Thursday, February 20, 2020

ASMSU discusses taxes and census preparation

February 3, 2020
<p>The General Assembly sits at the ASMSU meeting at the International Center on Jan. 30, 2020.</p>

The General Assembly sits at the ASMSU meeting at the International Center on Jan. 30, 2020.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

At Thursday night’s Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, General Assembly meeting, members discussed the census and a new tax renewal bill while passing bills to sponsor Safe Place and appoint new members to the Student Allocations Board.

ASMSU Tax Renewal

In his report, Vice President for Finance and Operations, Tayte Rider, addressed the upcoming bill for ASMSU’s student tax renewal — potentially increasing the tax for the first time in 10 years.

By next week’s committee meetings he will have the two resolutions ready to present to the representatives. The first being the resolution to renew the general, Safe Ride, and readership tax, and the second the resolution to increase the tax.

“Every three years our MSU tax is up for renewal, this year being one of them,” ASMSU President Mario Kakos said. “Part of that process is a lot of planning. So, before anything goes on the ballot for students they will have the option to vote to renew the tax and potential vote to increase the tax.”

Rider will be bringing these resolutions up for discussion at the committee meetings, and these will be introduced at the GA meeting on Feb. 13 for a vote on whether they will raise the tax or not. 

Although these resolutions are being presented to the GA, Rider pointed out the students are the ones that will be voting on it, so the GA must keep students in mind in their discussions.

Bills Passed

The GA passed a bill allocating $10,000 for MSU Safe Place by becoming a Presenting Sponsor for the 26th Annual Race for the Place 5K. College of Engineering Representative Alexis Haselwanter introduced the bill. 

Safe Place provides residential and non-residential support services for survivors of domestic violence and stalking in the MSU and Lansing area.

“Safe place is a very special thing that MSU has,” College of Natural Science Representative, Aubrey Hanes said. “It helps all of our students, our faculty, even the surrounding members of the community.”

At the previous committee meetings, the concern of the amount being allocated was brought up. ASMSU is a consistent sponsor for the Race for the Place 5K. In the previous year, however, they had only given $5,000.

Hanes, who seconded this bill, defended it by adding that this would make ASMSU an official sponsor and the cause overall is worth it. 

Additionally, the GA passed a bill, introduced by Vice President of Student Allocations Dylan Catalano, appointing students as New Members to the Student Allocations Board. 

According to the bill, “After the first three weeks of the fall semester, it is the job and duty of the Student Allocations Board to fill any vacancy amongst their board membership.” 

The following students were added to the board: Julia Chenault, Andrew Hendren, Hasan Saeed and Noah Skrok.

Census 2020

Presenters from the Census 2020 Complete Count Committee of the City of East Lansing came to speak with the GA members about the importance of college students partaking in the 2020 census, in hopes they will share this information with their constituents. 

The census is a mandatory head count of all of the citizens in the United States. They focused on the importance of this representation in order for areas to be allocated towards the amount of information that is collected.This will be the first time the form will be available digitally. 

The Committee wants students to be counted at MSU. Seeing as they are living in East Lansing a majority of the year, being counted here will assure the resources East Lansing is allocated will benefit the student body. 

Additionally, they wanted to assure the students that their information would not be used by third-party sources, so they cannot avoid partaking. 

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