The University of Michigan’s Central Student Government convened Tuesday night to discuss issues ranging from support for student voters to the upcoming CSG election. Additionally, the assembly voted on resolutions pertaining to the installation of more water refill stations, as well as the inclusion of Middle Eastern/North African students in demographic research.
The meeting began with the introduction of various resolutions, including one to support the “Promote the Vote” ballot proposal. If passed, CSG’s demonstrated support for "Promote the Vote" will increase awareness of the ballot proposal for students. In turn, acknowledgment of the proposal will increase voter turnout, especially in student voters, according to Law student Tom Allen.
“Moving forward, (this) will allow our students on our campus … To be more informed and be more engaged in the election process,” Allen said.
Other proposed resolutions included a resolution to fund the remaining airBus deficit. CSG’s airBus is offered to students during various academic breaks during the school year. Though the airBus ridership proved profitable during its winter semester service, the lack of student participation during fall semester led to an overall loss for the year. With the Ann Arbor area offering little to no affordable transportation for students living on campus, the airBus serves as a resource for many students during these recesses.
“On campus, around Spring Break, we are in a transportation desert,” Business senior Kevin Yang, CSG treasurer, said. “Many students are unable to find (rides) to the airport.”
During the meeting, the assembly was also introduced to a resolution to promote the use of green books, as well as a resolution to encourage gender-neutral language where appropriate. This initiative will follow the lead from other institutions, which aim to call freshmen “first-year students” in order to minimize potentially misgendering of some students.
Comments arose regarding the possible elimination of hydration stations at high-risk social events around campus, such as Football Saturdays and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. CSG, the University Panhellenic Association and the Interfraternity Council collaborated on this initiative in 2016 in an effort to reduce dangerous alcohol-related incidents and encourage safe, healthy habits while drinking. Due to its importance as a student issue and public health issue, CSG President Anushka Sarkar, an LSA senior, emphasized the significance of the program and urged representatives of the assembly to volunteer at hydration stations during these high-risk events.
“It’s more than handing out water to students who have been drinking,” Sarkar said. “It’s a public health measure.”
Sarkar discussed the beginning efforts to renovate and resource University Health Services, which currently does not have an office on North Campus. Further, CSG is partnering with the Maize and Blue Cupboard next week to combat food insecurity and provide students with healthy groceries in close proximity to campus.
The meeting concluded with the passing of three resolutions, which included a resolution to amend the election code, a resolution urging the University administration to include ME/NA students in demographic research and a resolution to purchase additional water refill stations.