The University of Michigan’s Central Student Government convened over Zoom Monday evening to confirm resolutions calling on the University to allow students, staff and faculty to donate Dining Dollars to other students and to extend work-study opportunities, among other items. 

All proposals, financial requests, and motions at this meeting were passed with unanimous consent.

Krishna Han, staff member in the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, began the meeting by holding an anti-racism teach-in.

After the teach-in, LSA senior Soneida Rodriguez sponsored a resolution to give leftover Blue Bucks from students who graduate to those still enrolled on campus. Soneida also explained the need for emergency funds for students experiencing food insecurity. 

“It just so happens that every semester, Dining Dollars (and) Blue Bucks purchased by students remain unused and only Blue Bucks are transferable from one semester to the next, so what this resolution will do is call on the University of Michigan to give students an option or mechanism to donate their unused Dining Dollars, Blue Books, (and) meal swipes to the student emergency fund and make them available to food-insecure students,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also introduced and sponsored a proposal for extending work-study opportunities due to a decrease in work-study positions available on campus as a result of the pandemic. She also said creating more work-study jobs will reduce wait times for students who rely on student-run academic services like the Science Learning Center.

“(The resolution) will expand SLC (Science Learning Center) positions and other academic support institutions, not limited to the Writing Center, Physics Help Room, Math Lab and other academic tutoring sessions to eliminate or reduce wait times for students seeking academic support,” Rodriguez said. “It will also call on the University to use these positions for checking in with students and offering one-on-one mentorship in these roles for currently enrolled undergraduate students as well as prospective students who are currently navigating the admissions process in the chaotic pandemic times that we’re living in.”

LSA junior Zackariah Farah sponsored a proposal to advocate for changing the housing code in the city of Ann Arbor to prohibit landlords from showing properties and signing rental leases until 240 days into the current tenant’s lease — the current restriction is 70 days. This change, Farah explained, would expand the rights of those living in Ann Arbor housing. 

After comparing Ann Arbor tenant rights to tenants rights in Chicago, Farah said Ann Arbor needs to expand its protections so students are not pressured into resigning leases very early in their rental period.

“Here (in Ann Arbor), 70 days into the lease the landlord can start showing your apartment to tons of people, and they can pressure you into resigning your lease,” Farah said.

Engineering junior Carla Voigt, speaker of the Assembly, then discussed a CSG project to create a diversity mini-library in the Chrysler Center on North Campus. Eight different “affinity groups” gave book recommendations that represented their lived experiences, Voigt said. The finance request for this project is $750, allowing for the purchase of 90 books.

“Ideally, it’s just (so) engineering students can be a little more (knowledgeable) about the world around them,” Voigt said. 

CSG also discussed word modifications in 10-042 Appendix A, a proposal dedicated to CSG funding for student organizations to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Under the topic “Selective Membership Process,” the wording of the law has been modified to include a clause that says organizations may not discriminate on the basis of class standing, race, gender, political affiliation, etc. This section qualifies that clause by saying organizations are allowed “to base a membership decision on any of those where it is a bona fide qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the student organization.”

CSG President Amanda Kaplan, an LSA senior, said these word modifications were important to promoting DEI efforts within student organizations.

“There’s no unintended implications of passing the resolution, (we’re) promoting equity and inclusion as best we can,” Kaplan said. “And that I feel comfortable signing it.”

Kaplan also made her final remarks as CSG president, thanking the Assembly for their hard work in spite of the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

“I just want to echo that it’s kind of sad (that our time in CSG is ending),” Kaplan said. “I just want to thank you all. I know CSG was not the normal situation… because of COVID but we really did impact a lot of students’ lives and in many ways, (the executive members) don’t see the impact but (other CSG members) hear about it … I just want to thank you all for being incredible partners and for making CSG a welcoming environment despite our constraints being on Zoom.”

 

Daily Contributor Elizabeth Hwang can be reached at ejwh@umich.edu

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