University of Kansas approves multicultural government body

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — University of Kansas students have approved a request to establish a multicultural student government at the university.

The Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World reports that the university’s student senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of a recommended student fee to create the multicultural student government after a prolonged debate Wednesday night.

A $2 fee will be added to a list of required student fees for the upcoming school year. The fee will be disseminated through the university multicultural affairs office.

Student senate finance committee chairman Tyler Childress says that the current student government’s bylaws will need to be edited to allow for the new body to have representation.

About 50 students who attended the meeting lined up behind proponents of the multicultural student government as the group presented a written memo explaining more ideas for the organization.

“Multicultural students are best equipped to create spaces in which fellow multicultural students feel safe and accepted,” the students wrote in the memo. “The current Student Senate does not advocate for students of color in part due to refusal by select members, and because of lack of understanding and empathy.”

Students Jameelah Jones and Katherine Rainey said the new governmental body wouldn’t be “separate, but equal” to the current student senate.

“What we do does not negate what you do, and vice versa,” Jones said. “The goal is not to pit one student body against another. That’s not our intention.”

Although many senators agreed with the concept, others said they were concerned that more detailed logistics weren’t shared or established.

“We have not funded a group that is that newly registered before,” said Adam Moon, student senate chief of staff. “I just want to understand more going forward to make sure this works.”

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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