University of Michigan Central Student Government discussed the University’s decision to host the 2020 presidential debate, differences in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credits within LSA and the search for a new vice president of Student Life during their weekly meeting Tuesday night.

The meeting began with a visit from Alex Ramer, president of Be the Match On Campus, an organization which urges students to join a registry of potential blood stem cell donors. If such donors are then matched to a patient, their blood marrow transplant can cure blood diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and immunodeficiency disorders. 

Ramer shared while Caucasians have a 77-percent chance of finding a match from the registry, African Americans have only about a 23-percent chance.

“We’re trying to get as many people on the registry as possible, but being a minority plays a huge role in your chance for finding a match,” Ramer said. “I would love for you to encourage other people to join the registry so that we can close this minority gap.” 

Following this, two representatives from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center provided bystander intervention training. The training included defining sexual assault, consent, coercion and the nuances within each of these topics. They then discussed intervention strategies using different scenarios to display how to enact these strategies. 

CSG President and Ford junior Ben Gerstein’s report included planning for the upcoming 2020 presidential debate to be hosted at the University. Gerstein discussed the importance of ensuring the environment around the debate is safe and inclusive for all students. 

“A couple of things to be cognizant of in discussing this debate is this experience is an exciting opportunity to engage in history but then it’s also an experience that brings legitimate concerns on campus,” Gerstein said. “I think we all recognize what the divisive climate of the 2020 election is, the potential for that to encompass several weeks of the campus experience and our students is important to be reminded of.”

Gerstein, who is a student representative on the 2020 presidential debate planning committee, said he will work to ensure the committee understands student concerns. The first town hall meeting regarding the upcoming debate was held this Tuesday. The second will be held next Wed. Oct. 30.

Gerstein also discussed the upcoming Giving Blueday, a fundraiser for University student organizations held December 3. This year, CSG will be fundraising for the Leadership Engagement Scholarship, a scholarship created by CSG with the goal of providing assistance to students who face financial barriers to pursuing leadership positions at the University. Gerstein emphasized this stipend will benefit students hoping to take on leadership positions in organizations across campus, rather than just CSG.

LSA sophomore Sam Braden discussed a project focused on the LSA Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate policies regarding class credit. 

“LSA is not only the only school at Michigan that treats AP and IB policy differently. It’s also the only university in America I can find where this happens,” Braden said. “I met with (Director of Academic Standards and Academic Opportunities) Conway-Perrin and she agreed this change needs to happen.”

Following the publication of this article, Braden clarified Conway-Perrin confirmed the change should be looked into but not that one needs to happen. Conway-Perrin said in an email statement to The Daily she thinks it’s “reasonable” to discuss the differnces in test credits in an effort to work toward conssistency. However, she said these changes are made by LSA faculty through the LSA Curriculum Committee.

Rackham student Hayden Jackson addressed the search for a new vice president of Student Life. Jackson, who is one of three students assisting President Mark Schlissel on the search advisory committee, said while the search is confidential, he wants to ensure student voices are heard.

“My primary goal to be the voice on the committee looking for a vice president whose primary focus and priority is the needs and desires of the students,” Jackson said. 

Jackson said members of the search advisory committee will attend next week’s CSG assembly, and encouraged members to seek out feedback from constituents to best represent what students are looking for in the next vice president of student life. A town hall meeting on this topic will also take place Wed. Oct. 23. 

CSG also confirmed four new chairs of various commissions and five student members of committees. 

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