Students and other members of the University flooded
constituent’s time and Michigan Student Assembly members
debated at the Lecturers’ Employee Organization’s
possible walkout at last night’s MSA meeting .
In February, the assembly passed a resolution in support of LEO
and its demands of the University, which include higher wages and
job security. The University and LEO have yet to reach an agreement
on a contract, and if negotiations fail today LEO has plegded to
stage a one-day walkout.
MSA Rep. Matt Hollerbach said it is important the assembly
support the LEO strike.
“We as an assembly voted unanimously to support
LEO,” Hollerbach said. “It is up to us as leaders of
the University to serve as an example for the student
MSA Rep Russ Garber raised concern about the University’s
extra cost to satisfy the union’s higher wage demand.
But Hollerbach said there are ways the University can pay for
the salary increases.
“If every faculty member, who earns more than $100,000 a
year takes a voluntary 3 percent pay cut for one year, the
University will have enough money to remedy all the recent budget
cuts and there will be an additional $200,000 for the University to
spend,” Hollerbach said. “Governor Granholm has already
taken a 5 percent pay cut in response to budget cuts.”
MSA members also voted in support of a resolution to fund the
Association of Michigan Universities Conference held on campus in
Fifteen public universities in Michigan send student government
delegates to the AMU conference.
“Together AMU represents over 300,000 students in
Michigan,” said MSA Rep. Anita Leung. “It is a good
organization to be a part of.”
The AMU works with higher education tuition and state
appropriations and communicates with the Presidents Council, State
Universities of Michigan comprised of the presidents of state
universities, said Leung.
The assembly also plans to vote next week on a resolution to
support the University’s use of affirmative action in
MSA Rep. Lauren Veasey said she is a proponent of the
resolution. Affirmative action is needed because research shows
that schools prepare children unequally and discrimination occurs
based on background and socio-economic level, said Veasey, a
MSA has supported similar resolutions several times beforehand,
although this is the first one commending the University’s
admissions policies that were revamped last fall that complied with
the June 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gratz v. Bollinger,
which declared the controversial point system unconstitutional. The
new application offers more introspective essays.
The assembly will vote on the resolution in support of
affirmative action at next week’s meeting.