On Friday, the candidates of newMICH, Your Michigan and the Defend Affirmative Action Party will convene in the Student Publications Building at 420 Maynard Street to debate and answer your questions. Here are some things to know in advance of the debate, and before you cast your vote on March 23 and 24 — to submit questions on these or other topics for Friday, tweet them with the hashtag #TMDebate.

  1. They fund student organizations. The Student Organization Funding Commission is a faction of CSG which granted $220,000 this semester, or 55 percent of their operating budget, to various student-led organizations.

  2. Students pay for their decisions. Funding for the assembly is dictated by the University’s Board of Regents and is set at $9.19 per student for CSG programs and operations. Utilization has been a problem in the past, such as in the Fall of 2014, when more than $34,000 was left over in unused capital from CSG’s discretionary and legislative discretionary funds.

  3. They play a part in defining student rights. This year, the body helped revise the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, a document outlining student conduct and penalties. Seven changes were proposed by the assembly.

  4. An incident surrounding this year’s commissions raised questions of diversity and transparency. Last semester, after a commission chair was fired, the remaining 11 members walked off the commission, officially disbanding it. The incident brought attention to the assembly over its commitment to minority leaders on campus.  

  5. They work with the Regents. In the past, Central Student Government has worked closely with the Regents, who are the University’s governing body. They regularly speak at Regents meetings, and on Tuesday they proposed to re-incorporate student voice into the Regent’s bylaws. newMICH also includes on its platform the goal of placing a student in some capacity on the Board.

  6. Sexual misconduct is on their radar. In the fall, the body held several town hall-style meetings with students to hear their input on the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, which is in the process of being revised by the University. No pushes for specific policy changes have been announced by the body.

  7. They talk about alcohol and drug abuse prevention. The assembly launched a Prescription Drug Misuse Campaign this week to warn students about the dangers of taking prescription drugs recreationally. Last semester, the body also decided to allocate more than $10,000 to Michigan Dining Services to open an hour early on Game Days so students can get food in their systems before tailgating. They voted to do the same thing for St. Patrick’s Day.

  8. They have an attendance problem. On multiple occasions this year Central Student Government has had to call quorum, where the body conducts a roll call during the meeting to make sure enough representatives are present to conduct business.

  9. They’re working to release course evaluation data. CSG has been fighting to release course evaluation data for student use for the past year, and made progress through two commissions to secure data as early as fall 2016.

  10. They talk about mental health. Central Student Government has succeeded in adding information about mental health services on campus into course syllabi, and recently passed a resolution to put the Counseling and Psychological Services hotline on the backs of all new MCards.

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