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The Minnesota Student Association, which serves as the student government at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, has rejected a resolution that called for a moment of recognition on future anniversaries of 9/11. The resolution was denied on Tuesday, November 10.
The bill was introduced by Theo Menon, student group representative of the MSA for the College Republicans. It was denied on a vote of 36-32. The resolution was brought about due to the university’s lack of commemoration for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The bill created a moment of recognition across the college’s campus.
The Minnesota Republic reports that President of the university’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter and student representative for Write Things, Nathan Amundson, stated that resistance to the bill has come from those who believe a moment of recognition would harbor islamophobic feelings on campus.
“This resolution was non-controversial and was supported by the MSA’s President and Vice-President,” said Amundson, “However, several members, in exchanges with CRs rep Theo Menon, were militant in their opposition to it due to a perceived bias toward Muslims.”
Other proponents of the resolution argued in forum that its passage could bring up controversial topics, and that a healthy dialogue and campus tension reduction would ensue from the moment of recognition.
Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Minnesota Student Organization, David Algadi, stood at the forefront of the opposition for the resolution, “The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe. Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well.”
Algadi noted that no moments of recognition are held for those killed in the War on Terror, “When will we start having moments of silence for all of the times white folks have done something terrible?”
Apart from David Algadi, the Students for Justice in Palestine assisted in blocking the resolution. The group was focused on blocking the bill for ideological reasons says Theo Menon, “The Students for Justice in Palestine voiced their belief that being reminded of 9/11 on its anniversary would lead to increased islamophobia.”
Cameron Holl, a Student Senator for the College of Liberal Arts challenged those who struck down the bill.
“There was no reason for any student not to vote on this resolution and much of the dissenting discussion was wildly speculative and unrelated to the resolution itself. Additionally, the same people who voted to close discussion early didn’t offer any amendments or changes to the resolution to find compromise and do their due part as a member of forum, which I think shows a lack of effort and respect for other’s opinions and beliefs.”
The 9/11 moment of recognition resolution was supported by University President Eric Kaler, as well as the MSA President and Vice President. Regardless of this support the resolution still failed to pass.
Proponents of the bill will introduce a revised version in an upcoming meeting of forum.
Hypeline reached out to the student representative for the Students for Justice in Palestine and did not receive a comment in time for publication.
(H/T: The Minnesota Republic)
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