Friday, September 30, 2022

ASMSU approves Board of Trustees accountability measures

At the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, General Assembly meeting on Thursday, the state of the Board of Trustees and President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. was discussed with Trustee Rema Vassar, five bills were reviewed and a chairperson resigned.

The meeting began with a period of open discussion with Vassar. 

“I’m not saying Michigan State University is unique in terms of responding inappropriately to reports ... Michigan State, however, cannot afford to get any of this wrong,” Vassar said. “At this point, the university is out of compliance with the state law.”

She referenced the legally required certification process for Title IX compliance for universities.

Stanley said at a Faculty Senate meeting last week that when he signed off on the Title IX compliance form, he was under the impression all of the reports had been reviewed. He said the trustees were to blame for failure to review the reports they were assigned.

Investigation of the Board of Trustees to be conducted by the Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance and professional development training

The meeting ended with the review of two Faculty Senate resolutions from Sept. 13.

In concurrence with the Faculty Senate, the General Assembly approved the resolution to conduct investigations of the Board of Trustees by the Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance. The investigation report would be publicly available.

The second resolution to hire a firm to conduct professional development training for the Board of Trustees was also approved. The training would ensure that Board members aren’t withholding information and maintain community confidence in the Board. 

“In order to build the trust, transparency, and accountability we can hold our board to, they need to undergo some professional development training and development in general,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Aaron Iturralde said.

IM Sports Facilities Update

Guest speaker Rick McNeil, director of recreational sports and fitness at MSU, presented visuals of a new recreational facility planned to be constructed at Cherry Lane Field. The facility will include an indoor pool, updated machinery, a variety of courts, and outdoor recreation spaces.

“We’re not building an IM building, we’re building a destination,” McNeil said.

He said the goal is to create a space Spartans want to go to for fun. While the project is pending funding, it is essential that the student body advocates for the facility to Vice President Vennie Gore or the Board of Trustees, McNeil said.

General Assembly GroupMe community guidelines

After two amendments were made and a debate over the executive power of the General Assembly GroupMe administrator, the bill to allow the administrator of the chat to delete harmful messages at their discretion passed with 14 votes.

The bill was first introduced at the summer General Assembly on Aug. 25 after offensive comments were made in the chat.

“It’s basic rules and common sense for any professional environment,” one representative said. “It’s very easy for people to become keyboard warriors and start a fight instead of actually having those conversations in person, which can lead to a meaningful and impactful change. Starting a fight in a GroupMe will not lead to change. It leads to more arguments and more division which we have already seen in this General Assembly, especially over the summer.”

Recipients of SNAP, WIC, and TAIF to purchase menstrual products

Introduced by Rep. Shrishti Jalan of the Women*s Council, this bill allows recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Women, Infants and Children, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to use those benefits to purchase menstrual products.

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The bill passed with a unanimous vote.

Resignation of Ishaan Modi

Vice President for Governmental Affairs, or VPGA, Ishaan Modi announced his resignation from his position last night. In his two years involved with ASMSU, he served on the General Assembly, in a staff position, and as VPGA. 

“In the process, I never anticipated I would meet some of my best friends and genuinely make an impact on this community,” Modi said. “Unfortunately, my time in ASMSU is coming to an end. I always planned on staying in ASMSU until the end of my senior year, but plans change, life changes you. At this point in college, I have to prioritize other personal and professional goals.”

Modi’s resignation becomes effective with the election of the next VPGA, which will most likely occur at the General Assembly meeting on Oct. 20, he said.

The next General Assembly meeting will be held on Oct. 6, in the International Center in room 115.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article had a quote that was improperly attributed to Academic Governance Secretary Tyler Silvestri. The quote “In order to build the trust, transparency, and accountability we can hold our board to, they need to undergo some professional development training and development in general,” came from Vice President for Academic Affairs Aaron Iturralde, not Silvestri.


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