attending meetings compared to previous years, Parker said in an interview after the meeting.

“There was a lack of attendance as a whole on the Allocations Committee,” she said. “But I think the lack of visibility of BUS gave them the leeway to create that argument.”

Ross said the proposed removal of their seat was in an effort to promote fairness on the board and not due to poor attendance. Parker said she takes that comment with a grain of salt.

Amy Groya, senator for governmental affairs, said other minority groups on campus including Pride!Kent and SALSA had asked Folk for a permanent seat because BUS and IGPB had seats.

“I believe the direction is in fairness and not disenfranchising any group of people,” she said.

After ten minutes of debate by audience members, the senate debated the issue. Preston Mitchum, senator for academic affairs, said he originally agreed with the removal of the permanent seats because black students could still be represented via the at-large seats. He said he changed his mind after thinking about institutional racism.

“Skin color has superseded dedication to the student body for as long as I’ve been here,” he said.

Folk motioned to amend the recommended changes to keep the permanent seats of BUS and IGPB and add two at-large seats for a total of seven at-large members.

The revised guidelines will be sent to Pete Goldsmith, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs, for final approval.

After voting, the meeting became a transitional meeting as Ross passed the gavel to the new Executive Director Ross Miltner. This year’s senate gave their thanks and wished the new senate good luck. The new senate assumed their positions.

“Wake up each morning knowing there is always a student relying on you,” Ross said.

Contact student politics reporter Breanne George at [email protected]