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Emory U. student council rejects new seats for Black, Latinx members

Protesters walk out, say student government needs to ‘diversify’

The Emory University student government rejected legislation last week to create three new seats specifically for Latinx, Black, and first-generation low-income students.

The College Council at the private, Georgia university already has student leaders from these demographics, but proponents of the legislation said the additional seats would ensure diversity in student government, according to The Emory Wheel, an independent student newspaper.

On Feb. 14, the council voted against the bill, with seven in favor, seven against, and two abstaining. After the vote, several students walked out in protest, the report states.

“The whole point is to not just diversify College Council, but to ensure that communities who need to be heard are being heard because they haven’t so far,” said Alisha Morejon, president of the Afro-Latinx Student Association.

Morejon, who walked out of the meeting, said she wrote the legislation with several other students to remove “barriers to entry” for Black, Latinx, and first-generation low-income students.

However, Michelle Tucker, an African American on the council, said she did not face any barriers when she ran for office, according to the report.

The Wheel reports:

Tucker stated that while she is in favor of having more underrepresented groups on College Council, she does not believe adding seats for specific identities is the best way to achieve this goal. […]

College Council President Neha Murthy (24C), who is a non-voting member of the council, expressed a similar sentiment. Murthy noted that adding seats for underrepresented groups “opens a can of worms,” as College Council currently charters 269 groups and it could be difficult to decide which groups deserve a seat. Murthy also expressed concern about the size of the council if the bill passed.

On the council website, Murthy said one of her top priorities is ensuring “inclusivity” for all students on campus.

Morejon said she is considering the student leaders’ concerns, and may re-write and re-introduce the bill in the future, according to the report.

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IMAGE: Emory University/Facebook

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.