The University of Michigan Central Student Government met over Zoom Tuesday evening to familiarize members with funding opportunities for student organizations as well as to discuss amending CSG’s own internal rules and processes.
The meeting kicked off with the passing of a resolution to increase the number of assembly members on the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Survivor Empowerment Commission steering group.
“Five talented, driven, and well-informed members of the 11th Assembly expressed interest in the work of the Commission, and it would be disappointing, wasteful, and arbitrary to exclude any of these members from participation,” the resolution states.
Law student and Central Student Judiciary Justice Jacob Podell then gave a presentation about the 2021 rewriting of CSG procedure and deliberations. Podell explained that the originally 60-page document was shortened because its length made it difficult to understand the current rules.
“The old rules were way too long,” Podell said. “We’re looking at 60 PDF pages and we were able to cut that down well under half. Related to the overall length of the rules is the lack of reliance on these rules in any real way, mostly because they’re too long and include many unnecessary things.”
Additionally, the rewritten procedures establish clearer consequences for CSG members who do not follow the rules. To establish coercive power, Podell’s presentation said CSG can dole out formal reprimands and cut off members from CSG funds when applicable.
“We as a student government court really lacked any coercive power,” Podell stated. “In the real world, when it tells you to do something and you don’t do it, you face legal sanctions, or they can jail you, they can fine you, et cetera.”
A resolution to amend, authorize and incorporate new aspects to the standing rules of the previous Assembly was introduced and then sent back to committees for second reads.
The resolution amends standing rule number two to require attendance be taken at the end of each meeting while leaving the penalty for failure to attend. This penalty includes recall from their respective positions if six absences are accumulated.
LSA senior Taylor Lansey, outgoing head chair of the Student Organization Funding Committee, gave new and incoming CSG members a detailed explanation of the relationship between CSG and SOFC and how organizations received their funding.
“One important thing is reimbursement basis, so (student organizations) need to be able to prove that they’ve purchased these items before we can reimburse them equally,” Lansey said. “We want to make sure that we are evaluating organizations’ needs, along with their campus mission.”
CSG also spent a considerable portion of the meeting confirming appointments for the chief programming officer, communications director and treasurer positions.
The Assembly confirmed LSA sophomore DJ Jain as chief programming officer, LSA junior Daniela Martinez as communications director and LSA sophomore Bharat Koripella as treasurer. Controversy surrounding these candidates’ proficiency in the skills needed for these jobs led to extensive debates for all three candidates.
Another resolution focusing on codifying DEI practices adopted by the previous CSG Assembly was also introduced and sent back to the committees. These practices include instituting a land acknowledgment for the Assembly, creating a permanent executive diversity officer position and expanding the content and frequency of the Assembly’s identity-based training.
“It is incumbent upon the 11th Assembly to make structural changes to CSG in response to the state of the nation and the institution around DEI issues,” the resolution states. “Any of the 10th Assembly’s piloted actions are appropriate for codification in CSG’s governing documents.”
Aarushi Ganguly, LSA freshman and co-sponsor of the resolution, said CSG’s role in DEI relations on campus is much more than what happens within the predominantly white and financially stable CSG body.
“This (CSG) body is definitely overrepresented in some fields and highly underrepresented in other backgrounds,” Ganguly said. “(DEI) broadens and continues the conversation that we need to have (about) broader political issues, and just like the day-to-day conversations we have, and how we can impact students of different backgrounds on campus.”
Daily Staff Reporter Emily Blumberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.