Social justice committee of MSA advocates minority student interests at MU

The social justice committee of MSA proposes and passes legislation focused on improving the experience of minority students at MU.
Members of the MSA Social Justice Committee gathers in the MU Student Center to discuss issues of interest to or affecting minority students on Nov. 5, 2019. Photo by Senior Photographer Becca Newton

The social justice committee is one of five committees that propose and work to pass legislation for the Missouri Student Association. According to Mark Bremer, chair of the Senate Social Justice Committee, the committee’s overarching goal is to improve the campus climate for marginalized students.

Bremer said the committee has a multitude of pipelines for receiving information about possible initiatives for legislation. He said the committee is always doing what they can to be aware of the climate at MU and is always willing to hear the concerns of students and student organizations.

“We try to keep open communication so we know what the issues are and know how best to advocate for them,” Bremer said. “It’s all about knowing when and where to step in and when it’s our turn to step back.”

Bremer said he personally became involved with MSA through his work on the Interfraternity Council executive board advocating for LGBT issues in fraternity life. He said one of his personal goals is to increase the visibility of LGBT students at MU.

Bremer said each member of the committee brings a similar personal experience to help solve campus issues that affect them. He said each member of the committee has a specific area of focus in which they work on coming up with ideas for legislation.

Although he recognizes the importance of minority representation in leadership, Bremer also emphasizes the importance of an interconnected effort for diversity and inclusion. He said it’s important to recognize that advocating for inclusivity can’t be done through legislation alone and that it’s up to other communities at MU to act on the values of diversity and inclusion as well.

“It’s everyone’s job,” Bremer said. “Diversity is not just one person’s job. It’s not just one committee’s job, one organization’s job. It’s definitely not just on the back of marginalized students. Everyone has a stake in the game to make sure everyone is included and making sure every opinion is represented.”

Edited by Ben Scott | bscott@themaneater.com

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