Shane Brown, Senior Heads of State Representative, Internal Affairs
The Colorado College Student Government Association is committed to promoting the principles behind the college’s ongoing anti-racist initiative. Thus, CCSGA aims to improve our organizational structure and practices to better support student organizations that are also pursuing that mission.
Our next step? Revamping Heads of State.
Previously, The Butler Center maintained an affiliation with student clubs that align with its mission of creating an inclusive learning community at CC. These clubs, known as affinity groups, aim to support various underrepresented communities on campus, such as racial/ethnic minorities and LGBTQIA+ individuals, in pursuit of social justice within the CC community and beyond. After the Native American Student Union and Asian Student Union chose to disaffiliate from The Butler Center last spring, this affiliation model was dissolved.
Before the disaffiliation, Heads of State was a body consisting of co-chairs from each affinity group, which collaborated with The Butler Center in brainstorming effective programming, discussing pertinent issues, and fostering a campus community that prioritizes social justice and equity. CCSGA created separate positions for “Heads of State Representatives,” elected from each class. These representatives were appointed to each CCSGA committee intentionally to provide a voice for underserved communities within our body.
This year, the Internal Affairs Committee has been tasked with revamping the Heads of State structure. Our present structure is based upon the now-defunct Butler Center affiliation model. In collaboration with the Inclusion Committee, we have formed a subcommittee consisting of student representatives who are heavily involved with the affinity groups and have a stake in their success. By the end of the academic year, we will propose a new model to CCSGA that, if passed, will be implemented in the 2020-21 school year.
On Dec. 3, the affinity groups formed a coalition around social justice activism on- and off-campus. This coalition marks a milestone in cultivating a sense of solidarity and community among these groups. In crafting our proposal, the Heads of State subcommittee will collaborate with members of this coalition in an attempt to be as empowering and inclusive of their communities as possible.
Going forward, we hope to formulate a system that will strengthen the relationship between affinity groups and CCSGA; respect the autonomy of these groups and their respective communities; ensure that underrepresented groups will always have distinct, empowered voices within our body and the community at large; and facilitate the creation of responsive, responsible initiatives to support the college’s greater mission of antiracism.