Tuesday, July 5, 2022

ASMSU discuss weekend destruction, VPGA Apostle resigns at GA meeting

November 5, 2021
A member of the general assembly asks the presenter a question during ASMSU's general assembly meeting on Nov. 4, 2021.
A member of the general assembly asks the presenter a question during ASMSU's general assembly meeting on Nov. 4, 2021. —
Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

During the Nov. 4 general assembly, or GA, meeting hosted by the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, one new bill was passed along with several other major discussions.

Vice President for Governmental Affairs, or VPGA, Matt Apostle announced that he will be resigning from his post due to his struggle to juggle ASMSU along with other student responsibilities. After, ASMSU also held an open discussion to plan their response regarding the destruction throughout East Lansing following the MSU vs. University of Michigan football game.

Apostle’s Resignation

Since joining ASMSU three-and-a-half years ago, Apostle had slowly built his way up to earning the spot of VPGA for his second year in a row.

ASMSU has not only given Apostle opportunities outside of school, experience and connections that set him up for his current job, but it has also provided him a home when he didn’t have one elsewhere, Apostle said.

“As of late, I have hated myself for not being able to commit as such time as I used to serving you all, while I’ve been simultaneously beating myself into the pavement and depleting my physical and mental health,” Apostle said. “With all that said, I finally need to prioritize myself, even if it means giving up something I love.”

Apostle plans to stay in office until the GA elects the eventual successor for his role.

Bill 58-33

This bill introduced by Alliance for Queer and Allied Students Rep. Cameron Lochrie allocated $15,000 from the ASMSU general fund to the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center’s, or GSCC, budget covering supplies, travel and operation.

Last year, ASMSU passed Bill 57-115, which donated 75% of the remaining general fund to the GSCC after all allocations, which was just over $17,000.

However, Lochrie referred to the Director of the LGBT Resource Center at MSU, Jesse Beal’s, presentation during the Oct. 7 GA meeting which stated that the GSCC has received less funding this year.

“I can speak from personal experience the GSCC are some of the best people I’ve ever known,” Lochrie said. “I could talk for hours about how important the GSCC is, how important they are to me, not just for advocating for us, but also taking care of basic health and safety of the trans and queer community on campus which is something that get looks really looked over and something that has a lot of specific needs.”

College of Arts and Letters Rep. Austin Grondin seconded the bill and said that MSU should be providing more funding and resources to the GSCC and it should not be going through the hands of ASMSU.

“I urge everyone to vote yes to this bill, not only in solidarity with such a marginalized community but also to show administrators and the rest of campus that we confirm in our allyship with said community,” Grondin said. “We pride ourselves with the fact that we stand with the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Well it’s time, again, to put our money where our mouth is.”

Discussion of ASMSU Response to Weekend Destruction

Following the vehicle flipping and several fires around Cedar Village and other places on campus, ASMSU is planning to release a statement regarding this past weekend.

ASMSU opened up a discussion to encourage GA's contribution to talk through what should be stated throughout the statement.

“I think a lot of people forget when these stories are in the news of destruction after games that … a lot of students make up the East Lansing community year-round,” Student Housing Cooperative Rep. Sky Stillwell said. “A lot of us aren’t here just during the school year and the notion that we’re ruining East Lansing is quite upsetting because this is our community too.” 

MSU’s lack of response to the destruction and how it underscores the extent of the damage and danger that has been presented to the community was also brought up, along with a reminder that inebriation is not an excuse for these actions.

There was also mention of deserved recognition to the multiple other incidents that happened throughout the weekend, including the search for Brendan Santo and the two separate shootings incidents in the area, one near the CVS parking lot on M.A.C. Avenue and Albert Street, and the dual-death investigation at the 3900 block of Halter Lane.

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A GoFundMe fundraiser has been started for one of the flipped and vandalized vehicles by the victim, Jack Borchanian, a student from U-M.

“Our first responders should not be bracing themselves every year for game day,” James Madison College Rep. Shaurya Pandya said. “They should be able to enjoy it with us. Whether or not we win, tradition is no excuse for chaos.”

If you have any information, call the toll-free tip line at 844-99-MSUPD or email to tips@police.msu.edu.

For resources, the MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services, or CAPS, is available 24/7 by calling 517-355-8270. The MSU Employee Assistance, or EAP, is also available by calling 517-355-4506.

Students at Grand Valley State University can also contact their University Counseling Center at 616-331-3266.

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