The University of Michigan Central Student Government convened Tuesday night to discuss goals for the semester, including promoting inclusivity and enhancing communication on campus. The CSG session confirmed 12 members for various leadership positions.
The meeting began with a presentation from Erik Wessel, the director of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, on the amendment cycle for the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Wessel explained OSCR is in the process of bringing proposals to amend this statement, noting how the statement has always been and will continue to be shaped by the University community.
“I should mention that the statement itself has always been a community-owned, community-amended, community-crafter document from its inception,” Wessel said.
Wessel also encouraged students to attend OSCR’s conflict skills education workshops, such as Conflict Resolution 101 or Nonviolent Communication.
“Feel free to reach out to OSCR,” Wessel said. “We are always willing and wanting to be supportive to you all as a group and to you all as individuals as well.”
After Wessel’s presentation, CSG President Daniel Greene, a Public Policy senior, gave a State of Campus address, loosely based on the president’s annual State of the Union address. Greene discussed CSG’s financial affairs, partnerships with off-campus resources, areas for improvement, key campus issues and upcoming September policies.
Greene highlighted some of his goals for the upcoming year, hoping to improve relationships with institutions like the Office of Financial Aid and MDining, and trying to start a process of online registration with University Health Services and Counseling and Psychiatric Services. He also noted the creation of the executive diversity officer executive position, which he hopes will encourage diversity, equity and inclusion on a student level.
“I think as of now the DEI plan on our campus has been too administratively and academically heavy, and if we’re really going to get to the point where students of any identity feel included on our campus and safe and comfortable to attend the University of Michigan,” Greene said. “There’s not a better way to get to those social interactions than to work with the structure of student organizations.”
Greene elaborated on the student liaison program, which he and CSG Vice President Isabel Baer, an LSA junior, created. The program allows student organizations to communicate and meet with each other through a CSG forum. He said the goal of the program is to allow for a more collaborative culture on campus.
“The idea is to really build that cross-student organization collaboration, but really tap into the ownership of our fellow Wolverines and into our campus community,” Greene said. “Because to me, it’s planting the seeds for the long-term investment that’s going to allow for the cultural and social shift on our campus.”
The meeting continued with community concerns, where two members of the University community talked about their boycott of Israel, relating it to Prof. Cheney-Lippold’s refusal to write a recommendation letter for a student to study abroad in Israel. After, CSG members nominated for certain executive positions were confirmed.
The representatives ended the meeting by discussing various resolutions, including one aiming to amend elected representatives’ office hours to make them more efficient and useful. LSA sophomore Benjamin Gerstein, an LSA representative and chair of resolutions, emphasized the importance of office hours and listening to community concerns.
“A lot of what we talk about and a lot of our goals on CSG is to be the mass representative of our schools, and office hours provides you the opportunity to hear perspectives other than our own on what is going on in our communities,” Gerstein said.