After a heavy recruiting drive earlier this month, LSA Student Government nearly doubled its membership yesterday by appointing 50 new members to its various committees.
In an effort to diversify its membership, LSA-SG focused its recruiting on student groups like the Multicultural Greek Council and the Indian American Student Association, as well as other organizations representing groups of students that currently don’t play a large role in student government.
Aaron Miller, LSA-SG’s appointments chair, said the organization intensified its efforts because membership was especially low. The group began recruiting from underrepresented groups after “realizing more of what the campus is feeling,” Miller said.
He said the group was following the University’s example in its efforts to promote diversity on campus after Proposal 2, the ballot initiative that banned race- and gender-based affirmative action in state public institutions when it passed in Nov. 2006.
LSA-SG also sought to increase participation in the Multicultural Affairs Committee, which organizes outreach events for minority and international students and improving campus climate.
The recruiting efforts yielded 10 new members for the Multicultural Affairs Committee.
LSA junior Jessica Cornwell, a member of the Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority, said she went to her first LSA-SG meeting earlier this semester after hearing that the Multicultural Affairs Committee was looking for new members. Now that she’s been appointed to the committee, Cornwell said she wants the organization to sponsor more forum-style events to discuss the issues that are important to students who are ethnic or religious minorities on campus.
“The campus is very segregated by culture,” said Cornwell, citing the divide between Jewish and Muslim students and between Greek and non-Greek students.
Miller and LSA sophomore Nick Tan, the appointment committee’s vice chair, conducted interviews with interested students and made appointments based on the applicants’ interests and preferences.
Miller said he was surprised and excited by the large number of upperclassmen who applied to committees. In past years, the majority of new members have been freshmen, but this year’s group was comprised of mostly sophomores and juniors.
“We’re very excited about the group of people coming into LSA Student Government,” Miller said. “We achieved our goal of recruiting outside our normal base.”