The Central Student Government’s Campus Inclusion Commission, which aimed to address campus issues related to race, gender and the LGBTQ community, has effectively disbanded, following the resignation of 11 of the group’s members.
At last week’s CSG meeting, CSG President Cooper Charlton, an LSA senior, told the assembly that the commission’s chair, Matthew Fleisher, a School of Music, Theatre & Dance sophomore, had been terminated from his position. According to members of the commission, the 11 other members resigned shortly afterward in response.
During an interview Tuesday, CSG executives declined to answer questions related to the commission, and at this time, there is no active CSG commission related to diversity and inclusion.
Charlton did address the matter at the Dec. 1 CSG meeting, saying he and the body’s other executives stand by Fleisher’s termination, citing “deceptive behavior, the misrepresentation of facts, and racially charged statements to members of CSG staff and colleagues.”
Charlton addressed the situation after a Michigan in Color article, published in The Michigan Daily, criticized how the body’s executive leadership interacted with the commission and its members. The article was temporarily retracted, but an edited version has since been republished following additional review.
Fleisher provided a written statement on behalf of the Campus Inclusion Commission, but declined to further discuss the circumstances surrounding the resignations and termination or the commission’s future.
“The former Campus Inclusion Commission advocated for the inclusion of minority voices and perspectives in the common campus narrative, as well as the narrative within student government,” he wrote. “We are handling this situation with as much care for the community and ourselves with principles of truth, reconciliation, and justice. Going forward, we will continue our inclusionary work through other avenues with the embodiment of these principals.”
This semester, the CSG Executive Committee chose to consolidate commissions related to diversity, equity and inclusion into a single Campus Inclusion Committee. The decision was part of a larger strategy to pare down the number of commissions from 19 to eight.
Charlton told the CSG assembly Dec. 1 that the decision was made because there were too many committees to function effectively, and grouping similar initiatives and issues under an umbrella commission would increase its efficiency.