On Tuesday evening, the 11th Assembly of the University of Michigan’s Central Student Government held its last meeting before the next election of the administration. Held in a hybrid format, CSG members discussed supporting Ukrainian students, a financial request for the creation of a new scholarship and the upcoming CSG election.
The Assembly passed a resolution requesting the University to provide financial aid to Ukrainian students for tuition. The resolution explains how Ukrainian students have expressed difficulties in paying expenses due to the war in Ukraine, making it hard to pay for future tuition to continue their education. This declarative resolution is sponsored by Engineering junior Carla Voigt, CSG vice president, and authored by Ukrainian Rackham student Hanna Onyshchenko.
Voigt said that Onyshchenko has been communicating with other Ukrainian students on campus to listen to their needs.
“A couple of students have let (Onyshchenko) know that they are going to be struggling to pay tuition,” Voigt said. “They’ve been asking for help from the University administration and have not been able to get any … We’re hoping to use (this resolution) to help these students get their tuition paid for so that they can attend school.”
Public Health senior Nithya Arun, CSG president, suggested adding an amendment to ensure that all students who are impacted by war are included in the resolution.
“Under the resolved clause, we can also add a line about supporting all students affected by war, in which occupation and displacement have been occurring,” Arun said. “Just because I want to make sure this is as inclusive of a resolution as possible.”
CSG also discussed a Financial Committee Recommendation proposed by Rackham student Claire Liu, Rackham Student Government (RSG) vice president. This recommendation calls for the creation of a new program by RSG and CSG called the Anti-Racism Student Service Award, which would consist of an award for students engaged in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as well as a scholarship that would encourage first-year students to get involved in DEI initiatives.
“A large part of that kind of labor is mainly uncompensated and falls on the back of students of Color and oftentimes with little support,” Liu said. “So we thought that this was a much-needed program, since the University has made statements that they won’t be compensating this kind of work.”
Liu hoped that the CSG Assembly would pledge $5,000 to the program, which would bring the total funding to $17,000. Individual awards would be between $100 and $500 depending on the student’s financial aid package, according to Liu.
In regards to the upcoming election, the Assembly passed a motion that would provide a budget for the CSG election taking place on March 30 and 31.
CSG discussed the difficulties that The Election Commission has faced with finding enough volunteers to fully staff the polling locations. CSG will be hosting one polling location at the Grove Polling Place on Wednesday and one polling location on the Diag on Thursday, both from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to Rackham student Austin Glass, CSG student general counsel, the original plan was to create two polling locations on both days. But due to staffing shortages, Glass said this wasn’t possible and recommended the Assembly recognize that the legitimacy of the election would not be compromised because of limited in-person polling availability.
“We will staff the polling place as much as we can,” Glass said. “But I think it is probably wise, just given that the hairs on the back of my neck always stand up related to litigation around the election, that this assembly just assent to its understanding that even if the polling places don’t quite happen as we intended them, when we passed that motion … it doesn’t threaten the legitimacy of the election.”
Students may also opt to vote online at vote.umich.edu before 11:59 p.m. on March 31.
The Assembly also introduced U-M alum Eric Lipson, who said he plans to run for mayor of Ann Arbor as an independent this November. Lipson said he hopes to connect with CSG as well as receive input from students. In response, students at the assembly have expressed willingness to provide assistance in Lipson’s campaign and called on the lack of support and care for students with disabilities on campus and in the city.
Lipson previously ran for City Council in Ward 4 in 2016 but was defeated by incumbent Graydon Kraphol, D-Ward 4 in the democratic primary.
The last meeting of the 11th Assembly ended with words of appreciation from multiple CSG members. LSA senior Annie Mintun, CSG speaker,encouraged students to advocate for themselves as she talked about her position as speaker.
“For everyone else, especially with the election around the corner, make sure that you put your name forward for things because you are your own advocate,” Mintun said. “You are your best advocate, and no one else is going to do it if you don’t do it for yourself.”
Daily News Contributor Tina Yu can be reached at email@example.com.