A group of Arab American students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn have complained of discrimination after a recent student government election. The students believe university officials oppose the growing influence and visibility of the Arab Student Union on campus, and that administrators are attempting to hold back the group's political participation through recently imposed changes to rules regarding candidate eligibility.
Prior to the student elections on April 2nd and 23rd, new rules were passed by the student body requiring candidates for student senate to gather 100 signatures supporting their bid to be placed on the election ballot.
According to the Arab American News, eighteen students, most of them Arab American, were denied a place on the ballot because some signatures were deemed invalid. Most of those students were members of the student political party University Student Activists (USA), which is comprised mostly of members of the Arab Student Union and a smaller group of African American students.
UM-D spokesperson Terry Gallagher said that a rigorous process for reviewing the election is in place and that all complaints on the election have been resolved to the university's satisfaction
"They might not be happy, but we've already reviewed those complaints," he said. "There are no outstanding complaints to the election process... We're very confident that we've been very fair about this."
Some students, however, feel their complaints have been ignored by administrative officials.
"They've completely disregarded our concerns," said student Hussein Berry. "They throw away our complaints... It's beyond anything I've ever seen."