Thursday, October 21, 2021

ASMSU officials, university spokesperson clear up spring break confusion

ASMSU President Abii-Tah Bih, VPAA Brianna Aiello and MSU Deputy Spokesperson Dan Olsen clear up confusion following a Barstool Spartans tweet

October 13, 2020
<p>Beaumont Tower photographed on May 15, 2019.</p>

Beaumont Tower photographed on May 15, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

No, spring break has not been canceled. Following a Tweet from Barstool Spartans, MSU students were led to believe that they weren’t going to receive a spring break next semester, although decisions have been made regarding spring break.

The Tweet, seen below, quoted an Oct. 5 article in which Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) President Abii-Tah Bih reported to the General Assembly (GA) that the Academic Calendar Task Force had made recommendations to President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. regarding the spring semester. Barstool Spartans then added the caption, “RIP to Spring Break.” with no mention that these were only recommendations, leading students to believe that the university had made a decision regarding spring break. 

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The Tweet has since been deleted.

MSU Deputy Spokesperson Dan Olsen clarified that spring break has not been canceled and that a decision will come soon.

"At this point we have still not made a determination on our spring semester, but certainly we'll make sure that that is well communicated to our students, faculty and staff once the decision has been reached," Olsen said.

Another point of confusion is that the ASMSU did not make these recommendations, but rather, Bih only reported the recommendations to the GA.

Bih commented on the misinformation.

"We just received a couple of students who were a little confused," Bih said. "They actually thought that ASMSU made the recommendation to President Stanley to eliminate spring break. But, that's not the case. If that were the case it would have gone through ASMSU as a bill or resolution."

She said that the Tweet was problematic due to the fact that ASMSU is a representative body, so it would be against the interests of their constituency if they made this recommendation.

"It's a matter of clarity," Bih said. "When we speak, it means the entire student body has spoken. I think it's just very problematic for words to be put in our mouth in that sense."

The recommendations were made based on the results of a survey that was sent to students, faculty and staff. According to ASMSU Vice President of Academic Affairs Brianna Aiello, who also serves on the task force, the group is still active.

"When we made the recommendations it was all based off that survey that went out to faculty, students and staff, and then also by our health professionals at MSU," Aiello said.

Aiello also said that she's glad students have been made more aware of the recommendations but wishes that they would communicate their frustrations to their representatives.

"It's disheartening to see that it was taken out of context because of the fact that we've been advocating for students and student interests to our best ability, and we continue to do so," Aiello said. "If anything, if people have issues with how ASMSU is being operated, they could come to our GA meetings. They could elect new officials."

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