ASMSU might call for external review of MSU, other takeaways from policy committee meeting
Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, had their first policy committee meeting on Jan. 11, during which they discussed sustainability on campus, the ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar investigation and plans for the upcoming semester.
Water tower to be built at MSU
RHS sustainability officer Carla Iansiti presented at the committee and discussed MSU's plans that have just been approved to build a water tower close to the MSU Recycling Center.
“Wells and things that we have right now are getting old, and water is a homeland security initiative, these are things we have to be mindful of," Iansiti said. "So we, the university, have decided that instead of us going under the ground and trying to replace all the infrastructure with piping, which is too expensive to do and we really can’t afford that, we’re building a water tower.”
It is estimated that the water tower will be finished in a few years, and Iansiti said it will contain water from Meridian Township rather than East Lansing.
Richard Spencer's request to come to MSU
ASMSU President Lorenzo Santavicca discussed the possibility of white nationalist and president of the National Policy Institute Richard Spencer coming to speak on campus.
"I can tell you that, at this time, it's really a matter of 'when' this semester," Santavicca said.
Though litigation between MSU and the organizer of Spencer's speaking tour is not yet complete, Santavicca said the potential event is expected to be around February or March, when students will be least affected, for example, on a Friday or during spring break.
Santavicca said he hopes to begin discussing a way to bring student leaders on campus together to organize an event to divert attention away from Spencer.
“How are we going to make sure that we’re diverting the attention that’s happening on our campus away from Richard Spencer, because that is what he wants," Santavicca said. "How are we able to get all that negative energy away from Richard Spencer (and turn it) into something with a positive energy, like a separate event or something of that sort?”
Vice President for Governmental Affairs Tyler VanHuyse said MSU and the city of East Lansing discussed how to make registering to vote more easily accessible to students. They also spoke with RHS about how to formalize a process that will allow deputized individuals, with the assistance of people authorized to lead them through the dorms, to go door-to-door to register students for the 2018 election.
“We’re talking to RHS about that because there are a lot of policies that hinder us from going into the dorms,” VanHuyse said.
Calling for an external review
Though the bills haven't yet been voted on in the committee, a few have been written to call for an external review to be conducted on MSU's handling of the Nassar investigation, ASMSU Representative of the Alliance for Queer and Allied Students Olivia Brenner said.
“There is a belief that I personally hold, and I believe many other people do as well, that without an external review conducted, we won’t know what actually happened and we don’t know who to blame,” Brenner said. “Until an external review is conducted and we know for sure what exactly went down, who is responsible for all of these wrongdoings, besides obviously the perpetrator, there are people involved who need to be punished.”
Project TIME survey has been drafted
The survey initiative, set to go out around February, is now in draft form. The first part of the survey will include ASMSU-specific general questions regarding services and advocacy areas, whereas the second part is optional and contains broader questions that were brought forward by the Office of the President and general assembly representatives.
“That section is essentially a little more related to climate on campus and how ASMSU can solve some of the concerns," VanHuyse said.
Santavicca said in the next week, ASMSU will be discussing incentives to ensure students participate in the survey.
“We’re focusing on things that students really need, not necessarily what they want," Santavicca said. "If we can get some help for them to buy groceries, if we can get some gift cards for that or some kind of supplement to aid them in that regard. We want to help students as much as they can help us.”