Central Student Government examines new education values and a possible student housing site

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 10:35pm

The University of Michigan Central Student Government discussed a new set of undergraduate education values established by a University task force and a possible location for new student housing at a meeting Tuesday evening.

The University of Michigan Central Student Government discussed a new set of undergraduate education values established by a University task force and a possible location for new student housing at a meeting Tuesday evening. Buy this photo
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The University of Michigan Central Student Government discussed adopting a set of undergraduate education values established by a University task force and a possible location for new student housing at a meeting Tuesday evening.

Kevin Jiang, a former assembly member and 2018 alum, spoke to the Student Assembly regarding a new value set to describe the mission of the University’s entire undergraduate education program. According to Jiang, the task force wants more student input in the list of values to ensure the values reflect the beliefs of the University.

“We want to first put out a set of values that we want our university to live by when it comes to undergraduate education,” Jiang said. “Second, we want to put out a set of challenges that our undergraduate population is faced with now, and third, we are trying to figure out what the various pilot programs on campus that are already living by those values are.”

Values on the initiative currently being proposed include “brave exploration, greater good, purposeful inclusion, collaborative spirit, well-being and self-determination.” Jiang emphasized the task force’s efforts to work with Counseling and Psychological Services to include more clinical counselors on North Campus.

Members of the Assembly were given the opportunity to respond to the suggested value set. Rackham student Austin Glass suggested including “community expansion” as an additional value.

“I think it’s worth evaluating whether or not you include something about expanding our community,” Glass said. “One of the problems the University faces now is not being representative of the state of Michigan … I think it’s worth expanding it.”

The assembly later discussed the University’s Board of Regents’ recent purchase of the former location of Fingerle Lumber. The 6.54 acres of land was purchased on Dec. 6 for $24 million after Fingerle Lumber announced its closing earlier that month. The land is located along Fifth Ave. and south of E. Madison St. Although the Board of Regents has not announced what they plan to do with the land, the location was discussed as a possible location for new student housing.

CSG Vice President Izzy Baer mentioned the lack of demand for student housing among upperclassmen. She said because many sophomores are more interested in off-campus housing, building a new dorm may not appeal to upperclassmen.

“I’m skeptical if there is a need for sophomores to continue living with on-campus housing versus making this a more apartment style, non-dorm concept,” Baer said.

Law student Kevin Deutsch also explained his own experience with the location.

“I live right behind Fingerle Lumber, and not only are there train tracks there but trains come in at three in the morning, and they are very loud,” Deutsch said. “The actual streets are not designed very well to handle the traffic that a dorm would bring.”

For the location to be a possible place of student housing, the Assembly discussed implementing new bus routes, creating safety standards regarding the train tracks and the possibility of marketing the dorm toward athletes, as it is close to South Campus.