MCC clouded by bureaucracy, politics

Augustana’s Multicultural Club Council (MCC) is a student-led body on campus, ostensibly formed to allow the clubs that serve diverse groups in the student body to come together and provide a forum for cooperation and improvement across cultures on campus. It is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Life.

As a president of the Gay/Straight Alliance on campus, I have been a part of the MCC since its inception last year. I have attended meetings, forums and events sponsored by other clubs represented on the Council.

Initially, the MCC seemed like one of the best things to happen to Augustana. The reality of our campus is that it is wracked by privilege, leaving students who occupy marginalized identities feeling without support or power on our predominantly white, middle class, heterosexual and cisgender campus.

The MCC was meant to give these clubs, and by extension the students who join them, a voice in what happens on campus and how problems are addressed, both through resources provided by the OMSL and by Augustana as an institution.

MCC would be the champion of these students, supporting their endeavors and going to bat against the  bureaucracy of administration that so often tells marginalized students that there is nothing they can do to help us address our concerns.

Reality has proved to be different from my high hopes for the council. Bureaucracy has been replicated, not combated, and interpersonal politics frequently prevent any meaningful united action from being taken by the MCC.

It is not enough for Augustana and its various clubs, councils, boards and administrations to merely speak about their support for the radical changes that marginalized students need to be truly safe and included on campus.

Organizations on campus that claim to represent multicultural students must take action that will make these changes reality.