By Giacomo Bologna, Daily Staff Reporter
Published September 18, 2012
Following Rackham Student Government’s recent proposal to secede from Central Student Government, the assembly sought to find its footing at its third meeting of the semester.
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Despite the turmoil, CSG proposed its first resolution, confirmed selected executive positions and examined its fall 2012 budget nearly six months after the March elections.
Still, some of the executive positions were only provisionally approved and will have to be confirmed again next week, and the executive board still lacks a chief programming officer.
CSG treasurer Chris Osborn, an LSA junior who was promoted from last week’s provisional status at the meeting, presented a resolution to approve the fall budget. Osborn and the chair of the Student Organization Funding Committee were both provisionally confirmed last week to allow CSG to begin funding student organizations.
According to the budget resolution, CSG has $350,865 in revenue for fall 2012, $261,865 of which comes from the $7.19 student fee and $89,000 in roll-over funds from last semester.
The budget’s main recipient is SOFC, which was allocated $156,875 of the total fund. The remaining funds are dispersed throughout CSG to its commissions, programs and various discretionary funds.
However, that value could be significantly lower in fall 2013 if RSG secedes from CSG, taking one third of CSG’s annual revenue while implementing an entirely new student government on campus explicitly for graduate students.
CSG president Manish Parikh, a Business senior, addressed the proposed secession at the meeting, defending CSG's commitment to graduate students and the individual student governments of the different schools and colleges at the University.
“There have been allegations that we focus only on undergraduate issues. I don’t think that’s the case,” Parikh said. “I think it’s important for all of CSG to treat other student governments on campus as equals rather than little brothers.”
However, LSA representative Arielle Zupmore, an LSA senior and former member of LSA student government, said “serious action” would be needed to prevent other student governments from becoming similarly disinterested in CSG.
First proposed resolution seeks increased accessibility to Google app
Aside from administrative procedures, Rackham representative Patrick O’Mahen presented the first resolution of the semester on disability accessibility to the University’s recently launched Google applications.
The resolution argued that the newly implemented Google applications aren’t accessible for some students with disabilities, citing the National Federation for the Blind and other disability awareness activists who have filed litigation against similar Google applications at other universities.
Two members of the Graduate Employees Organization, including its president Katie Frank, addressed the assembly about the issue, noting that GEO has taken a personal interest in the matter.
The resolution, which is only in its first read, calls for CSG to investigate the issue and begin working with University administrators to correct it.
O’Mahen, a former Michigan Daily columnist, said the issue could use “big public presences” to garner support, citing the actions of the Coalition for Tuition Equality and the crowd of supporters it brought to the University’s Board of Regents meetings.
However, he also stressed the importance of meeting with administrators to work within the University.
Assembly speaker seeks to enforce attendance
Assembly speaker Michael Proppe, a Business junior, said he will begin enforcing representative attendance to committee and commission meetings since the committees, commissions and positions of CSG have solidified and become more functional.
Proppe added that despite past disinterest in the commissions and committees, simply enforcing attendance among representatives could remedy the situation.
“I think the representatives are all pretty motivated people and that if they are showing up to committee meetings, they are not going to want to be wasting their time talking about the football game last week; they’re going to be doing work,” he said.