At Central Student Government’s inaugural meeting of the school year Tuesday, representatives discussed priorities for the school year and confirmed nominations for executive positions.
CSG President Cooper Charlton, an LSA senior, said his first priority is to ensure the student body understands the University’s Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
The statement — which details expectations for student conduct and outlines suggested sanctions and disciplinary measures for violations — is due for revision this year. Students can suggest changes to the statement by the beginning of November, and for that reason, Charlton said it’s imperative students understand the document.
Charlton also discussed drinking culture on campus, particularly the University’s new efforts to curb alcohol abuse.
Whether they agree with the new plans or not, he said CSG representatives are in a good position to voice their opinions on the subject. The University’s new initiatives include plans to notify the parents of first-year students after they incur a second violation, as well as an effort to expand the presence of the University of Michigan Police Department off campus.
“Welcome Week, I’m sure everyone had fun, but there’s definitely a line and we all know what it is,” Charlton said.
CSG Vice President Steven Halperin, an LSA junior, also discussed CSG’s plans to approach sexual assault, citing a new program instituted in Greek life for incoming freshmen pledges.
Each incoming student vying for a position in a sorority or fraternity will be subject to a mandatory meeting about sexual assault prevention, Halperin said.
The formulation of sexual assault awareness commission is also under consideration.
“Something that we really want this commission to focus on is something that is very surprising to me that the student survey unveiled — that 21 percent of sexual assault occurs from verbal pressure,” Halperin said.
Proposal for undocumented student aid
Representatives also announced a future resolution to provide legal aid and scholarships to undocumented students at the University.
Lamin Manneh, a Rackham student representative, said the issue deeply affects the University population, which he said has a significant immigrant population.
“Among these groups of immigrants, there’s a lot of undocumented migrants,” he said. “Our friends, our classmates.”
In 2013, the University’s Board of Regents voted to grant in-state tuition fees to undocumented students. The decision followed a multi-year student movement calling for the change.
Manneh said the University has a hostile relationship with its undocumented students, and their inability to receive aid limits their upward mobility.
“The University has to be pushed to even consider that immigrant students need financial aid,” Manneh said. “They cannot recognize it without student movement to maintain that pressure.”
Manneh said that the University should follow in the steps of the University of California, Berkeley, which provides free legal aid and assistance with legal fees for undocumented immigrants applying for national work permits.
Officers of the Executive Committee were also elected during Tuesday’s meeting.
LSA junior Sean Pitt was confirmed as CSG chief of staff in a unanimous vote. Business senior Kevin Ziegler was elected treasurer. Public Policy sophomore Jacob Pearlman was unanimously elected chief of Student General Counsel.