CSG investigates “improper use of CSG materials” by a member of the executive team
University of Michigan’s Central Student Government voted early Wednesday morning to convene an investigative committee — a select committee on oversight — to review the “improper use of CSG materials” by a member of the executive team.
Debate extended past midnight on two separate investigations. The final vote count stood at 33 for, one against and three abstentions.
According to reports compiled by the ethics committee as stated during CSG assembly, a member of the executive team allegedly sent an email statement to a recipient — undisclosed by the CSG body — announcing CSG does not support the #UMDivest movement and resolution. The member allegedly then held a conversation with another student regarding the movement in which he asserted CSG’s opposition to divestment.
According to the body's meeting agenda, this email and conversation would fall under the classification and improper use of CSG clerical services and the power in the Compiled Code, as well as the inappropriate use of CSG resources and power, as CSG had not voted upon the issue of divestment at the time of the alleged email statement nor conversation. The agenda has since been updated to state this would not be a violation of the Compiled Code.
The situation is reminiscent of a past controversy with then-LSA sophomore Jesse Arm, a former CSG representative.
CSG members could not confirm at the time of this publication whether the resolution was based off of a public Facebook status posted by LSA senior Gabe Colman that originally claimed LSA senior Joe Goldberg — who is also on the Hillel board and has historically spoken against divestment — was convincing a representative to vote against divestment. It has since been confirmed it was not a CSG representative he was allegedly speaking to.
The post has since been edited to remove Goldberg’s name, however, Facebook edit history and screenshots of the original post obtained by The Daily show Colman’s original text. A CSG member stated the identity of the member in question is not being disclosed “to preserve the integrity of the investigation and presume innocence of the individual(s) in question.”
CSG Business Rep. Lauren Ward, a Business junior, commented on the post stating: “CSG prides ourselves on bringing in the best Michigan has to offer. Rest assured, we are investigating into this situation as this type of rhetoric is absolutely deplorable and not representative of CSG's beliefs or values.”
The Daily could not confirm Ward’s investigation is the same as the ethics committee’s investigation.
“These two individuals are entitled to their opinions, but what is shocking are the words he used,” the post read. “He said there are ‘not enough white men’ and ‘Jewish people’ (on the assembly), which alludes to the idea that there are too many black and brown people. He said because there are more people of color on the assembly, the Divestment resolution would pass. He then told the woman something about checking her Facebook friends to make sure she was truly on his side-- in my opinion, a very threatening thing to say.”
“The Emerge campaign ran on the basis of making campus more inclusive, but their campaign manager and senior policy adviser is saying there are ‘not enough white men’,” Colman wrote. “I am extremely disappointed and disgusted that some of the people we bring into Central Student Government who are willing to compromise anything to advance their agenda and go against the values they say they held.”
According to a comprehensive demographic self-survey — which came after several years of majority-white and male-dominated CSG cabinets — conducted by CSG in 2016, an average member of the body is most likely to be a wealthy, white heterosexual male. Nearly 70 percent of CSG self-identified as white last year, and 32.7 percent of the body comes from homes making more than $250,000 annually.
Goldberg did not respond to requests for comment regarding the post at the time of publication.
Correction: The CSG meeting agenda has since been updated to state this type of infraction would not be a violation of the Compiled Code. In addition, it has since been confirmed that it was not a CSG representative who had been spoken to in this incident.