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Decimals decide in ASG voting

By Mary Schrott, News Editor

ASG passed an amended resolution last month to recognize Indigenous People's Day along with Columbus Day.

Contributing author of the resolution, junior Trevor Snyder, said the original unamended resolution supported recognizing Columbus Day as Indigenous People's Day. The amendment, which modified the language of the last line, changed the resolution to support recognizing Indigenous People's Day in addition to Columbus Day.

"I viewed the amendment as unfriendly," Snyder said.

Snyder believes the message still resonates with the original title: "A Resolution Supporting the Recognition of Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day."

"The title is going to be first thing everyone sees," Snyder said. "They didn't really change anything but the very last line."

According to ASG records, the amendment passed with 29 votes in favor and 15 votes against. This creates a 65.9 percent majority vote to pass the amendment.

ASG operates using Robert's Rules of Order, which states a two-thirds vote, or 66.6 percent majority, is needed to pass an amendment to a resolution.

Nathan Callender, speaker of the ASG Senate, is responsible for deciding the resolution in close voting situations like this.

"It was a decimal point. It came down to my decision, so I put it forward to approve the amendment," Callender said. "It was the interest of all the representatives at the moment - some of them had to leave for class."

Rachel Poyfair, a junior Myaamia student, doesn't agree with the amended resolution.

"I don't see how the two can be celebrated simultaneously," Poyfair said.

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Recognizing an Indigenous People's Day, according to Poyfair, is essential to raising awareness of the indigenous people on campus and of the unique relationship Miami University has with the Miami tribe of Oklahoma.

"If you want to celebrate [indigenous people] and empower them, then celebrating the idea of colonization does not have a place in that message," Poyfair said.

Magda Orlander, President of the Diversity Affairs Council (DAC), who supported the original resolution, said the amendment is incredibly problematic.

Columbus Day, Orlander said, celebrates the genocide involved with colonization.

"[Columbus Day] is wildly inaccurate and glosses over much of the atrocities of the colonization of this land," Orlander said. "Indigenous People's Day replaces that, and recognizes those who have been here since before the colonizers."

Orlander believes Miami has a responsibility to critically engage with its history and applauds past ASG motions regarding diversity like declaring April Genocide and Holocaust Awareness Month.

"We know ASG is capable of doing these things, but we are really disappointed [in the amended resolution]," Orlander said. "If our representation in student government isn't ready to support a disenfranchised community with something as simple and symbolic as this, are we going to be able to count on them to support our communities with more tangible changes when needed?"

The change of Miami's mascot from "Redskin" to "Redhawk" is one way Miami has shown its support of the native community it is established on, Orlander said.

"When they changed the mascot they didn't change it to 'Redhawk' in addition to 'Redskin,'" Orlander said.

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