The Central Student Government assembly held what was supposed to be the last meeting of its term, but election complications have forced the body to hold another meeting next week.
Difficulties in approving some representative elections and the current appeals being heard by the Central Student Judiciary have delayed the certification of the elections, meaning the new assembly won’t take its seats for at least another week. Members of the University Elections Commission attended the meeting and addressed the assembly, stressing the need for election-code reform and explaining that the results were not yet certified.
LSA senior Brendan Campbell, the CSG vice president, said that under the compiled code the UEC was supposed to certify the results at yesterday’s meeting, but the rules were suspended indefinitely.
“Today, the assembly decided to suspend these rules because of the lingering concerns and the high number of exception ballots and the high number of close races,” Campbell said.
Campbell added that the president and vice president will be sworn in 10 days after the UEC certifies the election, and the new representatives will be seated at the following assembly meeting.
During the meeting, 13 resolutions were discussed. Business senior Matt Eral, speaker of the assembly, said it was the “most business-heavy week all semester.”
CSG President DeAndree Watson said he anticipated a long night, but was pleased by the body’s efficiency.
“I expected it to be really long. I didn’t expect it to end before midnight,” Watson said. “I’m really impressed.”
Eral said the surprisingly expedient meeting could be due to the newly-instated temporary operating procedures. Over its past three meetings, the assembly has suspended its traditional rules and has been using the guidelines from a resolution to alter the assembly’s regulatory procedures.
Eral added that using the resolution’s guidelines without passing them has given the assembly the opportunity to figure out the most efficient structure.
“This is tabled week to week because … if we’re going to do this, let’s do it right,” Eral said. “We like the new rules, we want to operate under them now, but we want to make sure we’ve flushed out everything.”
A resolution regarding the Student Organization Funding Commission passed unanimously, with two abstentions, after weeks of debate. Eral said the purpose of the resolution, which was originally introduced on Feb. 14, “solidified the rolling funding process.”
In the past, the assembly has approved SOFC’s budget retroactively, but now SOFC will present a report each week for approval. This system will allow for more legislative oversight and still maintain SOFC’s ability to distribute funding efficiently.
“SOFC does incredible and everyone on the assembly recognizes that,” Eral said. “We just put what SOFC does in the (compiled code) with a few additional provisos … it ended up being a great product that the assembly liked.”
One passed resolution allocates $6,000 to the University to purchase reusable water bottles for all incoming freshmen.
Barbara Hagan, an administrator in the Office of Campus Sustainability, attended the meeting to speak in support of the resolution. Hagan said 6,500 freshmen will receive reusable water bottles for a total cost of $39,000.
“A lot of students when they move in buy cases of bottled water … bottled water isn’t good for the environment,” Hagan said. “We’re trying to send the right message to our incoming freshmen that sustainability is important at Michigan.”
Hagan added that it’s a two-part plan that coincides with the recent addition of water bottle refill stations across campus.
“We thought it was important to get the infrastructure in place so (students don’t) have to go across campus to find a water refill station,” Hagan said.
Campbell, who penned the resolution, said it was part of an “important, new sustainability push by the Central Student Government.”
“By helping provide reusable water bottles to all incoming freshmen, we hope that we’ll be able to significantly improve the way that students at the University consume water,” Campbell said.
Despite the 10 resolutions ready for voting this week, only five were passed and the remaining five were tabled. Nonetheless, Eral said this was no reason for concern.
“Just because it’s old business doesn’t mean we’re not going to vote on it,” Eral said. “Sometimes we need more time.”