During the final meeting of the seventh council of Central Student Government at the University of Michigan, many representatives spoke about what CSG meant to them over the past year, the experiences and growth they will take away and concerns for future engagement.
At the beginning of the meeting, Business junior Jack Griffin and LSA junior Connor Kippe spoke about food insecurity among students. They noted the turnout for Maize and Blue Cupboard’s food distribution doubled from last time, serving 365 students.
The group By Any Means Necessary also raised concerns about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportations, stating they are a racist and bigoted attack on U.S. democracy. The group said they have been going to campuses and groups across Michigan to boost attendance for a court case on April 25. Members emphasized the case is a fight for the lives of Iraqi refugees that is personal to many members of the group.
Later in the meeting, Social Work student Lawrielle West spoke again about inequality among graduating students, as she proposed a resolution to make graduation a more equitable experience for all students. This includes providing regalia and headshot photos for students who can’t afford it. The resolution to fund West’s initative passed unanimously.
West emphasized the importance of students of all incomes being able to share the same memories.
“We have to make sure we maintain the dignity and also pride of those who are able to persevere across barriers here,” West said.
Finally, the meeting adjourned with many heartfelt goodbyes and “thank yous” to the other members. Many representatives shared their own personal sentiments of gratitude for their experiences with CSG.
CSG Vice President Nadine Jawad, a Public Policy senior, emphasized the immense impact CSG had on her college experience and said she was so grateful to have been able to leave her own mark on the campus community.
“I think the thing we revisit year and year, and every time we have elections, is ‘what does CSG do?’ and ‘what has CSG done for me?’” Jawad said. “It has to be your mission to leave this place better than you found it. I can honestly say that I have given everything I could to this organization, to this campus in my four years. While I made mistakes and all, I can truly feel that I left something here that I love so much and it will hurt a lot to leave it.”
CSG Vice President Anushka Sarkar, an LSA senior, thanked the entire assembly for pushing both herself and CSG to be better campus leaders.
“Thank you to you all for making CSG a sustainably better organization and for helping me grow as a leader and a person,” she said.