Student Council (SC) was cited for lack of diversity and inclusion by the AAU administration, which proposed a change, including a diversity quota.

The President Collegium Board (PresCol) issued concerns to the current student council about lack of diversity. As the current SC currently only consists of Americans, the board would like to see a better representation of diverse voices that compose the school’s population.

“The introduction of a diversity quota is designed to further enhance this representation… ensure that our student governance reflects not only the academic schools, but also the diverse national and cultural backgrounds of our student body, fostering a more representative Student Council,” said Kateřina Vanova, the Dean of Students. 

The agreement made between the PresCol and SC seeks to limit overrepresentation of a particular school or nationality. Two representatives from each major program will have priority regardless of nationality.

Following the first limitation, “once one nationality is represented by four representatives, priority is given to others unless there is no underrepresented candidate available,” said a SC member who does not wish to be named.

Dual nationals will also have the advantage of being able to represent the nationality that is least represented. The PresCol’s preferred ratio of representation is 40% USA, 30% Eastern European, 20% Western European, and 10% South American, Asian, or other.

The drafted amendment will be put in practice to fill the open positions for the upcoming SC elections where student voting begins on 3 May, 2024.

Photo via: AAU Flickr

“It’s okay if there’s a quota, but the ratio is questionable,” said Lora Lukova, a Journalism student from Bulgaria. 

Lukova was concerned that the South American student population seems to be growing. If there were to be a quota, she believes they should receive a higher percentage. However, in the last election, all the candidates were American except for one. 

This raises the question of how will AAU convince students from other countries to run and meet the quota? The PresCol and SC will continue to discuss how to best implement their proposal to represent the student population fairly, according to the aforementioned SC member.

“This isn’t solely a diversity issue; it’s an institutional one. It’s contradictory to advocate for diversity while exclusively catering to American prospective students,” concluded IR student Milla Warren.