ASMSU's focus areas for new semester
In the spring semester of 2018, the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, plan on holding the annual elections, continuing discussions on topics like sexual assault prevention and facilitating a new survey research and development project.
As the first meeting of the year approaches, here's a preview of five of ASMSU's primary focuses for the semester.
Electing the next president of ASMSU
After six semesters and two terms, ASMSU President Lorenzo Santavicca will conclude his time as president.
“For me, my biggest goal has ever been to continue to push the voice of the students forward at a level of respect that they need that at least I came into the position with a year and a half ago,” Santavicca said. “For me, my biggest priority is to ensure that my successor, and ultimately the organization as a whole before I leave, will continue that path and take it to even greater heights than what I was able to do here as president.”
Students can submit applications to be a part of ASMSU for fall 2018 in February and March. Elections for the student legislative body and the general assembly will be held in April.
ASMSU plans on becoming part of the discussion regarding tuition with the Board of Trustees and state legislators this spring. Questions about whether or not tuition will go up and MSU's budget will be addressed.
“More often than not, we end up at their June board meeting when tuition is set,” Santavicca said. “And students don’t really have an opportunity to voice concerns, whether that be because they’re on a study abroad or internship or they’re just away from East Lansing. That engagement level is a little bit lower than usual."
Health and Wellness
ASMSU will be looking for a director of Counseling and Psychiatry Services, or CAPS. Both the Council of Graduate Students, or COGS, and ASMSU are pushing for a director to be hired by the end of the year.
“We have to make sure that there is a director there to move forward on the vision for our health and wellness in regards to our mental health,” Santavicca said.
Sexual Assault and Nassar
ASMSU will also be focusing on the conversation of sexual assault, the Title IX review and ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar this semester. In light of the questions and concerns brought up regarding MSU's handling of the Nassar investigation, ASMSU plans to ensure that students feel safe and secure regarding this issue and expects to have students push them to advocate for transparency from the university.
“We’re going to continue asking those hard questions about what policies can be improved or where we can advocate for change,” Santavicca said. “And ultimately, improve the ways in which students respect each other on this campus and the community at large.”
TeamWork Inspiring Measurable Effectiveness, or TIME, is a survey ASMSU will release in February. Students can rank the services provided by ASMSU in terms of portrayal, success and value. The data collected will be looked at in March and aims to provide insight to ASMSU on how it can improve.
“Ultimately, what that will do is provide the next set of student leaders in this organization a starting point in what they need to focus on in regards to making sure that students' concerns and voices are being heard, are being recognized," Santavicca said. "And ensuring that we are doing the best that we can to ultimately provide the best student experience on our campus.”