Michigan Student Assembly treasurer Siafa Hage began last night”s meeting by motioning for President Hideki Tsutsumi to concede his position as chairman of the meeting. Though representatives voted to let Tsutsumi lead the assembly last night, his authority and ability were challenged by those upset with his decision to run for re-election.
“Hideki Tsutsumi is 27 years old,” said Vice President Jim Secreto, who resigned from his position on the election board last night because of Tsutsumi”s decision to seek re-election. “While his election was not a joke, as his friend and running mate I can say that he has not demonstrated that he can do a good job.”
Hage made the initial motion because he thought it would stop an alleged plan for MSA representatives to walk out of the meeting in protest of Tsutsumi.
“I am interested in what is best for the assembly,” Hage said. “The assembly does not have confidence in the president to chair the meeting.”
Other assembly members believed the motives to be more political.
“This is two weeks before an election,” said LSA Rep. Reza Breakstone. “There were plenty of other times that we could have done this.”
The assembly passed a resolution and proposal last night concerning Michigan House Bill 5194, which would make textbooks exempt from sales tax. The bill is currently in the House, and there are concerns that it will not pass through the Senate, said LSA Rep. Jessica Cash. Last night”s proposal created the Tax Exempt Textbook Taskforce.
“This is specifically for educatingeducating students,” said Cash. “We plan on getting massive student support to help push this bill.”
Rackham student Alyssa Picard spoke to the assembly about LSA”s new policy of “bottom-line budgeting.” Through this new budget, LSA departments would benefit by hiring graduate student instructors who require less pay.
“This policy will give you the cheapest teachers in your classroom rather than the best,” Picard said.
Several assembly members voiced concerns about the recently released University Housing policy on solicitation in the residence halls, which MSA voted to support before actually seeing the policy.
“It was a mistake for us to pass that resolution,” Curtin said.
“I think (several points of the new policy) attempt to restrict political speech in a public place,” said Student Rights Commission Chair Mike Simon.
Health Issues Commission Chair Elise Erickson resigned last night, saying she needed more time to work with the Student Health Advisory Committee that she helped create.
“This is what”s going to show that MSA takes action,” Erickson said.