Minority participation lacking on campus

Larry Willis
Staff Writer

Quinta Goines

After the recent homecoming court election and years of participating in voting during elections, it is becoming more evident that minority presence is not heavily reflected at the university.

Recent homecoming court candidate Khadijah Torbert, a senior broadcast journalism and global business marketing major from Opelika, said the homecoming court system should improve so that non-Greek students will have a better probability of being nominated on the court in the future.

“I think we need to change how we vote a little bit,” Torbert said.

“I personally believe there should be a limit to how many Greeks from a specific organization can actually make the court; if you have six people from each sorority running for court, it kind of blocks out the people who aren’t in sororities, who are just from an organization.”

Torbert said the election process eliminates the students’ vote to where the court is dominated only by Greek students.

“I also personally believe that instead of having the student body vote the first time, there should be an interview process for all of the candidates that make the court, and then they kind of select their top five and then have the student body vote after that,” Torbert said. “I just think that once the student body votes first, it kind of limits who makes it because Greeks have so much power and dominance over Troy University’s campus than for people who aren’t Greek like me.”

“I have served Troy University’s campus for a very long time,” she said. “I’ve been a part of UAC since my freshman year and worked my way up in the ranks, and now I’m president my senior year, and that does not seem to be accounted for. I was a resident assistant for two years; I was a hall ambassador for a year and a half. I’ve served the university well, and it kind of gets eliminated because I’m not in a sorority.”

Goines: Torbert isn’t alone when she says she feels like she has served the university well. There are many students on campus who hold executive positions in clubs, maintain commendable GPAs and have school spirit, but that is often over-shadowed by the lack of being in Greek organizations.

Torbert said she believes the students who usually make the court are not as involved with the organization or fraternity that put them up as much as other people may be.

“As homecoming approaches, I believe a lot of ladies show up to meetings or ask to be represented by a specific organization that they aren’t heavily involved with to begin with,” Torbert said. “I think we need to do a better background check of who is actually in the organization, which organization is putting them up and why.”

“Questions need to be asked, such as how long they’ve been in the organization, and that can determine the outlook of the university.”

Goines:Homecoming court potentials do have a way of finessing more votes. I was a part of an organization, and a homecoming court candidate joined the same organization, encouraged the organization to endorse her, and after homecoming week was over she was no longer affiliated with the organization.

William Justin Ramirez, a senior social work major from Seale, said that the university should showcase more of its international and minority culture when it comes to representing the entire campus, especially since Troy is known as Alabama’s international university.

“I feel like the homecoming court wasn’t made up of many minorities,” he said. “The court is supposed to be a representation of our university, and since Troy University is very diverse in terms of its culture, I feel that the university should have made more of an effort to ensure that we had representatives of a more diverse culture.”

Willis: I personally feel that minority representation is not shown nearly enough on Troy University’s main campus, which is a problem. I believe the methods that Greek organizations use for voting are partially inaccurate, in terms of sororities being required to vote for particular candidates. In my opinion, the system is set up to where Greeks are ensured a spot on the homecoming ballot every year.

Goines: Honestly the lack of minority, international and non-Greek students is an issue greater than elections. As a past Freshman Forum delegate and current Trojan ambassador, I’ve witnessed just how few minority members are involved, and it’s not because they aren’t willing to participate, but they don’t get selected.

When it comes to running for positions like homecoming court or student government, Will Jackson, a junior political science major from Auburn, said he has two viewpoints.

“First we have to get minorities to go out and attempt to do it, and then it is very discouraging when people go out and run for those positions and don’t get support from our peers,” Jackson said. “People say race doesn’t matter, but I believe it is a factor. You always want somebody that looks like you, so it’s discouraging election after election when minorities aren’t being represented.”

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