Members of the Michigan Student Assembly showed their support for race and gender-based considerations in college admissions at a MSA meeting last night in MSA Chambers.
MSA members read over the first draft of a resolution in support of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in July to uphold affirmative action in Michigan. Because of Proposition 2 — a 2006 statewide ballot initiative — the University is prohibited from considering race and gender during the admissions process.
The proposed resolution reads, “The Michigan Student Assembly has held a long-standing commitment to defending affirmative action and maintaining diversity on our campus.” The resolution cites statistics on the drop in minority enrollment at the University since affirmative action was banned through Proposal 2,
At the meeting, the authors of the proposal took questions and engaged with MSA members on the issue. The proposal will now be passed to the Resolutions Committee for review, where it will likely be changed prior to the final vote which will be held at next Tuesday’s meeting.
In July, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted to overturn Proposal 2. However, the court announced on Sept. 9 that it will rehear its decision.
MSA talks resolution on campus water bottle ban
At its meeting last night, members of the assembly were also faced with the decision to repeal a prior resolution to ban water bottles on campus. However, this was rejected in a 16-10 vote, which reinforced MSA’s prior decision to move forward with its support of banning the sale of plastic water bottles at the University.
The resolution to repeal MSA’s prior decision stated the ban was “unbecoming of this Assembly in that representatives presented no objections to such an otherwise contentious resolution.”
MSA Vice President Brendan Campbell disagreed with the language and said the merits of the water bottle ban have already been properly discussed by the assembly. Wavering from the original stance would be a poor precedent to set, Campbell said.
He also reinforced his support for the ban because of its goal to make the University more environmentally friendly.
“Sustainability is one of the biggest issues on campus,” Campbell said.
He added that while other college campuses have implemented plastic water bottle bans, the student populations at these schools are not as large as the University’s.
“The University of Michigan has an incredible opportunity to — and the Michigan Student Assembly by extension — has an incredible opportunity to lead a movement,” Campbell said. “The idea behind this resolution is to jumpstart the conversation about sustainable efforts.”
Despite the majority of MSA members’ views to uphold the assembly’s previous decision to support the ban, some members felt that not debating the original water bottle ban resolution was a mistake. They argued that new MSA representatives may not have been fully engaged in the process because they may have been too intimidated to object to the resolution.
The drafted resolution stated that the repeal would not have been a statement on the merits of the original resolution but rather only a statement of desire for more assembly discussion on the water bottle ban. However, the assembly widely debated the benefits of the water bottle ban last night.
MSA Public Health Rep. Adam Behroozian was among the assembly members who advocated for MSA to retract its support of the water bottle ban resolution.
“Students should have the right to choose between going green or not …” Behroozian said. “I think repealing the previous resolution would be good (and to) kind of revise it. It seems a little extreme.”
Correction appended: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Michigan Student Assembly passed a resolution in support of Proposal 2. The official vote to pass the resolution will be held next Tuesday. The headline was also changed to reflect this.