Opinion: AU needs more women of color in AUSG

We need more Black and Brown women in AUSG; here’s how we can start

Opinion: AU needs more women of color in AUSG

We, as students, have the opportunity to reflect the change we intend to see in the world. Let’s use this AUSG election to put power in the hands of some of the most marginalized people on our campus: Black and Brown women.

Let us be clear, the experience of Black and Brown students is not to be equated. As such, it is equally as important to have a voice in the AUSG executive board that is representative of the numerous experiences women of color encounter. Additionally, the complex nature of cisgender women, trans women and individuals who identify as nonbinary should not be assumed by a cis  man.

In looking at every candidate running for AUSG, cis men will dominate the executive board yet again. The president and comptroller, by default, will be cis men. In the vice president’s race, there is a chance for a cis man to win. The only race in which a woman is guaranteed to win is the secretary’s, a title itself often filled with misogynistic connotations. Where will the representation of women lie? 

Some of the rhetoric in all three of the debates in this election cycle addressed the inherent sexism that the upcoming executive board will have towards cis women, trans women and individuals who identify as nonbinary. Who else, other than a woman, with her own lived experiences should have a seat at the table of the executive board advocating for the issues that women of color face regularly? 

Only one out of four of the presidential candidates has a tangible action plan that supports women of color. His plan aims to encourage young women of color to pursue AUSG. We need to start now by electing one as our vice president. How else will AUSG lead by example if we do not start now? 

Black and Brown women on our campus carry the burden of racist, sexist and misogynist characteristics by our male counterparts. The majority of advocacy work done by AU students is spearheaded by women, while simultaneously they are being left out of the conversation. When we see change on campus the accreditation fails to be given to women, and even less so, Black and Brown women.    

The role of student government is to operate and serve the student body. If the candidates have the ability to converse on issues that affect marginalized voices on our campus, their rhetoric should manifest when electing the next vice president. The lived experience as a Black or Brown woman is not to be compared to that of being raised by a woman. 

Nowhere else do we see the consequences of a lack of female representation on the executive board more than in this year’s vice president’s cabinet. The vice president, his chief of staff and the Directors of Kennedy Political Union, Student Union Board and Founders Week are all men, mostly white men. The only woman in the cabinet is in charge of an organization which is literally called “Women’s Initiative.” 

There’s a woman running for vice president who has a record of holding male leaders within AUSG accountable and bringing representative voices to programming boards such as KPU. What’s holding you back from voting for her?

As Black women, we recognize the importance of Black male representation in AUSG. In the same vain, how can we continue to stand by, and do nothing when we and women of color are being left out of the decision-making rooms? Therefore, we will aid in the fight for more Black and Brown female representation in AUSG and vote to put women of color in positions of power.

Analyza Jenkins is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs and Chase Vincent is a sophomore in the School of Communication.


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