The University of Michigan Central Student Government met for its final meeting of the Winter 2019 semester Tuesday night. The assembly discussed resolutions to clarify the legislative process of non-member attendees of the assembly and to designate Reggie Bee the Campus Corgi as the honorary CSG therapy dog. Members also debated the CSG treasurer nomination.
The assembly voted to approve the positions of legislative and executive delegates to Students of Michigan, a new program that serves as a liaison between CSG and the student governments of the Flint and Dearborn campuses of the University of Michigan. The assembly approved Rackham student Hayden Jackson, chair of the Executive Nominations Committee, as the legislative delegate for the group. The assembly also approved LSA junior Tyler Ziel, who transferred to the Ann Arbor campus from U-M Dearborn this year, as the executive delegate.
When asked about what advocacy work Ziel would do among the three University campuses as the executive delegate, he responded by proposing the integration of a resource similar to Student Legal Services on the Flint and Dearborn campuses. Currently, the program provides legal support only to University students of the Ann Arbor campus.
“So, one thing … is trying to get something similar to Student Legal Services to the Flint and Dearborn campuses, because … they don’t have their own version of Student Legal Services, and I talked to people at Student Legal Services saying that they wanted to get into Dearborn and Flint,” Ziel said. “However, it was iffy for Dearborn and Flint to get it because the administrations there were unsure about having it there because of financial reasons.”
The assembly then debated approving LSA sophomore Taylor Lansey as treasurer. Three people on the Executive Nominations Committee were in favor of approving Lansey for the position, and two members were not in favor.
The minority of the committee expressed its concerns in a report to the assembly, focusing on a hearing the committee had with Lansey on Sunday.
“We are concerned about Ms. Lansey’s plans to be an active treasurer considering the lack of specific information we received,” the minority report read. “… We members of the assembly are unsure what we are going to get out of Ms. Lansey’s tenure as treasurer, yet if we take Ms. Lansey at her word that she will be active, she plans to implement significant changes and oversight to the financial operations of CSG — leaving us with essentially a wild card nominee.”
Lansey responded by describing how her intention to be an active treasurer was to collaborate with CSG members. Though she said she is willing to talk with members, she said she is not proposing to implement any drastic alterations to CSG.
“So, as treasurer, obviously everyone has their own opinion on the type of involvement that an individual can and should have in the assembly, and kind of a clarification on what I mean by an active treasurer is that I want to always be open to working with any individual, whether it’s on a specific resolution or anything in terms of my specific expertise or knowledge in terms of budget allocations and funds on what we’re about to do,” Lansey said. “Of course, if any individual has interest in working with me and my other personal opinions, I’d be open to having those conversations, but I’m not here to propose radical change to what we see … at CSG.”
After a vote, the assembly later approved Lansey as treasurer.
Following Lansey’s approval as treasurer, LSA freshman Sam Braden further discussed his resolution on making Reggie Bee the honorary CSG therapy dog. The resolution was met with negative responses from several assembly members, including Rackham student Austin Glass, chair of the Rules Committee.
“Can you talk a little bit about why … (we are) spending debate time on this resolution deciding whether or not we should make Reggie somehow have formal partnership with the organization instead of actually thinking critically about what the issues facing students are and acting on those?” Glass asked.
Braden responded by recognizing Glass’s concern and said he saw the resolution as being more in the spirit of what students on campus hope to see. He also believes this resolution would increase CSG’s presence on campus.
“I think Reggie is someone a lot of people are excited about on campus, and … some people have pushed back on that,” Braden said. “I think that CSG utilizing that source to increase attendance, to increase attention on CSG would be a good thing, if this resolution passes.”
Members voted to table the resolution indefinitely.
The assembly also voted to approve the resolution of Rackham student Samantha Meister and Engineering junior Zeke Majeske, vice chair of the Ethics Committee. Their resolution proposes the option of secret ballots for certain votes and the potential of certain violations on member conduct at assembly meetings. Overall, it focuses on the legislative process when non-member attendees of the assembly are involved.
In Appendix B of the resolution, the authors suggest that “The Speaker may change a vote on a resolution from Roll Call Vote to Secret Ballot if they believe the discussion around the resolution was contentious.” Appendix C discusses how authors who are not members “can only speak during first reading of their resolution if they have attended a committee meetings where the resolution was discussed.”
Several members of the assembly had concerns regarding the appendices, asking about the potential of overuse of the secret ballot. The assembly also asked if the authors of the resolution could explain the reasoning behind Appendix C, and if it would be a problem if future author(s) were not able to attend an assembly meeting.
After debate, the assembly ultimately voted to pass the resolution.
The assembly also voted to pass a resolution written by Engineering junior Mario Galindez, chair of the Finance Committee, to codify the financial transparency between CSG and the student body.