A resolution to fund lunches to strengthen the dialogue between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel students on campus was vetoed by Central Student Government President David Schafer this weekend, was brought up again Tuesday at CSG’s weekly meeting. The authors of the resolution argued that the Schafer’s veto was unconstitutional and moved to bring the resolution back to a vote, which would need a two-thirds majority of support to override the veto.
The override to the veto failed to pass with the required majority, with 14 votes in favor, 12 opposed and one abstaining.
CSG Vice President Micah Griggs, an LSA senior, reiterated her reasoning for supporting Schafer’s veto of the resolution.
“About this resolution, it was very one-sided, and I’m just being honest,” Griggs said. “Everything that happens on a national or international level does affect students on this campus. However, if I were to put forth a resolution that said I want to talk about police brutality and I need $200 for lunches, do you think this would have the same outcome as this resolution?”
The authors of the resolution stated they will continue their efforts to use legislative money to fund lunches that further the Israel-Palestine dialogue highlighting the importance of a constructive effort to tackle the delicate subject on campus.
Student Government Rep. Gaby Roth, an LSA junior, explained the resolution should be enacted despite the veto because of the nature of how power to spend allocated money is dictated in the CSG constitution.
“We feel that because this resolution was asking for funds from the legislative discretionary account, it should be the legislative branch that determines the use of these funds,” she said. “And just as we wouldn’t have a place in determining the place of the executive funds, the same goes the other way.”
Rackham student Rep. Andy Snow supported Roth’s sentiments about the legislative branch’s power to use their allocated money without intervention from the executive board.
“First, I agree with them constitutionally,” Snow said. “And second, whether or not you like it, I want to understand, your thought process to take our money from us. Because that is what you’re doing.”
The executive branch of CSG has expressed its reservations for the proposed resolution because of its exclusivity and its lack of precise details regarding the time, location, size and mediation of the discussion lunches.
However, LSA senior Devin Jones, a Palestinian-American student, noted the privateness of the proposed lunches were due to the sensitivity of the topic.
“These are people who identify as pro-Israel, and then on the other side you have people who identify as pro-Palestinian … the reason it is closed is something that could be debated,” Jones said. “I personally do not believe in CSG coming in and sitting in on meetings, because the meetings are discussing personal things that you have to be a part of the communities to understand.”
After the vote, some CSG representatives expressed disheartenment at how much the vote in support of the Israel-Palestine dialogue lunch resolution had changed since last week, when the body widely supported the resolution.
CSG Rep. Sheema Rehman, an LSA senior, also announced to the body that general lack of attention to the needs of the student body is a problem that should be addressed within CSG.
She mentioned the student sit-in last week, saying she believed it is CSG’s responsibility to be present at such events when students are protesting to have their voices heard on key issues.
“On Thursday, Students4Justice held a sit in at the Michigan Union from 5 to 2 a.m. showing student frustration at the lack of the University’s response and calling CSG and members of the administration to listen to student concerns,” she said “But what was even more disheartening was the fact that we had very little representatives show up at any point — and this was a seven-hour time period. Students aren’t asking for you to do much except listen.”
Correction appended: A previous version of this article misidentified a student quoted.