For the first time in years, a majority of the 10 Central Student Government assembly seats allotted to Rackham students could be filled by active representatives. While Rackham has the second most seats in the assembly — trailing the 21 allotted to LSA — they are typically almost all vacant.

While there were only two active Rackham representatives last semester, four Rackham students who won a seats in November attended last Tuesday’s assembly meeting.

Rackham student Joseph Suh was not at the meeting, but was in the CSG chambers afterward. Rackham student Patrick O’Mahen, who was also not in attendance, has been an active representative for two terms now.

LSA junior Omar Hashwi, the CSG vice president, has served on the assembly since his freshman year, and said he couldn’t remember the last time when there were so many active Rackham representatives.

While Tuesday’s meeting lasted only 29 minutes, long assembly meetings and a new attendance policy for CSG commissions and committees that went into effect this semester could negatively affect Rackham representative attendance.

The new assembly policy requires representatives to attend a commission or committee meeting every week outside of the regular Tuesday night meetings.

Newly elected Rackham representative Nils Hennes-Stear said he found the meeting “interesting,” but was wary of the time commitment that his representative position could have.

“If the committee policy were very strongly enforced that might be a strong disincentive,” Hennes-Stear said. “I just don’t have time.”

Rackham representative Benjamin Alterman said that even the regular assembly meetings could pose a problem.

“For me coming to this, if we take more than an hour at a representative meeting, that’s a big chunk of time,” Alterman said. “I’m a first-year physics Ph.D. student … and coursework is intense.”

Hennes-Stear said he “campaigned ironically” and Alterman said that he was “written as a joke by a couple of my friends” but both stressed that they are very interested in the work the assembly does and contributing to it.

Business junior Michael Proppe, the assembly speaker, said he was excited to see more Rackham representatives, adding that while he stands by the new attendance policy for commission and committee meetings, it might not be as strict as perceived.

“The assembly’s traditionally pretty forgiving with excusing absences, he said. “Especially if they’re familiar faces in the assembly room.”

Follow Giacomo Bologna on Twitter at @giacomo_bologna and The Institution at @TMDinstitution.

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