CSG launches ethics investigation, calls for increased meal stipend for MDining employees

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 11:17pm

The University of Michigan Central Student Government hosts their weekly meetings discussing campus engagement and experience Tuesday evening.

The University of Michigan Central Student Government hosts their weekly meetings discussing campus engagement and experience Tuesday evening. Buy this photo
Danyel Tharakan/Daily

Two representatives on the Central Student Government Assembly brought forward a motion to refer a question to the Ethics Committee at Tuesday night’s meeting. The motion regards LSA Representative Sam Braden’s role in a previously passed CSG resolution to fund a campus production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

The question alleges that Braden made promises regarding providing CSG funding to play director School of Music, Theatre & Dance junior Skylar Siben and other students who participated in auditions and were cast into the production. According to the question, Braden did not receive any backing from the Assembly to do so. The Assembly voted in favor of referring the question, and the Ethics Committee will now be investigating the matter and will release a report within 30 days.

Braden said this claim had been filed previously but was withdrawn after his announcement that he would not compete in any further elections. However, this claim had not been filed previously, noted by the speaker of the Assembly. Braden has indicated to student groups on campus that he plans to run with the party Represent Michigan in the upcoming CSG election.

“There are clearly people who are trying to keep me out of CSG next year,” Braden said. “Everyone who voted (for the motion) is with the party that has been saying pretty mean things about me. I put a lot of my time into CSG, and I don’t require that so many people don’t want me here.”

Assembly members were divided in their opinions on whether the motion should move forward. Assembly members noted the motion was passed because it would bring forward the facts and would not deliver a verdict on Braden’s actions.

Due to a conflict of interest with Braden being a member of the Ethics Committee, Engineering junior Ashton Doyle was selected as a temporary replacement on the committee. 

After deliberations regarding possible conflicts of interest, the Assembly decided not to pass a motion removing Engineering senior Zeke Majeske from his position as Ethics Committee Chair.

CSG then resolved to call on MDining to increase the employee meal stipend to $12 from the previous $8.90. This comes after Student Workers Coalition brought attention to the fact that workers were unable to purchase food because prices increased by 150 percent over the 2019-2020 academic year while workers’ stipends did not.

In light of the upcoming CSG elections, the Assembly confirmed LSA junior Mary McKillop as Elections Director, LSA sophomore Gabrielle Adams as Deputy Elections Director and Law School student Thomas Mulholland as Independent Special Prosecutor. 

The Assembly deliberated on calling on the University of Michigan to promote high quality medical and legal services, study abroad programs and sexual assault services and ask the Michigan Legislature to increase funding for the Go Blue Guarantee at U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint, which are already offered to Ann Arbor students via their tuition. 

Labiba Qazi, Engineering sophomore and a member of U-M Dearborn’s student government, said the passing of this resolution would interfere with One University’s current plans to fund these services across the University’s three campuses. 

“This proposal is an insult to all the work that faculty and students at U-M Dearborn and Flint have done and the plans we’ve made to address the issues that we are facing,” Qazi said. “(The resolution) limits resources for health and legal services and halts a plan in place to get legal services in Dearborn that is in motion right now.” 

The Assembly decided to postpose this resolution indefinitely. However, members noted they would willingly consider resolutions that would align with 1U's plans.

The Assembly passed a resolution to call on the University to acknowledge that students are unhappy with Counseling and Psychological Services. It asked the University to create a plan that fixes the many issues students have with the current services at CAPS. The Assembly also asked the University to hold a town hall meeting with representatives from the Board of Regents so University students would be able to suggest ways for CAPS to improve.

LSA junior Selena Bazzi advocated for the allocation of $6,000 to the Arab Student Association’s first Arab National Conference to fund meals for the 300 attendees of the conference. Bazzi emphasized the need for CSG to support the Arab-Muslim community in their endeavor.

“(CSG) really hasn’t done much to support the Arab-Muslim community on campus. We just spent $8,000 on iClickers,” Bazzi said. “I think we should put our money on stuff that actually matters.” 

The Assembly referred the resolution back to the finance committee since representatives were uncomfortable in delegating a large sum of money without receiving an in-depth breakdown of how the money was being spent.

Correction: this article has been updated to clarify the question brought forward to the Ethics Committee. A previous version of this article stated Austin Glass was selected as a temporary replacement on the Ethics Committee. It has been corrected to note Ashton Doyle, not Glass, was selected as the replacement committee member.

Reporter Navya Gupta can be reached at itznavya@umich.edu