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Assembly holds first meeting of semester

By Giacomo Bologna, Daily Staff Reporter
Published September 4, 2012

Despite taking office more than five months ago, the Central Student Government handled mainly administrative procedures in its first meeting of the semester on Tuesday.

The new assembly lost multiple meeting opportunities at the end of last semester when approval of the March elections took much longer than anticipated. That, coupled with summer meetings designed only to give out student organization funding, meant a fair portion of the meeting was spent electing committee positions and discussing plans for the year. No new resolutions were proposed, and no old business was discussed.

CSG president Manish Parikh and CSG vice president Omar Hashwi — who upheld their campaign promise to dress in business casual attire — spoke to the group about their plans for the semester.

Parikh said he already started new projects with multiple representatives. Specifically, he said he is working on social media initiatives and videos for CSG with LSA representative Harnek Singh, creating a centralized student calendar with assembly speaker Michael Proppe, promoting tuition equality with LSA representative Daniel Morales, and communicating with the student governments of other University schools with LSA representative Arielle Zupmore.

He added that CSG executive positions will be decided in the upcoming weeks, noting that he has received 40 candidate applications for a handful of executive positions, and he said he expects to receive more before the application period closes on Sunday.

In his address to the assembly, Hashwi said representatives need to make sure they do the majority of their positions’ duties outside of Tuesday night meetings to ensure they remain productive during their weekly time together.

“I know these meetings may seem really boring, most of the time they are,” he said. “But this is not the time where we should be getting stuff done ... these meetings are just to talk about what we have done.”

Earlier in the meeting, all of the chair and vice chair positions were determined in uncontested elections, and several took place only after multiple students declined nominations to run for the positions.

The assembly also considered holding an election for the vice chair of the executive nominations committee after the status of its current office-holder, Rackham representative Jennifer Dibbern, was deemed unclear. Rackham assembly representative Patrick O’Mahen said he is not sure if Dibbern is still actively enrolled at the University.

Dibbern was dismissed from her position as a graduate student research assistant last fall, but attended classes in Rackham with a different concentration. The incident attracted significant coverage when a press conference was held in January by Dibbern and the Graduate Employees’ Organization — the union of graduate student instructors and graduate student staff assistants at the University — who claimed Dibbern was unfairly dismissed from her position for her ties to GEO.