Minority Students and Others at SDSU Stage Silent Protest Over Loss of Votes

by on October 22, 2012 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, Culture, Education, Organizing, San Diego

Protesters with red tape. (Photo from The Daily Aztec.)

Minority students, members of San Diego State cultural organizations and members of the the Residence Hall Association placed red duct tape over their mouths in a silent demonstration last week against the student government’s restructuring plan, a plan that they way will result in a loss of representation and votes for these students and their organizations.

During their assembly last week – the focus of the protest –  the A.S. Council approved a proposed model for its governmental restructure through a majority vote—eliminating individual votes for cultural organizations.  The current structure – the one just pushed aside – allowed for “cultural organizations” to sit on the council, giving each sitting representative one vote. The restructure model which was approved will be implemented once  finished, combines the cultural representation in A.S. into what the restructuring committee called the “Student Diversity Commission”.

With the new structure, the cultural organizations represented on A.S. will share one representative seat on the A.S. council, with one counting vote for all.  Association of Chicana Activists representative Janel Martinez was quoted by the Daily Aztec, the campus newspaper:

 “There are so many concerns. I’m just worried. How is it that we are voting on this and there are so many things that could be fixed before voting?”

A psychology senior and former Resident Hall representative Jasmine Henderson was also quoted during the protested meeting:

“I ask the representative of the College of Science ‘Are you ready to represent me as an African-American woman?’”

In addition, members of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, Andres Bonifacio Samahan and the Resident Hall Association asked members to reconsider their stance.

The Daily Aztec also quoted A.S. Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Channelle McNutt who said:

“No one on here wants to silence anybody. We need to find a more cohesive way for our organization and for our community to collaborate. The fact that I have people here that have tapes on their mouths breaks my heart.”

Restructuring committee member Cord Claffey responded to the protest:

“Their vote is being removed and there is no sugarcoating that. Every student is represented by their College Council. A student who belongs to a represented organization on A.S. Council is being represented twice.”

Claffey explained that the structural shift in power is meant to prevent multiple representations.  “Everything will ultimately depend on the people,” Claffey said. “If they’re good, it’ll work.

The Daily Aztec explained:

In the current and in the proposed structure, each college council receives one representative and the representative’s vote based on the number of students enrolled in the college. For example, the College of Business Administration serves approximately 4,000 students and is therefore represented by three council members and holds three votes. …

Restructuring was passed with 27 votes, seven oppositions and three abstaining. Reasoning for restructure, which is posted online on the A.S. web- site, says the new model will make the council more efficient.

Former Professional Studies and Fine Arts college representative Kristin Sword was also quoted:

 “I, in my three years here, have never been more offended. The fact that people feel like their culture and their organizations are something that can’t be shared with my campus culture makes me sad.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar rick trujillo October 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Thanks for this info….Well, it seems that “The Gaps” Manifest Destiny T-Shirt campaign has found a student (the uniformed variety) haven at SDSU. The key word is “diversity.” A phony but convenient term that allows for policies just like the one listed in this article. The entire history of “democratic america” is one of discrimination….women’s history, alone, is rife with all the past and current facts for the educated and conscious who give a damn. Pay check a little short, honey?
Malcolm X cleared up this issue with a brief anecdote ” I’m not going to sit at this table with nothing on my plate and call myself a diner. Living in america don’t make you an american”
So, the major national minorities, black and brown, red, yellow raised hell, (lots of hell, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s ), and voila ethnic studies; finally a bit of representation and a voice. Very dangerous stuff. Not for minorities, but for the controlled and lied to majority who, once clearly informed and educated (with facts) started drifting away from mainstream Manifest Destiny (this process continues). Hey, was it wrong for General Custer and his boys to wipe out whole villages (just before the payback Justice of Little Big Horn). Custer’s military offspring, Lt. William, My Lai, Calley (he walks free today in Georgia [almost forgotten]? Calley earned a presidential pardon by tricky dick, while a great Warrior Leonard Peltier remains (how long?) in federal prison. This is a classic example of real cultural diversity. The Koala group at UCSD is another diverse group of malignant types tolerated by diversity.
So many bogus theories are in decline (thanks #OWS) along with our rights and buying and earning power, it boggles the mind and creates a climate for rightists to gain a hearing.
This move by privileged rightists (a pile if shit covered by vanilla ice cream is still a pile of shit) at SDSU under the banner of majority vote is a good fit with Arizonas 1070 along with arpaio’s majority work. Serious business, serious business, indeed. We’ll see how this plays out. Formal logic causes quantum havoc as all physicists well know. When is democracy, democratic? Ask an ethnic Albanian (majority) from Kosovo (formally controlled by serbian thuggery). Or ask Kurd from Iraq, Iran, Turkey and other countries whose borders the British decided. Oh, yea, this was about a vote and a voice. Hmmm, wonder, what’s the smallest country represented at the UN?


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