On Tuesday night, the Central Student Government convened at the Trotter Multicultural Center to discuss community concerns, the upcoming 2020 presidential debate and a resolution regarding CSG’s involvement in advocating an amendment in LSA’s AP and IB Policy.
LSA junior Danny Kim, a representative of the CSG Mental Health Task Force, informed the Assembly that the force has declared March 21 as Mental Health Day. The task force will be hosting an event on the Diag, where students can speak to student organizations related to mental health. This initiative is a part of the CSG’s Green Bandana Mental Health Week. He also spoke about the taskforce’s agenda to work with the Office of New Student Programs to increase new students’ accessibility to mental health resources through pamphlets handed out at orientation.
Public Policy junior Camille Mancuso, a representative of CSG’s Affordability Task Force, spoke about the taskforce’s initiatives to increase food security, create a microwave map, start up a grocery delivery service and increase the allocation of resources toward affordability.
CSG President Ben Gerstein, Public Policy junior, and guest speaker Laura Blake Jones, Dean of Students, spoke about the 2020 presidential debate being held on campus on Oct. 25 at the Crisler Center.
“The debate is more of a holistic opportunity than just what occurs on the day,” Gerstein said. “There will only be around 800-1,000 seats at the event out of which we do not yet know the number that will be allocated to the university and from those ones that are allocated to students.”
Guest speaker Laura Blake Jones, Dean of Students, talked about the opportunities to engage in the debate.
“We have always said that the student experience at Michigan, regardless of whether it is an election year, is preparing the students for effective global citizenship,” Jones said. “Attending is just one way to be involved. There are going to be a number of ways to volunteer and some of those volunteer roles might have you in the debate hall. If you think that, ‘Oh, there’s no chance of getting a ticket, there will be other ways to get involved.”
LSA junior Evie Winter, newly appointed CSG Vice President, announced the “What to Fix” event series, which aims to create opportunities for students to voice their concerns.
“We are doing a new CSG initiative called ‘What to Fix’ events, about five events over the course of the second semester, here (Central Campus) and on North Campus as well to provide the student with the opportunity to speak about what they think we should fix on campus,” Winter said.
LSA representative Sam Braden updated the Assembly on the progress of the CSG’s LSAT Prep Course initiative.
“We have 76 students who have officially registered for the course. The quality of the teachers is great,” Braden said. “We now have 11 full practice tests from the LSAT, worth about $500 and we will begin the second round of interviews soon.”
The Assembly then engaged in a debate on a resolution regarding the LSA AP and IB credits policy, in which IB credits count for distribution requirements while AP credits do not, and CSG’s involvement in the process of changing LSA’s current policy. The Assembly debated about whether to overturn the previous ruling that CSG should not advocate for the change in policy.
Bernstein advocated for the overturning of the resolution, disputing the argument that CSG taking on this advocacy “infringes” on the scope of LSA Student Government.
“But the LSA Student Government has a resolution which is similar, if not identical, to this resolution,” Bernstein said. “I don’t see any sort of big government treading on smaller government issues here. It’s just us moving in the right direction on a policy we all agree on.”
On the other hand, Rackham representative Austin Glass advocated against the overturn.
“Under (the CSG) constitution, article one, section two, all student government powers not granted in the campus constitution should devolve to each student college, etc,” Glass said. “This resolution, not in its overall advocacy, not in its singular support for the LSA SG, but in particular in the one or two resolved clauses that ask CSG members to advocate LSA administrators, we infringe on LSA’s students’ rights to have a democratic constituent student government.”
After the debate, the Assembly engaged in a vote by roll call which resulted in the overturning of the resolution. After a round of discussions, amendments were made to the resolution, leading to the decision that certain CSG representatives would be involved in the advocacy of the policy change.
Reporter Navya Gupta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.