Central Student Government welcomed University Provost Philip Hanlon to a joint session at its meeting last night, where he addressed the Assembly and the University Council on rising tuition and the University’s budget.

Hanlon joined Martha Pollack, the University’s vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, in clarifying confusion on funding allocation at the University in an effort to increase transparency on issues such as tuition costs. CSG members also discussed next month’s elections and passed resolutions that increase its budget for this semester to provide funding for students to attend a hearing today in Cincinnati, which will determine the constitutionality of using race as a factor in admissions at universities around the state.

Hanlon told CSG members that he came to share specifics of the budget system, and express the desire of University officials to help finance the education of students from around the nation.

“(I want to) give (CSG) an understanding of the budget, an understanding of what’s driving costs up — their cost of attendance,” Hanlon said. “Let them know we’re concerned about it, let them know we’re working on it.”

Hanlon specifically noted that many students are unaware that the University of Michigan Health System and the Athletic Department are funded separately from the University’s academic departments.

“The general fund budget never supports auxiliary fund activities,” he said. “It doesn’t go to the stadium, it doesn’t go to the Mott hospital.”

Pollack echoed Hanlon, and said it’s important for students to be aware of how the University spends its money.

“I think all of us in the administration really care about higher education,” she said. “We want to make sure that (students) are prepared to make sure that (their) kids can have the same kind of education.”

CSG President DeAndree Watson said Hanlon’s speech was informative for CSG members.

“I think he clarified why the tuition has been rising, what the University has been doing to increase financial aid for students and to mitigate the rising cost of higher education,” Watson said. “I think it was extremely successful.”

While the meeting was intended for members of the assembly and the University Council, Watson said he was disappointed that only the University of Michigan Engineering Council attended from the University Council.

“I would like to see the University Council be a stronger body in terms of its affiliation with the legislative branch,” Watson said. “They really need this information that was presented here tonight and I hope that in the future they will be more participatory.”

Still, Business senior Matt Eral, the speaker of the assembly, said many members of the University Council did not attend because they were only notified of the meeting on Monday.

Law student Phil Zeeck, CSG student general counsel, and Law Student Peter Borock, theCSG election director, also addressed CSG members on the upcoming presidential elections.

The two discussed changes that would provide students with an additional two days to file their candidacy and respond to documents returned to them by CSG. Zeeck said the changes were implemented due to delays in obtaining enrollment information.

“We had some technical issues regarding the student enrollment data that we have to get from the administration,” Zeeck said. “The administration was slow in responding and once we got them on the ball, we had a technical glitch that cost us a day.”

The Assembly also passed a resolution that amends the winter 2012 budget. CSG treasurer Shreya Singh said the amendment adds about $100,000 to the CSG budget from funds that rolled over from the previous semester.

Singh added that about $60,000 of the funds come from those awarded through the Student Organization Funding Commission, that were not spent. She said she expects the amount of funding that rolls over from SOFC to decrease because of organization’s new rolling funding program, where it awards funding to student organizations on a weekly basis.

The Assembly also passed a resolution authored by By Any Means Necessary — an organization that supports the use affirmative action — to award $1,775 to BAMN to fund a bus shuttle of University students and faculty to Cincinnati to go to the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals as the judiciary hears the appeal in the case to overturn Proposition 2 — the 2006 ballot initiative that banned the use of race in college admissions in Michigan.

BAMN organizer Kate Stenvig spoke in support of the resolution and noted that about 47 people will be taking the bus to Cincinnati. She added that without aid from CSG, BAMN would have gone into debt funding the trip.

“It’s extremely helpful to not pay out of pocket,” Stenvig said.

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