The University of Michigan Central Student Government met in Pierpont Commons Tuesday night to appoint new representatives, discuss executive projects regarding mental health and student accessibility to campus resources, as well as accommodations for student absences on election days.

Kate Stenvig voiced concerns regarding deportations to Iraq during the community concerns portion of the meeting. She highlighted the urgency of CSG passing a resolution to mandate the University boycott its partnership with Delta Airlines in order to prevent deportation flights. 

Stenvig also spoke about the deportation case of Oliver Awshana, who came to the U.S. as a teenage refugee. When immigration officials tried to deport him over the summer, the pilot refused to fly the plane. Awshana pleaded his case again, though he was directed to be deported again. Awshana lost the lawsuit, which Stenvig said she sees as a sign of what the Senate is planning to do in regard to President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

“We just got the decision today, and what that tells us is that the judge was waiting to see what happened with the situation with Trump,” Stenvig said. “And it’s clear that what’s going to happen is that the Senate is going to acquit him and that he was going to get away with everything.”

Medical student Solomon Rajput, a Democrat running for U.S. Congress in the 12th District against incumbent Debbie Dingell, updated the Assembly on the progress of his campaign and his reasons for running.

“I feel like we are on the cusp of a huge moment in this country, where if we don’t mess up we could really address some of these human rights issues,” Rajput said. “At this point, it is clear to the American people that we can’t just abandon our political systems and expect there to be change. We need to go out there and fight for world policies that will solve problems at a fundamental level.”

CSG President Ben Gerstein, Public Policy junior, gave the biannual State of the Students report, informing the Assembly of the University’s Board of Regents’ creation of a $9.19 semesterly student fee to fund CSG. He noted students with certain financial aid packages would be exempt from these fees. 

Gerstein also notified the Assembly of the progress of the Affordability Task Force’s five-year plan and their success in increasing advertising for the Maize and Blue Cupboard, creating a microwave map and installing microwaves at campus cafes. He also mentioned the task force’s future plans of establishing how the housing cost of attendance is calculated and linking it to off-campus market situations.

He also spoke about CSG initiatives to increase accessibility and affordability for students such as discounted meal plans for off-campus students, funding microwaves in the Shapiro Library and the Michigan League and increasing MCard swiping hours.

His address highlighted CSG’s plans to provide students with a platform to acquire iClickers, calculators and textbooks as opposed to relying on Facebook. Gerstein spoke about CSG’s agenda to create a guide for mental health services available on campus, creating a fund for the Spectrum Center to support the LGBTQ+ community and plans to increase the hours of the Oxford Housing shuttle to better accommodate students’ needs.

Gerstein discussed ongoing efforts to improve students’ lives.

“I am currently working with President Schlissel and a students’ round table to figure out better ways to enhance student well-being on campus,” Gerstein said. 

The Assembly used a secret ballot to elect the Chair of the Communications Committee. Out of the two nominees, LSA representatives Drishaan Jain and Sam Burnstein, Jain was elected. 

Additionally, the Assembly unanimously recalled Business representatives Jonah Cuenca and Mohamed Omran because of their excessive absences.

The Assembly also passed a resolution to support excused absences on election days and urge professors to amend syllabi to provide reasonable accommodations to students who do not attend class on election day provided that attendance in the course would restrict students’ participation in civic affairs. 

Following a debate regarding CSG attendance, Treasurer Taylor Lansey, LSA junior, said it was important for committee members to be respectful of one another.

“We all have opinions here — opinions that matter — and other people also have the right to voice their opinions and be respected when they do so,” Lansey said. “I think that a lot of people might appreciate speaking a cordial tone. I think it might be beneficial for all of us to be a little bit, for lack of a better term, nicer to one another.”

Reporter Navya Gupta can be reached at

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