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ASMSU provides update on recommendation for spring semester, approves two bills in committee meetings

October 5, 2020
<p>ASMSU holds a General Assembly meeting on Feb. 27, 2020.</p>

ASMSU holds a General Assembly meeting on Feb. 27, 2020.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, two bills passed through the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, committees and will be introduced to the General Assembly, or GA, on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Bill 57-18, to have an ASMSU partnership with, a student-run website that provides student ratings, reviews, grade distributions and syllabi from prior classes, was approved. Bill 57-19, which aims to amend the ASMSU Code of Operations to clarify that a person serving on the GA cannot also be on the ASMSU staff since it presents a conflict of interest, was approved. Both bills went through the Policy Committee and were approved unanimously.

President Abii-Tah Bih provided an update that recommendations for the spring semester from the Academic Calendar Task Force were made to President Samuel L. Stanley. The recommendations were made based on a survey open to the MSU community. The committee is still meeting, and these suggestions are not final decisions, just recommendations. The initial suggestions are as follows.

  • Begin the semester on Monday, January 11 with online-only instruction until Friday, January 22. Then, resume classes in a hybrid setting.
  • Eliminate spring break but suspend classes and due dates on Feb. 16, March 24, April 22, and April 23.
  • Extend commencement to last from April 30 to May 7.

A committee has been assigned to hire a new position at MSU, a Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President. This person will be responsible for evaluating MSU’s budget to ensure the allocation of funds aligns with university values and priorities. ASMSU Vice President for Finance and Operations Jordan Polk serves on this committee, who commented on resources for this position.

“The resources needed to hire this position have been made available due to Melissa Woo serving dually as MSU EVPA and CIO,” Polk said. “MSU still strives to use institutional resources in an effective manner. The need for this position is in developing a comprehensive long-range financial plan for the University.”

The Readership Program is now functional, and students can access digital versions of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal for free. Instructions for accessing these subscriptions are found on the ASMSU website. 

Another part of Polk’s update to the committee, the ASMSU contract with Princeton Review is in the process of being finalized for an additional year. Princeton Review is a service that provides students with test preparation for both graduate and undergraduate students. They also offer tutoring, online courses and free practice tests. This new contract includes an emphasis on an increase in monthly marketing efforts, as well as two scholarships that will pay for test preparation. 

A budget update was presented by ASMSU Controller Gabriella Winters. The General Fund, which is used to fund action from ASMSU bills and initiatives, is totaled at $101,272.03. Funds to be allocated to registered student organizations has yet to be finalized. ASMSU will only provide funding for events that abide by local, state and federal COVID-19 regulations. 

ASMSU will also be distributing door decals to off-campus students with voting information within the next two weeks. 

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