On Tuesday evening, the University of Michigan Central Student Government held its second-to-last meeting of the semester in the Michigan League to discuss resolutions for moving Assembly meetings to Thursday evenings and codifying Wolverine Consulting Group, a free consulting service provided by CSG to student organizations. The Assembly also approved a resolution organizing healthy snack distribution in campus libraries during finals week and voted on changes to its election complaint filing period and its operating procedures.
LSA freshman Sam Braden proposed a resolution for first reads that suggested CSG meetings be held on Thursdays starting at 7 p.m. instead of on Tuesdays starting at 7:30 p.m. The resolution, authored by Braden and Engineering freshman Carla Voigt, states the current meeting time is at a time when students may have class. The resolution also notes CSG meetings sometimes run past midnight, which may pose safety concerns as members walk home late at night.
At the meeting, Braden explained he looked through the LSA Course Guide to find how many 8:30 a.m. classes were offered each weekday. Braden emphasized moving CSG meetings to Thursday evenings would be beneficial as he claims there are more morning classes Monday through Thursday than on Friday.
“I did the math: There’s more than 2,000 classes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. … but there’s only 700 classes that start at 8:30 a.m. on Friday,” Braden said. “… To me, that’s a pretty compelling reason to change the CSG meeting day. The most important reason any of us are here are academics and classes we’re taking.”
Braden’s resolution faced opposition from several members of the Assembly. Some members said the half-hour time change in Braden’s resolution is not significant enough to address safety concerns related to meetings that run late into the night, and suggested other measures such as walking and ridesharing groups. Other members said they ran for CSG positions knowing meetings would be held on Tuesday evenings and expressed concern they might not be able to attend if CSG meetings were held on a different day.
LSA freshman Sujin Kim noted a similar resolution to change the CSG meeting time was met with controversy and ultimately rejected in the 22nd meeting of the Eighth Assembly. Kim suggested Braden should specifically address concerns brought up in discussion of the past resolution.
The Assembly then voted unanimously to pass a resolution for CSG members to distribute healthy snacks to students in various libraries on campus during finals week. Authored by Kim and Rackham student Hayden Jackson, the resolution would authorize CSG to spend $590 on coffee, healthy snacks and Green Books. These would then be distributed to students in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library the evening of April 22, the Shapiro Undergraduate Library and the Fishbowl the evening of April 24 and the Duderstadt Center the evening of April 25.
Engineering junior Zeke Majeske, previous Wolverine Consulting Group vice chair for external affairs, then introduced a resolution he authored to codify WCG within CSG. According to Majeske, WCG can be useful in helping student organizations achieve a variety of initiatives, offering advice on member recruitment and retention, executive board structure, branding and marketing, fundraising and event planning. Majeske expressed WCG services are in demand by student organizations and are a good utilization of CSG resources.
“(WCG) is a really good way for CSG time and effort and funds to be used to really interact with the student body,” Majeske said. “Everyone who interacts with us always tells this is such a great service, and I want to get it a little more permanent within the CSG governing documents. I want to grow the group in the next year and couple years.”
According to Majeske, current demand for WCG services exceeds the organization’s capabilities. Majeske’s resolution suggests extending WCG by codifying it as a commission with a chair elected by the Assembly and 12 members selected through application, and alloting $2,500 to $3,500 to WCG per a semester. Under Majeske’s proposed resolution, WCG leadership can unanimously decide to transfer funds to student organizations receiving WCG services.
Students voiced concerns with Majeske’s resolution, stating they preferred to keep all student organization funding through the Student Organization Funding Committee, a CSG program granting funds to student organizations through an application process.
In addition, CSG discussed, voted on and passed three resolutions written by Rackham student Austin Glass to improve CSG’s administrative procedures and internal operations. Glass’ suggestions for change include electing candidates through a ranked choice runoff system, clarifying voting rights of the speaker and committee chairs and regulating when resolution authors may edit their resolutions, among several others.
The Assembly also approved a resolution limiting the election complaint filing period to only before election results are released for all positions except the special prosecutor. According to Glass, the author of this resolution, the change would prevent complaints by those upset with the election results from undermining them.
During the announcements and matters arising portion of the meeting, Glass thanked the Assembly for their time and reaffirmed his dedication to improve CSG.
“I freely am willingly debted to everyone here for taking advantage of your time this evening,” Glass said. “I appreciate your valuable contributions and I also do not intend nor do I take for granted your support … I will continue to act responsibly and responsively with that authority, and we will continue to have these productive conversations.”