A resolution was presented to the assembly last night to support U.S. Senate legislation that would provide health care assistance to students.
The legislation, drafted by the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions, would allow individuals to remain on their parents’ health care plans until the age 26.
If the resolution passes, MSA will educate the student body about the legislation during an MSA Diag Day and will provide students with resources to write their representatives in Congress.
“(The legislation is) important for students in this economy because it’s hard to find a job, especially one that provides health care,” said LSA Rep. Chris Armstrong, who authored the resolution with Business Reps. Alex Serwer and Jason Raymond.
The resolution stated that individuals from ages 19 to 29 make up the largest group of uninsured individuals in the country, which the authors said makes the legislation a significant issue for college students.
“We tried to take this complex, giant issue and bring it to fundamentals and relevancy to students,” Raymond said. “It’s less symbolic and more action based.”
The resolution is likely to be voted on at next week’s meeting.
MSA REFORMS BUDGET TO CUT COSTS
MSA presented a summarized budget last night that demonstrated a clear move to increase fiscal discipline in assembly spending.
The executive board noted that a spending cut was necessary because the current system won’t be viable for the assembly in the following years.
“We will look to see that MSA’s budget is sustainable for year’s forward, which right now it’s not,” said MSA Treasurer Vishal Bajaj.
MSA Vice President Mike Rorro said the budget issues are not because of fiscal irresponsibility or overspending, but because of a shift in professional staffing. Rorro said that about five or six years ago the Division of Student Affairs provided professional assistance to MSA, but because of budget cuts at the University, Student Affairs limited those professional resources.
MSA was then forced to hire more professional staff to fill the void. Although this transition happened years ago, Rorro said the financial burden has finally caught up to MSA.
Rorro said that rollover funds covered these costs in previous years but that the surplus is now running low and the costs are adding up.
MSA President Abhishek Mahanti said the limited funds were also a result of more money being allocated to committees and commissions because of increased activity on campus.
He added in the decreased revenue from AirBus as a factor too. AirBus is an MSA-funded shuttle to the airport during official school breaks. He said MSA plans to advertise the shuttle more, in hopes of increasing revenue.
MSA funded student groups will not be negatively affected and they might even see an increase in their budgets because of the changes, Mahanti said.
He also said if MSA can’t make due with its funding, the assembly might have to ask the Board of Regents for more funding in the future.
HOMECOMING BUDGET APPROVED
In its weekly meeting last night, the Michigan Student Assembly passed a resolution to authorize expenses for three days of homecoming events that will begin tomorrow.
This year’s homecoming — themed, “Those who stay will be champions” — will kick off with a “Burrito Mile” on Palmer Field. Participants will eat a burrito then race for one mile. Bd’s Mongolian Grill will donate $5,000 worth of food for participants and spectators at the event.
Several student performances by groups like Dance 2XS and the Michigan Bhangra Team — a group that tries to raise awareness of Punjabi culture through performance — will follow the race.
The assembly will also host an alumni tailgate Saturday before the game.
Last year, the assembly spent $12,000 on homecoming, according to Rorro. Homecoming will be about one-quarter of that cost this year.