Board of Regents votes to reinstate student input into their bylaws

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 10:13pm

The University of Michigan Board of Regents voted in favor of reinstating Section VII — which details the role of student input in University decision making — into the UM bylaws Thursday afternoon, after continual efforts to push through the resolution.

I think this is a strong step forward, and I look forward to working with the regents and other administrators to craft efforts that will match the spirit of this bylaw,” said Central Student Government president David Schafer after the regents approved the bylaw.

The original bylaw on student input, which allowed for more student participation and input in the decision-making process, was removed in February 2011. The push for Section VII to be reinstalled into the bylaws began under then CSG President Cooper Charlton’s executive administration last March.

“In 2011, the Regent bylaws were ‘cleaned-up’ so-to-speak,” Charlton said in a CSG meeting last March. “Section VII was removed, which indicates the importance of student voice in the process of decision making at the University. We want to reinstitute (Section VII) and make sure that there is a healthy relationship.”

The topic was re-opened as a resolution at CSG’s first meeting of the academic year under current CSG President David Schafer, an LSA senior.

“Let’s not view this bylaw as the final product, but rather as a foundation upon which more specific efforts can be built that match the spirit of this bylaw,” Schafer said.

At CSG’s second meeting of the year, the authors of the resolution, Schafer, and LSA seniors Noah Betman and Micah Griggs, CSG speaker of the assembly and vice president respectively, released a statement in support of the change.

“Central Student Government supports student participation in University decision-making and we encourage them to pass this bylaw,” Betman said.

The resolution passed through the assembly unanimously, with all 43 present members voting in favor.

“Student participation in University decision-making is important to the quality of the institution and will be sought and encouraged,” the bylaw states. “The Vice President for Student Life will assist students in promoting the establishment of effective mechanisms for such student participation. The University is best served when it considers the impacts of decisions on the student body.”

The re-addition of the section will require the Board of Regents to include student participation in the University’s decision-making process, along with the vice president of student life’s procedures to encourage student input.