Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

Mills makes history in election

August 11, 2001


On April 12, Kansas University's Justin Mills made history. Now he's focusing on trying to make things better.

On that evening, Mills was hoisted on the shoulders of supporters after winning a tough student body presidential race by 39 votes out of 4,233 votes cast.

Mills, of Lansing, is only the second black student elected president in KU history. In addition, he and vice president Kyle Browning will be the first non-greek administration in recent memory.

Mills said he wants to focus on advancing his campaign issues making KU more diverse and establishing a recycling plan across the campus and in student housing.

"There are a lot of things you can do," to increase the number of minority students at KU, he said.

For example, he said, "KU should employ administrators whose main duty is to try and recruit students from the major minority groups."

Currently there is one employee to do that.

"You would think a university this size would have more than one," Mills said.

He said KU has not made minority recruitment and retention a priority. Out of its 23,000-member student body, KU has about 1,000 Asian students, 780 African-American students and 685 Hispanic students.

"We're also educating people on why diversity is important," he said.

He would also like to see KU require that Coca-Cola, under its contract with the university, work harder on implementing a recycling program.

Mills, who received a bachelor's degree in history this spring from KU, is now a graduate student and wants to go to medical school.

After his election, he said, a lot of animosity arose between greeks and non-greeks. It surprised him, he said.

"They were pretty angry about losing," he said. "I'm not anti-greek. I know the greek life has benefits."

It's another reason he wants to encourage more people to get involved in student government.

"I hope to be able to bridge the gap between the two sides," he said. "We need to heal the divisiveness. We can't get a lot done if we're divided."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.