CSG demographic report shows more diverse representation

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 6:58pm

Joe Goldberg, Chief of Staff to the President, discusses the hydration station initiative at the Central Student Government meeting in the Union Tuesday.

Joe Goldberg, Chief of Staff to the President, discusses the hydration station initiative at the Central Student Government meeting in the Union Tuesday. Buy this photo
Chris Fcasni/Daily

Central Student Government released its 2018 internal demographic report Monday, with 52 of 68 representatives responding to the survey. The report showed increased representation of minority students from last year.

CSG representative Efe Edevbie, a Kinesiology junior, said the survey aims to depict students representation within the student government. 

According to the report, 61.54 percent of CSG is between the ages of 20 and 21. Over 38 percent of CSG members are seniors, while 20.6 percent of total University of Michigan students are seniors.

In terms of sex, CSG was 52 percent female and 48 percent male, while the undergraduate student body is about 49 percent female and 51 percent male. No respondents identified as transgender. Last year’s survey reported CSG was 58.1 percent male, 40.7 percent female and 1.2 percent genderqueer.

The report also states 57.69 percent of CSG representatives identify as white, 11.54 percent Black, 19.23 percent Asian, 5.77 percent Middle Eastern and North African, 3.85 percent Latino, and 1.92 percent mixed race. No respondents identified as Native American. In last year's report, 69.8 percent of CSG representatives identified as white, 7 percent Black, 9.3 percent Asian, 8.1 percent mixed race and 0 percent Latino. MENA students were classified as “Other,” which constituted 4.7 percent. 

The general increase in diversity of elected representatives, Edevbie said, started with running more diverse candidates.

“Our candidates for last year were very diverse and really touched on a lot of parts on campus, both on a racial aspect and just overall demographic standpoint,” Edevbie said. “I think that’s definitely a reflection of some more marginalized groups on campus having more and more seats at the table when it comes to CSG assembly.”

The overall University student body is 54.58 percent white, 11.99 percent Asian, 5.65 percent Latino, 4.2 percent Black, 1.89 percent mixed race and 0.18 percent Native American. The University does not currently have statistics on MENA students.

Michigan residents make up 63.46 percent of CSG representatives, compared to 50.69 percent University-wide. According to the report, 24 percent of CSG representatives come from a household income of $99,999 or less and 76 percent come from household incomes of $100,000 or more. Over half of CSG representatives, 54.9 percent, report not being financial aid recipients. Last year, 65% percent of represenatives reported not being financial aid recipients.

CSG representative Frank Guzman, an LSA sophomore, acknowledged CSG still has more work to do toward inclusion and representation, but he feels it is making progress.

“We’re not a perfect institution,” Guzman said. “I think that we’re making progress towards becoming more representative. Part of being representative is representing that median income. I know it’s not ideal, but we’re working on it.”

A 2017 report by the Equality of Opportunity Project stated the University’s median household income was $154,000 and 9.3 percent of students coming from the top 1 percent income bracket. This report also ranked the University last in socioeconomic mobility.

Michigan Refugee Assistance Program President Zoe Proegler, an LSA senior, has criticized CSG in the past for its Campus Affordability Guide, but said she appreciates the release of the information and its contents because the report facilitates conversation about CSG and representation.

“This report still warrants the conversation … should CSG aspire to a higher ideal of diversity?” Proegler wrote in an email interview. “If so, how do we remove the barriers to entry (intensive campaign periods which exclude working students from participating, etc.) for students who could be part of making CSG a powerful advocacy platform by and for students from less well-endowed and well-represented backgrounds?”