University of Michigan Central Student Government met Tuesday to discuss banning Wendy’s on campus, new CSG appointments and adjustments to the judicial branch nomination process.
Early in the meeting, Rackham student Kim Daley spoke about blocking Wendy’s, the fast food chain, from campus. She said the first food workers in the U.S. were slaves, and even today, slavery still occurs on farms. Many farmers signed onto the Fair Food Program to better labor conditions. Several multi-billion dollar companies have pledged to improve conditions, but Wendy’s still has not joined the petition.
Daley encouraged members of CSG to take action against the presence of Wendy’s at the University.
“You all have a lot of power and you are listened to,” Daley said. “You can block Wendy’s from coming to campus.”
CSG did not respond to Daley’s concerns at the meeting but said they would focus on it at a later date.
Following the graduation of the previous vice chair of the Ethics Committee, CSG voted to elect Public Policy senior Drea Somers to fill the position. When asked about her previous experience in dealing with ethics on campus, Drea responded by describing her experience as a team leader of the University organization America Reads Tutoring Corps.
“I’m a team leader, so one thing that is interesting about that is rule enforcement and making sure I’m not partial to people because I know them, so as a team leader I make sure they’re following the code of conduct,” Somers said. “I have experience in terms of rule enforcement, in terms of, ‘Oh, hey, let’s have a conversation,’ and I don’t think conflict is something we should be shy of.”
When discussing new business occurring around campus, Law student Jacob Podell spoke about a constitutional amendment regarding the selection of the University’s Central Student Judiciary justices.
Adam Glass, speaker of the Assembly, commented on CSG’s efforts to improve the selection process.
“It seems that a lot of branches of CSG are coming together right now and are saying, ‘Let’s try and rethink this nomination process to make sure it allows for a diverse pool of applicants,’ and it effectively allows members of each of the three branches of government to be involved in the process early on,” Glass said. “This allows any red flags to be spotted early.”
According to Podell, two of the main reasons for proposing these adjustments include a lack of efficiency in the nominating process and a lack of diversity in the nominations pool.
“I think the biggest problem with the current system and the old system is diversity in recruitment,” Podell said. “I personally think the reason CSG is incapable of recruiting diverse candidates is our network is small. We are nine (justices) and need a system that incorporates the legislature and executive branch as a larger network to get more candidates.”
Under the current justice nomination process, the justices of the judiciary bring together a pool of potential nominees to fill an empty seat. They then present that list to the president, who selects and brings the nominee to the Assembly to advise, consent to and eventually confirm the nominee.
Under the new system, instead of the justices choosing a pool on their own and the executive branch subsequently vetting and choosing a nominee, both branches would complete the tasks at the same time.
In the proposed system, the committee for nominating a justice would have six members, four of which would have voting power. Two of those voting members would be justices and the other two would be appointed from the Assembly by the CSG president and vice president. The final two members would be the chief justice, who would break ties if necessary, and an observing member of the Legislative Assembly. The full Assembly then discussed potentially having the current chair of the Executive Nominations Committee serve as the observer.
Glass did not discuss his personal opinion of the measure, but said the authors of the proposed system believe improvements to the existing nomination process were needed.
“So under the current nomination process, the authors believe it needs some work,” Glass said. “Changes by the Assembly to the compiled code have indicated that the Assembly is in agreement with that.”