San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Greeksdenied Voting Seats on A.s. Council

Amid accusations of anti-greek bias and after more than three anda half hours of debate, the Associated Students Council denied threestudent organizations seats on the council.

Councilmembers contended that the Inter-Fraternity Council, thePanhellenic Association and the Association of Chicana Activists werenot in accordance with specific requirements to obtain a voting seat.

Both IFC and Panhellenic, which are comprised of fraternities andsororities, were criticized for not having open membership and fornot presenting culturally diverse programs, as stated in the A.S.bylaws.

“I think there is a difference in the way you guys on campus viewdiversity and the way we view it,” IFC executive council member JasonWood said at the Nov. 17 meeting. “It’s normal for us. Maybe that iswhy we don’t go out preaching it to the campus.

“Instead, we’re walking the walk. You may be talking the talk –we’re doing it. We are a diverse entity. We are the most diverseorganization on campus. The organizations that are on A.S. have oneculture — primarily. We represent all of their cultures.”

Many council members argued that the lack of diversity programs inthe IFC and Panhellenic creates less culturally aware members.

Currently, more than 1,600 San Diego State University students aremembers of these organizations.

Wood said that although the IFC and Panhellenic do not set upspecific diversity workshops, each fraternity or sorority house doesattempt to provide their members with information about diversity.

This year, for example, the two groups initiated the New MemberSeries; a program designed to educate new initiates about socialissues such as diversity, alcohol and drugs.

Issues were also raised that the IFC and Panhellenic do not fallunder the criteria that organizations with seats on the A.S. Councilmust be open to all students.

“I can go to Andres Bonaficio Samahan, I can participate inSamahan’s affairs, I can be a voting member of Samahan’s general bodyalthough I’m not Filipino,” councilmember Ron Williams said. “But,can I go to a (IFC) meeting just as Joe Student and just come inlisten to what’s going on? The reality is I can’t.”

However, Wood said all students are able attend IFC or Panhellenicmeetings except on the ritual nights held once a month.

The greeks do have a representative seat on the A.S. President’sCabinet, but they are not given a vote.

“Without a vote you’re nothing, you’re a voice,” Wood said.”Without a vote, your voice is meaningless because it carries noweight with it.”

IFC and Panhellenic have been denied A.S. voting seats severaltimes in the past, but it wasn’t until last year that A.S.established criteria for applicants.

“There was no reason we shouldn’t have been granted a seat on thecouncil,” A.S. Greek Liaison Najla Tabbah said. “We met all thecriteria. It’s just biases they (A.S.) have toward greeks.”

The criteria are not designed to be easy, Williams said.

“It’s not a guarantee that just because you apply for the seat,because you believe that you meet the criteria as a studentorganization, you will be granted a seat on the council,” Williamssaid. “That is solely at the discretion of the members of thecouncil.”

The Council said the third organization denied a seat on thecouncil, AChA, has not organized enough self-sufficient programsregarding diversity and community service. This is the first year the20-member student organization applied for a voting council seat.

Council members also debated over whether AChA was alreadyrepresented under the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan.

Chris Calima, acting A.S. president, said some organizations havea harder time meeting the criteria, but the process is notimpossible.

“I once again recommend to keep trying,” Calima said. “Every yearit’s a new council.”

Wood said that IFC and Panhellenic would continue to fight for anA.S. voting seat next year.

Representatives from AChA declined to comment.

A new organization has not won a council seat in seven or eightyears. The last groups to be added successfully to the council werethe Residential and Housing Association and the Lesbian Gay BisexualTransgender Student Union.

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Greeksdenied Voting Seats on A.s. Council