Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

A Precarious Expansion

A focus of GUSA executives Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) and Omika Jikaria’s (SFS ’15) campaign last year was the creation of a Multicultural Council to strengthen ties between student government and multicultural groups. In recent weeks, the council has materialized and is working hard to gain momentum and popularity among students.

Although the goals of the Multicultural Council are estimable in theory, those goals have attracted the opposition of the Students of Color Alliance in the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access.

Both the Multicultural Council and SOCA seek to address advocacy and programming issues that cultural groups face on campus, while working to find solutions for funding and institutional problems these groups also come across. To make matters more complicated, the Provost’s Advisory Committee has also become a forum for discussions of major issues in multicultural education. While all three groups work toward similar ends, having several forums in which to promote unity among cultural groups is understandably confusing and could weaken the legitimacy of all three.

GUSA promotes the Multicultural Council as an advocacy apparatus, and SOCA is primarily a funding board. But the Multicultural Council’s move to extend its influence in discussions of funding could render SOCA obsolete, as student government’s influence expands across campus in the area of multiculturalism.

If GUSA is interested in expanding its role in multiculturalism on campus, as Tezel and Jikaria have indicated, then it should more clearly define its intentions, and how it will collaborate with established groups like SOCA and the provost’s committee that have existing coalitions and credibility with both students and administrators.

In building ties with SOCA and partnering with the Office of the Provost’s student-led diversity initiative, GUSA will ensure that its Multicultural Council is filling a need, rather than adding to campus noise. The council has potential, and communication with existing campus groups is the best way to realize it.

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