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The Social Planning and Events Committee last night debated a proposal which members hope would increase both minority planning and attendance at events - including Spring Fling - sponsored by the group. The heated discussion centered around a proposal which recommended forming a committee of representatives from various minority groups who would attend all SPEC meetings and serve as liaisons between SPEC and the groups they represent. The representatives would report to the UMC ex-officio member on the SPEC steering committee. But SPEC committee chairpeople were divided on what role the minority representatives should have on SPEC committees. Connaissance Chairperson Emily Nichols, who is not a member of SPEC, said that minority representatives should have the same say in committee decisions as the chairpeople. "Unless the representative has some power, it will be just lip service," Nichols said. "Meeting minority needs has to be built into the system. It can't depend upon the people working within the system." But Spring Fling Chairperson Robert Cohen vehemently disagreed, saying that the minority representative should be considered a "consultant." Cohen insisted that affirmative action was not necessary to ensure that SPEC activities would appeal to the entire community. "The proposals that were prescribed tonight were unsatisfactory and will ultimately be unsuccessful," Cohen said. Both sides agreed that a minority representative in some capacity is needed to make sure that SPEC events will appeal to minority undergraduates. SPEC Chairperson Varsha Rao said that the group is trying to plan events that will appeal especially to minorities and students whose social options are limited because they are not yet 21. SPEC members did not vote last night.

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