Thursday, November 26, 2020

Good for U

Approach to minority events will benefit all parties involved

The Black Student Alliance’s approach to prevent conflicts at on-campus events will be an effective means of obtaining peace for all students.

At its first town hall meeting Thursday, BSA proposed eight community standards, including limiting events to MSU students only, having zero tolerance for interruptions and enforcing rules against loitering.

In addition to only allowing MSU students to attend these events, BSA also plans to improve crowd control and deny admission to those who have previously caused conflict.

BSA wants to establish annual town hall meetings so black students can voice opinions and share ideas with student and administrative groups.

BSA has worked with other organizations, such as the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety, National Panhellenic Council, Coalition for Multicultural Education and residence hall black caucuses after recent outbreaks of violence occurred at events sponsored by black student organizations.

Concerns have heightened after at least two fights broke out at Campus Center events this semester. Several fights also erupted at a gathering in Spartan Village after a student-organized event at Lansing’s L.A. Globe Inc., and gun shots were fired.

The wide variety of groups participating in the town hall meeting provides an opportunity for many opinions to be voiced and is a decidedly mature way to approach a situation that has long frustrated many student groups.

Neither BSA nor the MSU police should be alone in trying to prevent problems at minority events. Also, students should be held accountable for occurrences at on-campus events. The MSU police and MSU’s minority groups should be commended for coming together to resolve matters.

The continuing efforts of BSA and other minority groups to initiate a policy that would provide for the safety of all MSU students in a direct and rational approach is admirable.

However, MSU students should not be denied the freedom to take visiting friends to on-campus events. Because many MSU students socialize with people who don’t attend the university, the banning of non-students will discourage MSU students from participating in the events themselves.

No matter what decision BSA and other groups involved arrive at, though, the considerate and patient approach to addressing problems is a model for all university student groups to follow. By including multiple voices in the decision-making process, BSA has made a commitment to ensure that the interests of the entire minority community will be adequately addressed and considered.

Some precautionary measures have already been taken. The Campus Center requires all guests have a valid ID and wear wristbands, as well as forces MSU students to be responsible for guests’ actions. Holding MSU students responsible for their friends will encourage them to bring responsible guests.

If community standards are approved by all black student organizations, they will take effect in the spring and will be self-enforced, along with help from MSU police. The push to increase student awareness and responsibility at on-campus events will be a large step in the direction of preventing future conflict and violence.

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