The University of Michigan’s Central Student Government met Tuesday evening to discuss their upcoming elections on March 29 and 30 and a resolution aiming to once again include AP/IB credits in registration priority.
The assembly began by addressing the Uniform Elections Act, which, if passed, would require the school-specific student governments across campus — such as the LSA and Engineering student governments — to hold their elections at the same time as CSG elections.
During the meeting’s public comments portion, Law School student AJ Tsang requested that the proposal include an exception for the Law School Student Senate, the student government for Michigan Law due to concerns related to voter turnout.
“CSG proposes that the Law School hold elections in November and March, but because we elect reps to (the Law School Senate) by year, this would keep all law school classes unrepresented until November during each academic year,” Tsang said. “(Unifying) election timing will also destroy turnout … (and) would only erode the democratic principles and values that make our university so wonderfully diverse, equitable and inclusive.”
The assembly voted to pass the resolution with the addendum requested by Tsang.
The assembly went on to resume discussions on the Election Turnout Fund, a previously vetoed version of a resolution that would allocate funds to student organizations to incentivize participation in CSG elections. LSA senior Tyler Fioritto, chair of the Ethics Committee, voiced his concerns about the veto due to the low turnout rate from the previous CSG election.
“This resolution and the idea of turnout as a whole is something that cannot be ignored by this assembly nor any future assemblies in CSG,” Fioritto said. “Six percent turnout is not acceptable. Increasing turnout through advertising through student clubs including our own, along with student organizations, is one of the best ways to do so.”
CSG elections director Taylor Quick said because the upcoming elections are two weeks away at this point, passing the resolution now would probably not have a significant impact on turnout and suggested the reallocation of the funds to other programs, though she did not specify what they would be used for instead.
“It’s past the point that we can start this process (to increase turnout),” Quick said. “Maybe we should consider using those funds in a different way.”
Quick then spoke about the upcoming CSG elections more generally.
“We actually have 101 candidates, which is super exciting,” Quick said. “The debate is finalized for Sunday, March 19, from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Pendleton Room here in the (Michigan) Union. … For the Meet the Candidates, it’s still going to be 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21 … in the courtyard, to hopefully get some better attendance by passersby.”
The assembly then discussed the AP Enrollment Priority Act, which would declare CSG’s support for once again including AP/IB credit awarded to students to count towards their registration priority.
In 2021, the University announced that college credit earned prior to matriculation — AP/IB credits — would no longer be considered when assigning students to the registration “blocks” for the 2021 spring term and beyond. The blocks determine registration priority, those with more credits can register for classes first.
Engineering senior Jacob Gabel, one of the resolution’s sponsors, said the new resolution would allow students who took AP and IB tests in high school to get into the classes they need if they want to graduate early and avoid paying tuition for more semesters than necessary.
“I want to point out that a lot of students have to pay a fee to take AP tests, and then a lot of those students expect to graduate early after getting awarded that credit,” Gabel said. “(The current) policy might force them to not graduate at that early time … and greatly add onto that financial burden. So that’s really the main point that I want to get across: the financial inequities of the new system.”
LSA sophomore Zena Nasiri countered the Priority Act. She said the Act may give students an unfair advantage while registering.
“I feel like the current policy in place of not taking AP credits into consideration kind of evens the playing field for people coming in with disadvantages,” Nasiri said. “So I am leaning (toward) voting no for this resolution.”
The resolution was referred back to committees for second reads.
For updates on the CSG election follow The Daily’s coverage at https://www.michigandaily.com/student-government/.
Daily Staff Reporter Courtney Plaza can be reached at email@example.com.