CSG talks health and well-being, Airbus

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 11:32pm

CSG members write about heir health and well-being during a Wolverine Wellness presentation as part of a CSG meeting in Palmer Commons Tuesday.

CSG members write about heir health and well-being during a Wolverine Wellness presentation as part of a CSG meeting in Palmer Commons Tuesday. Buy this photo
Asha Lewis/Daily

In this week’s University of Michigan Central Student Government assembly meeting, students discussed health and well being, the recently added service fee for international students and the CSG AirBus. 

The meeting began with guest speaker Laura McAndrew, a health educator with Wolverine Wellness. McAndrew presented a series of slides to encourage CSG members to explore the various factors of wellness and consider how to promote well-being within their organization.

McAndrew led CSG members through various exercises, including a worksheet that asked them to reflect on their family’s health values and share with others to highlight similarities and differences. McAndrew explained how experiences one might assume are universal can actually be linked to one’s upbringing or culture. She emphasized the importance of acknowledging these unseen cultural differences when enacting policies at the University. 

“There are some things that we have in common, and there are some areas where just by virtue of being a U of M student you’re going to know some things about the culture and about the needs here,” McAndrew said. “But even within that shared identity of being a U of M student, there’s going to be a lot of variation in what people are coming to campus with in terms of their health messages, their beliefs, their attitudes, and that all shapes how people can respond to health interventions.”

She connected this idea to cultural humility — which she defined as a commitment to self reflection and self discovery — to show the value of understanding these differences. 

“It’s by examining what pieces of ourselves are culturally bound that we can understand what is limited in our understanding,” McAndrew said. 

Following McAndrew, Rackham student Allan Martell, a member of the International Student Caucus within the Graduate Employees’ Organization, spoke during the community concerns portion of the assembly. Martell gave a brief presentation regarding the recent student service fee for international students. He explained the GEO’s issues with the fee, arguing it is discriminatory and has not been proved necessary.

He urged CSG members to sign GEO’s petition, currently at 488 signatures, or pass a motion condemning the University. 

“Basically what we’re trying to do is raise awareness about the fact that this can threaten diversity (at the University),” Martell said.  

During the executive communications portion of the assembly, CSG Vice President Isabelle Blanchard discussed the importance of raising awareness for the CSG AirBus, a discounted transportation service provided for students on popular travel days, including upcoming Fall Break dates Oct. 11 and 15.

Engineering senior Mario Galindez, member of the CSG Finance Committee, proposed a project to reduce or eliminate the AirBus fare. It currently costs nine dollars to travel to the Detroit Airport on the Airbus and eleven dollars to return. 

“It should be a subsidized service. Currently it’s breaking even, the way it’s set up,” Galindez said. “I think we have a chance here to either lower the rate significantly or just completely make it a free service.”

During a period of the meeting set aside for member reports, LSA sophomore and Vice President of Michigan Political Consulting Sam Burnstein proposed a project to work on a resolution to affirm the impeachment inquiry for President Donald Trump. 

“I know a lot of you might think this won’t do anything, but we’ve actually done it before, back in the ‘70s, with the Nixon impeachment, so there’s a precedent for it by CSG,” Burnstein said. “I think it’s something important to make sure we’re on the right side of history with this and that we affirm the voices of students on campus in that regard.”