Michigan Student Assembly President Sabrina Shingwani was enthusiastic at the body’s first meeting last night. She reminded the assembly of its responsibility to the University community.
“Know that it is your privilege to represent 40,000 students on campus,” she said, adding “It’s up to you to define this year on the assembly.”
MSA Vice President Arvind Sohoni provided similar encouragement, urging members to get involved and focus a particular issue or committee.
High rise opposition
Sohini and Student General Counsel Michael Benson proposed a resolution against the planned student high-rise on the corner of South Forest Avenue and South University Avenue. The projected, now called 601 Forest, has drawn outcry from city residents and local business owners who say that at 25-stories the complex is too tall for the area.
The Ann Arbor City Council is currently reviewing the construction proposal, and Councilmember Sabra Briere (D-Ward 1) had requested MSA’s input.
The proposed resolution states that the assembly “formally disapproves of the construction project.” The resolution will be voted on during next Tuesday’s meeting.
Both Sohini and Benson urged members of the assembly to talk to students to try to gauge their positions. “[This is] a chance for us to voice the students’ opinions on the construction process,” Sohoni said.
Only 23 percent of the student body has signed up for text message safety alerts, said Bret Chaness, chair of the Campus Safety Commission. This is less than half of the average at universities and colleges with similar alert systems in place.
He emphasized the importance of signing up for the University’s text-message and email emergency notification system, which launched in March.
He pressed MSA representatives to get involved signing up more students.
MSA appointed students to 26 various committee positions by block vote. Eight justices were named to the Central Student Judiciary, the judicial branch of the student government, which hears cases involving student groups or violations of MSA’s constitution. The judiciary also hears appeals in cases of election disputes. LSA Rep. Paula Klein was also named City Council Liason.