Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Swim & Dive, recorded lectures, ASMSU elections bills approved for GA

November 18, 2020
The Rock, located on Farm Lane, is painted to show support against cutting the MSU Swim & Dive program. The university declared Thursday they would stop funding the program after the 2020-21 school year is over. Shot on Oct. 26, 2020.
The Rock, located on Farm Lane, is painted to show support against cutting the MSU Swim & Dive program. The university declared Thursday they would stop funding the program after the 2020-21 school year is over. Shot on Oct. 26, 2020. —
Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Helping to determine the future of MSU Swim & Dive, Bill 57-37 will be on the table at the next Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, General Assembly, or GA, meeting, on Thursday, Nov. 19.  Also approved in committees, to be introduced on Thursday were bills regarding lecture materials and ASMSU elections procedure.

Following calls from student-athletes to reestablish the swim season, Bill 57-37 is a resolution to call upon Athletic Director Bill Beekman and President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. to rescind their decision to cut swim and dive and to open up a dialogue with the student-athletes on how the program can be brought back. The resolution was approved in the Policy Committee. The bill’s seconder, Ishaan Modi, a Lyman Briggs College representative, mentioned that this would align with one of the ASMSU’s main priorities as student advocates.

“This is our opportunity to just have a really strong statement of solidarity with our fellow Spartan swimmers and divers,” Modi said. “As student advocates, that’s something we need to be very in tune to.”

The Swim and dive program was cut due to a projected $30 million shortfall in revenue for the athletic department this academic year. The teams have made attempts to crowdfund for their season but were told that any funds they raise would just go to the department.

Bill 57-36 is a resolution that requests teaching faculty to make lecture materials accessible online, lecture materials being defined as “lecture notes, lecture PowerPoint presentations, and any other relevant course materials.” The resolution was approved for the GA in the Academic Committee. Last week, the GA passed Bill 57-32, which advocates for lectures to be recorded and posted to either D2L or MediaSpace, Bill 57-36 expands upon the measures taken in 57-32 by including lecture materials. The introducer of the bill, College of Natural Science representative Cynthia Sridhar, explained that the lives of students have been made harder through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most students are living in unprecedented circumstances, taking on greater responsibility, and so many of them could use the ease and accessibility of having the lecture material posted online,” Sridhar said.

The bill further cites equity concerns, such as for students with disabilities, poor internet access or for those that had to take an additional responsibility due to the pandemic.

Bill 57-33, approved by the Policy Committee, aims to amend the ASMSU Code of Operations so that the elections procedure allows for a runner-up in the election to take a seat if the representative-elect vacates their seat in the GA 24 hours prior to their term of office. The bill was originally introduced in the last committee meetings but was rescinded from last week’s GA meeting so that the bill’s writers could make improvements upon it. The introducer of the bill, College of Social Science representative Julian Trevino said that this bill would create a better-represented student body and make that process easier.

“We all agree that we would like to fill all the GA seats and have as little vacancy as possible, and have that transition be as smooth as possible,” Trevino said.

The runner-up will still have to reach the minimum vote threshold to be eligible to fill a vacancy. 

The next GA meeting will be on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The Zoom link can be found on the ASMSU website.

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