April 21, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

That Was Quick: KU Student Senate Defunds ‘Multicultural Student Government’

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For a student body president to dismantle a funded entity on a college campus with the intimidating name “Multicultural Student Government” (MSG) took a certain amount of moxie and a fundamental grasp of what George Orwell called “political language.”

Less than two weeks ago, the reigning president of the MSG, Chiquita Jackson, was deposed in something of a coup. The main charge against Jackson was that she paid herself more than twice the $1,000 salary allocated by the non-multicultural Student Senate–and paid out of student fees–for a semester’s worth of presiding. Jackson claimed she was doing the treasurer’s job as well. Her compatriots weren’t buying.

KU’s non-multicultural student government had apparently seen enough.

The Student Senate apparently had enough of the imploding MSG and acted decisively to dispose of the remains. In an Ash Wednesday press release whose euphemisms could not disguise the disappointment of the author, student body president Mandy Womack announced plans to discontinue allocating any money to the MSG for the upcoming fiscal year.

“The well-intentioned setup for MSG under the previous administration did not establish clear rules and governing principles,” Womack said with all due delicacy. “And it failed to promote representation of marginalized students in university governance effectively.”

Multicultural students, however, need not despair. The Student Senate Multicultural Affairs committee will pick up where the MSG left off with the money previously allocated to the MSG.

Womack all but apologized to the MSG for doing what common sense dictated. “MSG was rightfully formed in response to Student Senate’s lack of focus on diversity and inclusion,” Womack said. “Giving the Multicultural Affairs Committee and the Multicultural Board of Advisors an expanded platform and more resources to support marginalized students will continue to be our priority.”

Orwell describes political language as a mix of “euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” If Womack showed a flair for euphemism, Rusha Bajpai, Student Senate Director of Diversity and Inclusion, showed mastery of the art of “cloudy vagueness.” Said Bajpai in a sentence impressively empty of meaning, “We hope MSG will want to be part of this dialogue moving forward, as we share the same goals and purpose.”

All that remains to learn is whether the entity formerly known as the Multicultural Student Government will stay dismantled.

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