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Courtesy of Tina Yu.

The 12th Assembly of the University of Michigan’s Central Student Government (CSG) met via Zoom on Tuesday evening to discuss the CSG budget for the 2022 spring and summer semesters and how funds collected from student tuition will be allocated. 

The 2022 spring and summer budget that was introduced at the meeting will allocate funds to the Student Organization Committee, the organization responsible for providing financial assistance to student organizations on campus, and the Central Student Judiciary. The unallocated funds from the budget will go to the Legislative Discretionary Fund, from which money can be used by the Assembly to fund future projects and events. 

The budget for the CSG Test Prep Program was also debated.The Test Prep Program is a CSG-run program for students who wish to pursue a graduate or doctoral degree. It provides courses taught by Rackham, Law School and Medical School students to help participants prepare for the GRE, LSAT or MCAT, respectively. Each session of the program lasts between eight to 12 weeks, depending on the course. Students pay for practice materials and instructor salaries, particularly $299 for the LSAT and $499 for the MCAT Program.

Rackham student Austin Glass said the Test Prep Program Budget Request did not clearly state how the $499 collected from students for the MCAT course will be used. 

“I can’t make the money here make sense to me, because I can’t see what the instructor salaries are,” Glass said. “If we’re charging $500 a student, times … at least a few dozen, (then) that’s a lot of money. And suddenly these pieces here, you know, the $1,000 for program coordinators … doesn’t stack up to the amount of money that we’re collecting from those students if the plan is to charge them $500.” 

Glass also questioned why the Test Prep Program will be funded by the general fund instead of being funded exclusively by the program tuition collected from participating students. 

“It seems to me that covering the cost of the MCAT program coordinators, as well as a bunch of these other materials and supplies, are effectively additional subsidies to this program that we are affording the students who are in this program access to,” Glass said. 

In order to successfully pass the budget on Tuesday night, an amendment to temporarily remove funds for the Test Prep Program was made. Funds for the Test Prep Program will be allocated through future amendments to the budget while the $2,700 originally allocated to the Test Prep Program will be moved to CSG’s Payroll account to compensate student coordinators in the Test Prep Program. The amendment made the remainder of the Test Prep Program budget be moved to the Legislative Discretionary Fund account.

Glass said that placing the funds temporarily in the Legislative Discretionary Fund account is a good way to make sure that CSG is mindful of where money is spent. 

“If we’re ultimately going to spend some more money on the Test Prep Program outside the director, the deputy director, then we should understand that it’s coming from the fees that we would otherwise be using to benefit the broader student body,” Glass said. “And we should be happy that instead of using that as we might from the Legislative Discretionary account, we’d be spending it on this particular program.” 

The amended CSG budget for 2022 spring and summer semesters passed with 16 votes out of 21. 

Divya Periakaruppan, chair of the finance committee, later expressed her disagreement. She said that she opposed the decision to move the majority of the budget to the Legislative Discretionary Fund instead of a general account (where CSG revenue is kept unless allocated by a budget enactment). 

“I object to the amendment,” Periakaruppan said. “With the remainder of the funds going to (the Legislative Discretionary Fund) I preferred that it went to the general account. And another resolution can be written to allocate the money to test prep programs from there rather than going to (the Legislative Discretionary Fund). I’m not sure how we will make that happen.”

Rising senior Thomas O’Heney, CSG treasurer, also gave a brief overview of the CSG Financial Report for winter 2022.

“We ended this semester, as of today, with officially over $106,000 (remaining),” O’Heney said. “There’s still a few outstanding charges that will probably bring us down to around $88,000, but on our dashboard, it’s officially just over $100,000, which translates to about 80% of our budgets.”

This CSG meeting also unanimously confirmed the appointment of Lucy Brock as chief justice of the Central Student Judiciary, Ethan Roberts as Student Organizations Funding Committee (SOFC) vice chair, Janice Kang as the Association of Big Ten Students (ABTS) liaison, Drishaan Jain as Student Organization Funding (SOC) assistant director, Arden Haggin as chief programming officer, Zoey Rector-Brooks as government relations coordinator and Major Stevens and Tyler Fioritto as execute nominations committee members. 

Daily Staff Reporter Tina Yu can be reached at