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ASI passes white supremacy resolution

The student senate made a quick deliberation on hate speech.

Illustration by Bobby Yagake

Illustration by Bobby Yagake

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After last week’s debate over the resolution “ASI against White Supremacy,” student Associated Students Inc. senators came prepared and ready to vote.

After taking a roll-call vote, the third reading of “ASI against White Supremacy” passed 18-0-4.

Discussion started with co-author senator of health and human services, Leen Almahdi who presented the changes to the resolution from last week. Changes included adding a quote from civil rights novelist James Baldwin and cleaning up the language of the resolution to be more inclusive for all campus members.

“ASI against White Supremacy” was an evolution of a hate speech resolution deliberated last fall semester. The original version was criticized by other senators as being ‘whitewashed’ and lacking inclusivity, and it was left in limbo until the recent revisions.

Most suggestions from senators did not make the cut in the revised resolution. One suggestion came from senator of the college of natural science and math Ian Macdonald. He requested that senators who authored the old resolution proposed last fall be added to the new one. However, senator at large Thulani Ngazimbi, informed the senate this week that those senators from the past resolution will not be added to the revised one.

“This resolution was written to show the students that the ASI they elected is the ASI that supports them,” Ngazimbi said. “If we created an illusion that we wrote this resolution to prop ourselves up, I want that to be taken completely away.”

Ngazimbi pointed out that none of the senators from the original resolution took the initiative to send the resolution to the Social Justice and Equity Committee or to the chief diversity officer.   

Senator of college of the liberal arts Melissa Mejia argued that the names of those senators deserve to be on the new resolution to show inclusion and unity within the senate.

“We are one board and it seems slightly exclusionary to me, especially when the agenda says that this resolution was formally another resolution that other senators did have input in,” Mejia said. “We shouldn’t make other people feel like they shouldn’t be included because we haven’t had it as tough. We are advocates. We have all experienced the same things our students have, but that doesn’t mean we care any less.”

Senator of health and human services Courtney Yamagiwa said she agrees with Ngazimbi. Yamagiwa’s name was on the original resolution but said her name should not be added to the new one.

“As someone who was one of the authors of the previous resolution, I am perfectly ok with not having my name on it and I think that it does not deserve to be on it,” Yamagiwa said. “I didn’t go to check, I didn’t go and give my input which is something we should do. I didn’t put any of the effort into this and I know that none of the authors in the previous one did.”

Macdonald agreed with Ngazimbi that senators from the original resolution should not be mentioned in the new one. The senators thanked Ngazimbi and Almahdi for putting an important resolution into motion.

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