At the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, General Assembly meeting on Oct. 6, five bills were passed and a representative resigned after a bill advocating for his impeachment was introduced.
No confidence in the MSU Board of Trustees
Introduced by ASMSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Aaron Iturralde, the bill supports a vote of no confidence in the current Board of Trustees and calls for resignation of board members. The bill was written on the basis that the Board violated their code of conduct and ethics in hiring an external legal counsel to investigate the removal of former dean Sanjay Gupta, Iturralde said.
“Nothing is gained from a vote of no confidence,” Iturralde said. “However, it sends a powerful message that we, the undergraduate community, are strongly in opposition to the current conduct of this board.”
The board has also neglected its legal responsibilities to fully certify MSU’s Title IX compliance, which has created a harmful and volatile environment on campus, Iturralde said.
“All of us entered this university in the shadows of the MSU board’s history of reluctance to do the right thing and reform their leadership in order to foster a new campus culture,” Iturralde said. “The recent actions and lack of actions from this board illuminate the lack of change that has actually occurred.”
After dissent from Rep. Lochrie and three abstaining votes, the bill passed with 21 votes in favor.
ASMSU plans to talk with Board of Trustees liaisons to arrange a walk-out or protest at the Oct. 28 Board of Trustees meeting, said ASMSU President Jo Kovach.
Allowing the Governmental Affairs Department to Petition for Joint Senate Resolution F
This bill, introduced by Asian Pacific American Student Organization Rep. Connor Le, proposes an amendment to the state constitution to allow public university board meetings to be open to the public to further hold the Board of Trustees accountable.
“As we’ve all seen in the past weeks, the Board of Trustees have shown to be distrustful and not allow student input into things that are important to the student body,” Le said.
The bill passed unanimously.
Advocating for inclusive academic building seating arrangements
A bill that advocates for the redesign of academic buildings to accommodate different-bodied students was unanimously passed. The bill was introduced at last Thursday’s Academic Committee meeting by College of Social Science Rep. Barash.
“Classroom seating on Michigan State’s campus has historically been ... very uncomfortable, very inaccessible for many students with bodies not in the typical American norm and we wanted to make classroom seating much more comfortable, much more inclusive, and much more equitable for all students,” Barash said.
The bill recommends that body and disability-unfriendly furniture be removed from buildings on campus. Additionally, Rep. Lochrie suggested that the bill advocate for a seat width requirement within the university’s interior planning.
Rep. Barash and seconder Rep. Konesky plan to meet with the provost’s office tomorrow to discuss initial steps, Konesky said.
Rep. Alex Nader resigns
After being called on to be impeached by several members of the general assembly, Broad College of Business Rep. Alex Nader resigned from his position.
According to the bill, Nader expressed harmful comments via GroupMe about the roles of the Council of Racial & Ethnic Students (CORES) and the Council of Progressive Students (COPS) within ASMSU on Jul. 6.
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“This place is meant to foster collaboration and fellowship to the benefit of our students,” said Black Student Alliance Rep. Dorsely. “It is abundantly clear that comments made in this very space violate those principles ... if the representative stays in this body, nearly every proposal will be undermined at the detriment of minorities.”
After a period of discussion, Rep. Barash made a resolution to allow Rep. Nader to step down from his position before being formally impeached.
“I want to give the representative in question the opportunity to recognize their mistakes and recognize the harm that has been done and felt by members of the General Assembly,” Barash said.
In response, Rep. Nader resigned.
“I don’t apologize for anything I said ... thank you for everyone who got my back,” Nader said.
Restricted Fund money to be reallocated
Passed unanimously, a bill introduced by ASMSU Vice President for Finance and Operations Vipul Adusumilli will reallocate $20,000 from the restricted fund to different departments. The reallocation will support growing projects and programming.
Of this fund, $12,500 will go to the General Fund, $5,000 will go to technology repairs, $2,000 will go to the Health, Safety, and Wellness Department, and $500 will go toward marketing.
ASMSU will recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Introduced by College of Social Science Rep. Konesky, the bill advocates for ASMSU to recognize the worldwide Domestic Violence Awareness Month by connecting students and domestic and sexual assault survivors to support resources on campus.
The bill passed unanimously.
The next ASMSU General Assembly meeting will be held on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in room 115 of the International Center.
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