ASMSU releases demographic report
At the last ASMSU General Assembly meeting, the student government debuted its first Demographic Report.
The report detailed a variety of categorizations such as race, sex, gender identity, class standing, religion and sexual orientation. The survey was across all areas of the organization, and 116 students participated.
In a formal statement, ASMSU President Lorenzo Santavicca wrote the report was generated to show a commitment to fostering diversity within the organization.
“At ASMSU, we take the responsibility of representing our student body very seriously," Santavicca wrote. "This is part of the greater initiative of “ASMS(You)” for the 2017-2018 academic year: to be intentionally thoughtful how we can better directly serve and represent the undergraduate student voice of our MSU community.”
Santavicca said he has had a personal interest in gathering this information for some time, and that he believes it serves the organization well.
We pride ourselves on representing the collective student voice of nearly 40,000 undergraduate students on our campus, but that’s not accurate to say we’re representing all those voices if we don’t take a hard look at who’s involved in decisions on our legislative action,” Santavicca said.
Santavicca believes the report confirmed his belief that ASMSU could do more to engage international students, who make up six percent of the organization, according to the report.
“For me, particularly around this report, it was stunning to see the difference in the ways in which people identified as far as transfer students or international students," Santavicca said. "Particularly for ASMSU, I think one of the challenges that we face is we can engage our international student population a little bit better.”
According to the ASMSU Demographic Report, 93.9 percent of members identify as non-Hispanic, 3.5 percent chose not to answer, and 2.6 percent identified as Hispanic. Santavicca said this is an area where ASMSU could engage more students as well.
“Another area that I wasn’t particularly satisfied with was the low level of engagement from our Hispanic students or students that identified as Latinx in the organization," Santavicca said. "But, I think this poses an opportunity for us as an organization to extend a hand and ask for people to be involved.”
As for ASMSU's racial demographics, Santavicca said they are reflective of the university's enrollment reports.
“It seemed to be on par with where we are at as an institution in terms of students involved by race," Santavicca said. "That’s not as good as where we can be. We can always improve on getting people involved.”
Santavicca said he hopes the report serves to encourage more students to become involved within the organization.
“I would hopefully ask as a suggestion to others to take up a call to action with this," Santavicca said. "If you don’t like the way it looks, be involved. Be engaged.”