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U of M student leaders approve annual 9/11 commemoration

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Undergraduate leaders at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday approved holding an annual moment of silence on campus to recognize 9/11 victims.

The Minnesota Student Association (MSA) had come under criticism earlier this month after it rejected a proposal put forward by the College Republicans to hold an annual 9/11 commemoration, with reports suggesting the decision was made over fears it would provoke Islamaphobia.

The MSA countered, saying the reason it was rejected was because there was little detail included in the proposal about what the commemoration would actually entail – and said it wanted to research more concrete ideas before approving it.

On Tuesday, the Pioneer Press reports that the MSA approved a 9/11 commemoration to be held on campus in the form of a moment of silence, which was approved with only "four or five people" in opposition, according to MSA President Joelle Stangler.

Stangler told the newspaper that the re-submitted proposal followed "more research," consultation with two U organizations that represent Muslim students, and had more co-authors.

The vote featured on Wednesday in an article by conservative University of Minnesota website The Minnesota Republic entitled "Better Late Than Never."

It notes that some concerns were still raised at the MSA's latest forum, centering on whether this would be setting a precedent for other national tragedies.

The website also notes there was criticism of University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and board members, who made a statement telling the public of their own commitment to a 9/11 commemoration before the MSA had a chance to hold a final vote on the proposal.

Nonetheless, College Republicans representative Theo Menon, who co-authored the proposal, was happy with the final outcome, saying: "I believe we have constructed a cohesive and inclusive statement of support."

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