Inside the GLBT office last Friday, Charles Hunt celebrated news of Amendment 46’s official failure.
“I just jumped up and hugged my friend,” he said. “I was really excited, because it meant there’s something else we don’t have to fight for.”
The contentious amendment, labeled the “Civil Rights Initiative,” would have withdrawn any preferential treatment of an individual or group based on sex, ethnicity or national origin. While it remained a close race statewide on Election Night, it was officially called a “no” on Friday after failing in Larimer County Tuesday.
Speaking as the vice-president of the Student Organization for GLBT, Hunt said that he felt the passing of the initiative would have had a dramatic and negative impact on the CSU community.
Hunt said he did not believe there was a chance the amendment would have passed, despite how close the results were Tuesday night.
“I knew it wasn’t going to pass. I mean, I had a strong feeling it wasn’t going to,” he said.
Supporters of the initiative said that programs such as affirmative action are unethical and unfair. Freshman music production major and advocate of the initiative, John Wempe, went as far to say that affirmative action is a form of racism.
“Qualification should be based on achieved status, not ascribed status,” he said.
Freshman Billy Colavito agreed.
“I wanted it to pass. I think it’s unfair that minorities get privileges, like going to college, over me, just because they’re minorities. I had to work harder to get in than they did.”
Erika Green, CSU junior and vice-president of the on-campus advocacy organization Black Definition, said that she is glad the amendment was voted down.
Green also said she believes in the necessity of affirmative action, which she said combats inequality in the modern-day workplace environment.
One of the chief arguments for groups such as Black Definition is that the amendment withdraws special benefits such as affirmative action, which is designed to provide equal opportunity to underrepresented populations such as African-Americans and women.
“I totally disagreed with the initiative because it would have taken away social programs that aid less advantaged people,” Green said.
Hunt said he was especially pleased with the results.
“I’m excited because this means the advocacy office can remain open and unaffected. You have to understand – it gives those within a specific community a place to learn about their history. It gives them a place to have those resources available, and it gives people the ability to feel themselves and safe,” he said.
Voting results for the initiative were too close to call Tuesday night. Results Friday revealed that the amendment was voted down, with majority 50.7 percent “no” voters winning over 49.2 percent “yes” voters.
Colavito is worried that the voting results will allow further biased selection for public education, employment and contracting.
“It’s going to reduce the chances for people to get into college who actually deserve it for their hard work,” he said.
Staff writer Tyler Okland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.