The University of Michigan’s Central Student Government convened Tuesday evening to discuss an amendment regarding when new student government officers begin their terms and the Big Ten’s decision to suspend football head coach Jim Harbaugh.
During the community concerns portion of the meeting, various candidates for upcoming U-M student government elections introduced themselves and their platform. Candidate for U-M Flint’s student government, sophomore Ethan Lang, traveled from Flint to be at the meeting. Lang said a part of his platform is to visit at least one student government meeting at every university in the state of Michigan.
“I look forward to attending other university meetings in order to figure out ways that all of our universities here in Michigan can work closer together and for ways that the U-M campuses can work closer with the other universities here in Michigan,” Lang said.
The first main topic of conversation was Harbaugh’s recent suspension from the last three Michigan football games of the regular season for allegations of sign-stealing. CSG Speaker Jarek Schmanski introduced the Free Harbaugh Act, a CSG resolution that would publicly denounce the Big Ten’s ruling.
“I believe that it is important for the Central Student Government as speakers of the student body to make a statement on this issue, because I … including many of the student body, hold the football program in very high esteem,” Schmanski said. “I think when events like this do happen, where it potentially puts our program at an unfair disadvantage relative to other Big Ten programs, I think it is well within our purview to stand up and say something about it.”
Eric Veal Jr., Executive Nominations Committee chair and DEI coordinator, said there might be pushback from the campus community if CSG publicly endorses the University’s decision to take legal action against the Big Ten.
“I just don’t think it’s something that we should endorse as a Central Student Government,” Veal Jr. said. “Even though its likelihood is very low, I think still endorsing that is a very dangerous thing that could be perceived by some people as a not very University-held value.”
After debating the potential consequences of the Free Harbaugh Act, the Assembly voted to pass it 21-1. The resolution will be sent to Harbaugh, University President Santa Ono, the U-M Board of Regents, athletic director Warde Manuel and Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti.
The assembly then discussed Constitutional Amendment 13-002, also known as the Fixed Terms of Office Act. The Act passed unanimously and the CSG constitution was appropriately amended. The Act will eliminate issues that occur during the transitory period between new and old elected officials following CSG elections. Currently, after an election is certified, the person stepping out of a particular role remains in power for three days. The Fixed Terms of Office Act will now ensure the second Tuesday after the voting period ends will be the beginning and end of a term of office.
Rules Committee chair Liam Reaser said there are several benefits to amending the constitution to integrate the Act and make the dates for term limits more concrete.
“Currently what can happen is we have a new member come in for like one week, and then we have Winter Break and then they’re back,” Reaser said. “I find it beneficial at least that we have that sort of clean break in between terms of office for the new members.”
Daily News Contributor Brock McIntyre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.