ASMSU president responds to CRU statement at latest meeting
Updated Tuesday at 4:53 p.m.
As of Monday, both ASMSU’s assistant director of marketing and ASMSU’s manager of public relations remain in their positions within ASMSU, both ASMSU President Lorenzo Santavicca and ASMSU Chief of Staff Sam Terzich said. Both Santavicca and Terzich said per ASMSU’s code of operations, the corrective action procedure was taken.
According to ASMSU's code of operations, Title XXI, employment status and corrective action procedure, “Violation of any part of these work rules or related ASMSU policies, practices and procedures may subject an employee to disciplinary action which range from oral warning through discharge. All appeals of disciplinary action shall be made to the ASMSU Steering Committee. Because employment with ASMSU is at-will, ASMSU is not required to follow a formalized disciplinary process, nor do any of these provisions create a contractual employment relationship or require cause before discipline or discharge is imposed.”
On Oct. 14, Culturas de las Razas Unidas (CRU) sent a statement to the Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) which stated ASMSU was working against CRU’s purpose and demanded that ASMSU terminate their assistant director of marketing and their manager of public relations.
The statement was sent in light of the recent controversies surrounding ASMSU’s handling of four letters that were sent to invite presidential candidates to campus.
As the situation pertains to CRU, comments from a CRU member on the posted photo of the four letters were blocked on Facebook, which led to an initial protest of an ASMSU general assembly meeting. CRU and other students also protested the special meeting to discuss Bill 53-20, which would have retracted the letters, had it been passed.
In the statement sent on Friday, CRU stated, “Culturas de las Razas Unidas declines all invitations for leadership round tables and racial/ethnic climate discussions on the basis of the violation of Culturas de las Razas Unidas (CRU) first amendment right and the lack of acknowledgement and lack of repercussions for this act.”
In addition, CRU called for ASMSU's assistant director of marketing and manager of public relations to be terminated on the grounds of actively participating in censorship of undergraduate students, they said.
However, at the ASMSU general assembly meeting on Oct. 20, ASMSU president Lorenzo Santavicca told the general assembly that neither employee was terminated, but corrective actions were taken instead.
Santavicca said he could not explain in depth what the corrective procedure entailed and instead gave general assembly members the email for the ASMSU human resources department.
“They are still employed, yeah. But we are taking significant practices within the organization to bring about conversations about social media best practice handling,” Santavicca said to the general assembly during the meeting. “So per our code of operations, we did follow corrective action procedure.... I can’t go into detail due to FERPA protection—that’s just the nature of the policy, but I also want to say that we didn’t just write it off.…Per our HR department, they have said I cannot (explain the corrective actions taken).”
In addition to these corrective procedures, Santavicca said ASMSU will work actively with the university director for diversity inclusion and ASMSU’s diversity and inclusion liaison, talking about best practices for social media use within their organization and about how to make sure overall accountability and transparency is at the highest levels within the organization.
“We will be having conversations with CRU and the rest of our CORES and COPS moving forward if they are willing and able to be a part of those conversations,” he said. “And I want to make sure that we are not shutting anyone out to those future conversations that may happen in the future. We need to hear all opinions. All opinions need to come through in these matters.”