At their meeting Tuesday, Central Student Government discussed coordinating efforts among student organizations over the Flint water crisis and resolutions to define the agenda of the semester. The body also hosted E. Royster Harper, Vice President of Student Life, as their guest speaker.
CSG President Cooper Charlton, an LSA senior, addressed the assembly on the importance of assisting existing efforts across campus aiming to aid with the Flint water crisis.
“In the beginning of the year we talked a lot about uniting the three campuses in Ann Arbor — Central, North and South — and at that same time we also reached out to Flint and Dearborn so we can be a united voice when we talk about the University of Michigan,” Charlton said. “Not just talking about Ann Arbor and not forgetting our brothers 30 to 40 minutes away.”
Charlton called upon the body to reach out to student organizations currently engaged in fundraising campaigns and other forms of aid.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for us to show support with the water crisis happening in Flint,” Charlton said. “We need need need to show support for Flint in this very terrible time.”
During her speech, Harper shared several personal stories with the assembly, including her childhood, her relationship with the University and her involvement with social life at the University when she was a student. Among the policy topics she touched on were the forthcoming University celebration for the bicentennial in 2017 and parents weekend. She asked CSG, and all students, for ideas to help strengthen the planning and execution of both events.
CSG, in turn, asked Harper for constructive criticism and general advice going into the second semester. She outlined the importance of understanding the student body in response.
“I will offer you two words of advice,” she said. “I think that you need to move outside your own space and to really be asking people who are maybe different from you what’s working and what’s not. In addition, you need to listen with more than your ears. What is the person not saying — you have to represent the student body.”
In particular, she encouraged assembly members to consider their own identities.
“This is the time in your life to do your work around your own identity, and understand other people,” she said. “It takes just a little bit of courage to be uncomfortable enough to understand life from other people’s point of view.”
A new resolution on increasing voter registration on campus was brought to the assembly floor during Tuesday’s meeting. The proposal sought to install a popup window on Wolverine Access about registering when students register for classes to make the voter registration process easier for students.
The resolution was passed to the finance and resolutions committee for further review.
The body also voted on winter CSG election dates with a resolution that had been brought to the table last week. The resolution was passed, with applications for candidacy due the week before spring break.
Among old business brought back to the table was a resolution to amend CSG’s 2016 $400,000 winter semester budget, and another to enact it.