On Tuesday night, Public Policy senior Jacob Pearlman, the Central Student Government election director, gave an update to the CSG assembly about the upcoming election. A proposed resolution to discuss free speech on the body also caused a debate during the meeting, but was tabled until next week.
In his report, Pearlman, who served as the Student General Counsel last adminstration, said election proceedings were off to a good start. He said last year he saw the fewest number of election dispute hearings and candidate demerits — he said he plans to continue this for the current semester.
The first UEC hearing was held last week. According to Pearlman, eight candidates were given two demerits for failing to attend the candidates meeting, failing to give a reason for their absence and failing to attend the subsequent hearing. Additionally, two candidates received one demerit each for traveling outside the country and failing to inform Pearlman, an election law. Case opinions are available on the UEC website.
Pearlman also informed the body of their last assembly, which will take place on March 28. He said the results of the election will be expeditiously certified and the new assembly will be seated on April 4. Elections take place on March 22 and 23. Voting takes place online, through the day.
He also invited the assembly to the candidates’ debate, which will take place this Thursday evening. The parties running are eMerge, Movement, Defend the Affirmative Action Party and Better Than The Rest Party.
The tabled resolution, authored by LSA senior Deion Kathawa, proposed to install a staunch commitment to freedom of speech in the CSG body and in the University overall.
The resolution asserts higher-education institutions have faced several anti-democratic displays since the recent election of President Donald Trump.
Kathawa asked CSG to release a statement re-affirming their commitment to the First Amendment, specifically omitting references to “hate speech,” and the Students’ Right to Free Speech of the student government constitution that all governments on campus abide by, called the Constitution of the Student Body of the Ann Arbor Campus of the University of Michigan. The resolution called for the University to comply and commit to responding appropriately to unjust acts.
The resolution also asked CSG to alter Article VIII Initiatives and Referenda and Section 1 Initiatives of the student government constitution accordingly.
The resolution was not on this assembly’s agenda, and a proposal to include it was turned down. Rackham Rep. Andrew Snow furthered this sentiment, opposing the first read of the resolution on grounds that the assembly had only received the resolution earlier that day.
“My objection has nothing to do with the bill itself,” he said. “I did read it all today, it’s all about the timing,” he said. “Straight up, I want to check all 20 or so references too. I want to read and get background on all the authors before I’m willing to get feedback on it. It’s going to be somewhat contentious. I know it’s first reads, but I don’t think it’s not something that’s time pressing or needs to be done this week.”
Correction: Previous version of article reported the incorrect timings of CSG voting.